When you first walk in to Rakuzen, you get the sense that it is going to be a really “tight” night. The place is packed and it’s no surprise as the prices here are affordable and the food is pretty all right. They greet you with “irashaimase” pronounced in the mangled, garbled pronunciations you can hear at a lot of the non Japanese waiter-ed restaurants. It’s a small thing but for a person that understands the word, it’s a constant irritant to have it butchered. Why do non-Japanese staff have to pretend to speak Japanese? They could just as easily say “welcome”, or “selamat datang” and it would not detract from the charm.
But anyway, that’s where my criticism stops. The sushi here is excellent! The rice is expertly flavoured and the fish is absolutely delicious. Very good quality without the bad flavour that can come when ordering whitefish at some lower quality establishments.
Tempura is a must! I could see, and was impressed that the chef mixed a fresh batch of batter for each order of tempura that he made. There are some restaurants I’ve been to, that treat tempura as any other deep fried dish and get the batter completely wrong. It’s important to use clean oil and fresh batter when making tempura. Rakuzen does both. When the tempura got to the table, I could almost hear the batter crackle! Not bad at all. I could have sworn that the prawn on the inside was still wriggling/pulsating.. that fresh:)
All in all a good night. Our families chatted, bonded, and laughed like crazy over a bottle of sake and some excellent food. We always have fun at Rakuzen, oh yes we do!
Lot P17, Ground Floor
Hartamas Shopping Centre
MSG levels: moderate