Torii, TTDI: Japanese tradition, European fusion, all paired with a glass of Kirin

This review is brought to you in collaboration with Kirin Ichiban, part of Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB).

Torii review (2)

Torii’s interior design is a reflection of its approach to food; traditional Japanese culture mingles with modern convenience and indulgence. Upon arrival, we were greeted by three gold images of samurai warriors, chiefs of the country’s historic safety, and as we walked to our table, I noticed the contemporary furniture and minimalist, slick decor.

Torii review (7)

Numerous bottles of whiskey and sake, plus posters advertising the same, adorned the walls, tipping a hat to the more modern side of Japan’s culture – one of a global presence in the world of alcohol beverage production.

One of the driving factors of the country’s explosive growth in this industry is Kirin Ichiban, the 100% malt beer made with a ‘first press’ brewing method. This technique is known as ‘Ichiban Shibori’ in its home country, where the beer gets its name.

My colleague and I were here to enjoy the crisp beer and to sample a few of the dishes – all of them combining traditional Japanese and western cuisine – which turned out to pair very pleasantly with the drink.

Broths and delicacies

Up first was broiled lobster chowder and crab croutons (RM18.90), served with porcini mushrooms. It tasted very similar to an ‘old school chicken and sweetcorn soup’ as seen on all menus in Chinese resturants across the UK, except it was easy to tell that this was more high end than that.

Huge chunks of chewy crabmeat lined the bottom of the bowl and crispy crab croutons floated on the top of the dense, tasty, shallot-filled liquid.

Torii review (9)

The kampachi uni jalapeno (RM34.90) came next and arrived at our table served cutely on a ring of five spoons. The dish offered something fresh to contrast the unctuous soup; the salty, sharp and sweet citrus ponzu sauce and black truffle salt balanced nicely with the meaty, flavoursome fish.

Torii review (8)

Something a little different arrived next, in the avocado de la mer (RM19.90), a heavier, hot dish with baked seafood and mushrooms and piquant miso and cheese. The dense cubes of avocado, still just unripe enough to have a good bite, were covered in creamy cheese and finished well with crispy shredded seaweed.

Torii review (11)

As a great example of traditional Japanese meets European high-end cuisine, the bonded unagi (RM29.90) contained the typical grilled river eel, served on a skewer and served in a dim sum style bamboo casket. However it was combined with pan-seared foie gras for a new, rich, thick dimension. The crispness of the Kirin was definitely helping to cut through the richness of the food, so we both ordered another.

Torii review (12)

Continuing the east meets west theme, the wagyu sliders (RM25.90) contained one of Japan’s most famous ingredients, the delicately marbled beef, accompanied with sweet caramelised onions, but served in way that definitely reminded me of home-cooking in the UK. The homemade scones tasted exactly like a suet dumpling from mum’s casseroles from 10 years ago – in a very good way.

Torii review (13)

Wheats and grains

Bringing me back to modern-day Asia, the Torii donburi (RM34.90) came with sashimi toro, uni (sea urchin) and rice. The salty orange bubbles of the ikura (salmon eggs) punctuated the fluffy rice and helped to cut through the tasty, healthy-sized chunks of fish.Torii review (14)

The autumn risotto (RM27.90) was elegantly presented with two white crab claws adorning the dish and an uncooked egg yolk balanced on the top. The almost porridge-like consistency of the risotto rice was interspersed with still-firm asparagus, and the crab claws had beautifully succulent meat still inside.

Torii review (19)

Torii review (21)Skewers

The sirloin skewer (RM15.90) was beautifully cooked with a little bit of bite and well-seasoned with a peppery finish, and the chewy, satisfying veal chunk (RM15.90) came in a luxuriously creamy sauce.

The squid tentacles (RM10.90) were chewy without being inedible, and they came drenched in delicious smoky rich tomato-based barbecue sauce.

The chicken wings (RM8.90) were super salty and crispy, with a pretty, charred finish.

Finally, the sweet potato wedges (RM5.90), also served on a skewer, had a deep, almost creamy, buttery taste – and were almost too rich for the final dish of the main course!

Fortunately, by this point we had another glass of Kirin on hand, to help wash it all down.

Dessert

To finish, our chef again harked back to traditional Japanese food as well as harnessing new European styles to create a decadent Nutella gyoza (RM24.90).

gyoza

The explosively crunchy pockets, with familiarly tasty chocolate filling, came lavishly smothered in whiskey and raisin ice cream, and rounded off the meal nicely.

Although secretly tempted to sink a few shots of sake – when in Rome, as they say – I decided it was wise not to and walked out of the restaurant, nodding my thanks to three golden samurai on the wall. Japan: great culture, great food – and great beer.

Torii review (5)

Location & Details

Torii

18, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail

Tel: +603 7733 9309

Find: View Torii’s directory here

20 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Jun Tan April 4, 2016 Subscriber

    Felicia Tan can go try.

  2. Michele Maxine David April 3, 2016 Subscriber

    Nahvin Chinaya

  3. Abdul Halim March 30, 2016 Subscriber

    Salina M Samat sila belanja

  4. Peggy Wong March 29, 2016 Subscriber

    Phuitin Kong u tried before? Wendies Lee?

  5. Charisse Yoon Yee March 23, 2016 Subscriber

    Christopher Lim

  6. Jonathan Andrew Scully March 22, 2016 Subscriber
  7. Chew Pei Yun March 18, 2016 Subscriber

    Chew Pei Yi lets try this

  8. Meddy Hor March 15, 2016 Subscriber

    An Nie Winnie Ee

  9. Meddy Hor March 15, 2016 Subscriber

    Grace Thong Caryn Wong Finny Leaw

  10. Lewina Tan March 14, 2016 Subscriber

    Have you tried this Rena Nalliah? We’ve been wanting to go.

    • Rena Nalliah March 14, 2016 Subscriber

      Hi Nana! It’s down the road from us but have not tried it. Friends tell me the food is good there.

  11. Azue Azizi March 12, 2016 Subscriber

    Saffuan Shahabuddin

  12. Dinesh Babu March 10, 2016 Subscriber

    Camile Suyi kirin yes please

  13. Wendy Wong March 9, 2016 Subscriber

    Cheryl Yee… Let’s go try~~

Leave your comment

Find the Best Restaurants in KL