Do you know Genji Japanese Restaurant at Hilton Petaling Jaya was named in honour of a legendary Japanese nobleman? Known as ‘the shining Genji’, the feudal lord was a connoisseur of fine food, wine and living.
Likewise, Hilton PJ’s Japanese cuisine bastion has been serving country-style Japanese seasonal delicacies to a coterie of individual and corporate diners since 1988. A recent facelift ensures a tastefully designed and comfortable space to fit about 148 diners. Channelling the vibes of a contemporary yet rustic restaurant in the Land of the Rising Sun, you’d find fine objects d’art and lots of wood accents on premise.
The sectional layout includes a sushi bar, the main dining area, two spacious teppanyaki counters, five private dining rooms and one ‘tatami’ style dining room. Ample privacy and comfort are assured whether you’re entertaining business associates or hosting family and friends to a good meal.
Armed with 27 years of experience, Executive Japanese Chef Richard Teoh focuses on modernist traditional Japanese cuisine using distinct Japanese ingredients crafted with current techniques. Trained by masters of Japanese food in Tokyo and Osaka, he insists on adhering to certain Japanese cooking basics in spite of changing tastes and variety being the spice of life.
Choices are aplenty at Genji but a quick check with Chef Richard reveals 10 popular dishes that often get the thumbs up from regulars. First off the block is California Salad (RM 41), a deconstructed version of the famed California Roll.
Garnished with strips of deep-fried crabsticks and flying fish roe, the mound of garden greens is complemented by thinly sliced salmon, tuna and avocado. Zesty-creamy wasabi mayo dressing lends the light salad fresh, appetising appeal.
The Japanese equivalent to chicken soup for the soul here is Buri Miso (RM 33). Heartwarmingly nutritious, the yellow tail fish head in miso soup comes packed with protein, vitamins B2, B12, E and K as well as essential dietary fibre and beneficial bacteria.
Of course, no Japanese meal worth its salt can omit choice sushi and sashimi. The most sought-after air-flown raw fish items at Genji are salmon, tuna, kampachi and sea bream which are artistically presented into a visually and palate-pleasing plate of Sashimi Moriwase Hane (RM 233). Moist and succulent, the plump slices make for delightful mouthfuls after a light dip into shoyu.
Prefer some sushi instead? Then you can bank on the crowd-pleasing Jumbo Ebi Ura Maki (RM 76) - a reversed hand roll with tiger prawn tempura, fish roe, salad leaves and cucumber. Every piece packs in myriad textures thanks to chunks of tiger prawn sheathed in crisp, airy-light tempura batter, shredded lettuce, rich mayo and vinegared rice speckled with crunchy fish roe.
Fiery bird’s eye chilli adds stealthy bursts of fiery heat in the chef’s speciality of Kaki Chilli Mayo (RM17.00 per piece). Chopped up and mixed into the lush blanket of spiced up mayo, proceed with caution when you dig into the fleshy oyster baked in its half shell lest you get ‘fire bombed’.
If you prefer prawns, the Ebi Chilli Mayo (RM 70) or baked jumbo tiger prawn with the same spicy mayo should float your boat. The sizeable crustacean is delicately sweet on the palate; the zingy mayo giving it a robust ‘kick’.
For those who want it all, Genji’s Trio Combo (RM 140) is a heavyweight main to contend with. The three separate creations consist of luscious salmon, tuna & sea bass sashimi rolled with avocado, a piece of grilled cod with salt on potato salad & baked tiger prawn with spicy mayo on garlic fried rice.
Fish fans would fall hook, line and sinker for the perennial delight of Gindara (RM 82), black cod dish grilled with salt or teriyaki sauce. Velvety smooth on the palate, it is a failsafe option to bank on anytime.
Theatrical teppan-cooked seafood, meat and vegetable dishes constitute another key staple in the popularity stakes. Cooked with indulgent garlic-butter sauce, Tenderloin Teppanyaki (RM84) emerges as the dominant choice among meat enthusiasts. Imagine a premium tenderloin cut rendered to juicy perfection with droolworthy smoky overtone. To ensure the beef doneness is to your liking, do inform the staff upon ordering.
Bring the curtains down on your meal with a hot and cold dessert platter featuring Banana Spring Roll (RM33) at the core. Wrapped in deep-fried spring roll skin, the sweet banana and red bean paste filling is a scorcher. Paired with the slightly chewy mocha and a scoop of matcha ice cream, it’s the perfect finale to the Genji’s top 10 countdown.
Hearty eaters will be happy to know Genji lays out a scrumptious Weekend Japanese Buffet on Saturday, priced at RM 139 nett per adult from 8pm to 10.30pm. Early birds dining between 6pm to 7:45pm will enjoy the special price of RM127 nett per adult. Buffet lunch is also available on Sundays from 11.30am till 2.30pm at RM139 nett per adult.
For reservations or inquiries, please contact Genji Japanese Restaurant at 03-7955 9122 extn. 4071/4072 or visit Hilton Petaling Jaya’s F&B blog, www.ZestPJ.com