Coco.Tei is a contemporary looking Japanese establishment which is the reincarnation of Hajime. Seeking to find its own stylized niche, it’s speciality here would be its Sushi, Sashimi and Maki rolls, but what peaked our curiosity was this one word on the menu – “kaiseki”. Ah, what do we know of the esoteric cuisine of the Kyoto emperors, kaiseki..? A true kaiseki meal unravels according to a ritualized formula that even some Japanese gastronomes believe to be excessively mannered and baroque. Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese lunch or dinner. The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of such meals, and are analogous to Western haute cuisine. Originally, kaiseki comprised a bowl of miso soup and three side dishes. Kaiseki has since evolved to include an appetizer, sashimi, a simmered dish, a grilled dish, and a steamed course, in addition to other dishes at the discretion of the chef.


the sushi chefs

Kaiseki at Coco.Tei is priced at RM160, in other words, it is a comparative bargain. My lunch began with Zensai Santen Mori – Small Hors d’oeuvres of shredded yam with Salmon Roe, Tuna Fish Belly with egg yolk, Soused Mushrooms with Sesame Sauce, which I devoured in about five seconds flat. It was served in rather fine porcelain dishes which I found oh so pretty. The next course, a carefully articulated bowl of Nimono Teba Daikon – Simmered dish of Slow Braised Chicken and Raddish, didn’t last much longer, at which point my dining partners pointed out that I was slurping down my broth way to fast. I made a mental note to slow down.

I then used my chopsticks to hoover down a platter of incredibly fresh varieties of Sashimi – Sashimi Moriawase of Salmon, Toro, Tai, Kampachi, Uni and Amaebi. The Uni was so fatty it was like eating a dollop of pure fat. How heavenly! Another stand out sashimi morsel was the Tai fish. During the months of March and April, the sea bream, called Tai in Japanese, turns reddish. Schools of bream move toward the coasts of Japan’s Inland Sea to spawn, and when a school is caught up in the current and pushed near the surface, the waters swell slightly. The local fishermen call these swells uojima, or “fish islands”—a term also used to refer to the season itself, evoking the bounty of the sea. Those bream caught in early spring are prized for their bright color and rich flavor, and boy, does it taste good!

The highlight of the meal was the tempura, which featured Agemono Kimpura – tempura style battered prawns. The texture was slightly thicker than normal tempura batter, but twice as crunchy.. very nice indeed.  Then came more Sushi Moriawase – California Maki, Salmon Sushi, Unagi sushi, White Fish sushi – all equally good and fresh. Somewhere in the middle of the meal we were served the Yakimono Gindara Ume Miso Yaki – Grilled Sweet Soy glazed Sake Salmon. Oh, this dish was way too sweet – it really killed the salmon for me. Dessert, Black sesame ice-cream was disappointing. Just an average sort of ice-cream, not terribly bad but a little boring. But then, the Chef was quick to point out that dessert has never been a notable part of the kaiseki experience anyway, and he’s right, I guess! Overall a value for money Kaiseki, but it was no where near the ones I have tried in Kyoto. This was a much less grand version of the Kaiseki but it did the job of filling up my stomach I suppose.




Zensai Santen Mori – Small Hors d’oeuvres of shredded yam with Salmon Roe, tuna fish belly with egg yolk, Soused mushrooms with sesame sauce


nimono teba daikon – simmered dish of slow braised chicken and raddish


Sashimi – sashimi moriawase of salmon, toro, tai, kampachi, uni and amaebi


Uni – the fabulous seasonal sea urchin


yakimono gindara ume miso yaki – grilled sweet soy glazed sake salmon


Agemono Kimpura – tempura style battered prawns


Sushi Moriawase – California Maki, Salmon Sushi, Unagi sushi, White fish sushi


Black sesame ice-cream


Ala Carte


Wagyu beef


Fugu – Japanese pufferfish


softshell crab hand roll with black caviar


check out the black love!


garlic rice

My dining companions also tried the Wagyu (Grade 5), the Fugu – Japanese Puffer fish as well as the Soft-Shell Crab Hand roll with Black Caviar. They said the food was good, but they found the Wagyu overcooked, when they had specifically asked for medium rare. Apart from that, the dishes were pretty delectable.

Tokyo Japanese Cuisine,
No.5, GF-B, Jalan Delima,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening times: 11.45am-2pm (Lunch)
and 6pm-10pm (Dinner).
Tel: 1800 88 6655
[mappress mapid=”20″]



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