MIGF, or "restaurant week" for a month in KL, allowed the gluttonous to visit some prominent hotels and restaurants to order reasonably priced tasting menus. My experience was not the best at Sagano. First, I ordered the tasting menu, and found out it wasn't actually a tasting menu. Although many menus said "or" along side courses that diners would need to select an option from, this menu made no such indication. I was then forced to pick one, and of course I opted for Wagyu. (This would not be a big deal, if it was clear.)
The waitstaff handled it interestingly, the waitress brought out a menu and rather unapologetically made me select one. They then brought out a magazine to entertain me while waiting on the food. The hotel felt a little past its prime in terms of decor, and there were very few patrons. The seat springs absolutely assaulted me. It was uncomfortable. I was a little insulted when the waiter brought out silverware, assuming the white man couldn't use chopsticks. He apologized when I separated the chopsticks, collected his silverware, and scurried off.
|With a better lens you'd see the seat is uneven, and not just the stains.|
So, this was my first Japanese restaurant visit in awhile, and I had to order sushi (over the top, I know). I ordered the sushi deluxe, for about 130 Malaysian Ringgit extra (everything is just so cheap in Malaysia). The price wasn't so bad by Western standards, but is a small fortune in Malaysia. Unfortunately, it was anything but deluxe. It had regular tuna, flying fish and salmon roe, bass, and all, were - regular. A piece of salmon was very good, but no different than what I get at home. I stole the shiso leaf from my other dish to add to my sushi to create one of my best sushi bites that evening. I would never go here and order off the menu at full price if the sushi deluxe is any indication. Moving on...
|The best of these bites - Unagi|
The main courses were simmered seabass and wintermellon with garlic crabmeat sauce, griled cod mentai mayonnaise sauce, wagyu striploin and trio of mushrooms with wasabi-teriyaki sauce, and diced chicken rice with herbs.
|Weird mayo and veggies|
The deserts were ok, but really not great. Kuzukiri in sugar syrup and red bean soup sounded good, but the red bean was too watery and the flavor was not developed. The noodles were a little unusual, and not bad.
Overall, the meal and service were average - but not worth the price. Especially at full price. The flavor combinations, and development, were not expertly crafted. At the conclusion of the meal, Chef (at the time) Mohd Zamri Abdul Rahman came out to speak with me and my neighbor for a few minutes. He asked for our opinion, and I tested the water by saying the red bean soup could use a little improvement. He informed us that it was "just like from Japan" and that they have weird things that wouldn't appeal to everyone's palate (not in those exact words). I decided to simply thank him and call it good. Unfortunately, it seems a few years at Hotel Nikko as a sous chef does not turn a Malaysian into a Japanese expert. I can't say that I am either, but I know I haven't eaten something so bland and unskillfully combined in Japan as the red bean dessert soup.
Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Level 1, West Wing
Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang
2 of 5 (on the back of wagyu that you cannot mess up)