We decided to visit KAZE Restaurant for Mother's Day lunch last weekend since mum loves Japanese food. Located in the ever-crowded Icon City, we're lucky to find parking during lunchtime on a busy Sunday!
The restaurant occupies two floors and is decorated with various Japanese ornaments. The ground floor was full so we're seated upstairs.
Their huge menu includes a range of dishes such as sashimi, sushi (nigiri, rolls, temaki), tataki, sarada, otsumami, agemono, itamemono, yakimono, ippin ryori, menrui, gohan, donburi, teishoku, etc. They also have a drink and dessert menu that includes a good variety of sake.
The waiters were preoccupied explaining orders and seating availability among themselves so it took a few tries before someone finally took our order. While the restaurant is understandably busy on Mother's Day, the frequency of these internal discussions among so many waitstaff throughout our meal was quite unnerving.
Thankfully food arrived within a reasonable timeframe so let's makan!
Hotate Mentai Sushi (4/5)
The scallops were fresh and plump. Sushi rice was also good but the mentai flavours could be stronger. I personally would have preferred slightly more char as well.
Tori Nanban (3.5/5)
The chunky pieces of fried chicken thigh came out deliciously succulent. While I enjoyed the tanginess of the tartar sauce, it was a tad too watery for my liking.
Ika Geso Yaki (4/5)
This was quite a sizeable portion of grilled squid tentacles. Fortunately, they were tender and had a nice smoky scent that pairs well with the sweet teriyaki sauce.
Soft Shell Crab Karaage (4.5/5)
The crabs were fresh, crisp, and sweet! The portion size was also generous.
Unagi Maki (4/5)
The tempura bits and cucumber gave a nice crunch to this reversed roll topped with slices of unagi and avocado. A good combination of flavours and textures.
Sashimi, Tempura and Unadon Teishoku (4.5/5)
Yes, we ordered another unagi dish as it's mum's favourite!
The unagi was tender and flavourful. Prepared with sweet kabayaki sauce, it's so good with rice!
Tempura jumbo shrimp and assorted vegetables (brinjal, capsicum, pumpkin, and sweet potato) were enjoyably light and crispy.
Chawanmushi was flavourful, silky smooth, and contained lots of goodies such as ginkgo, chicken, naruto, crabstick, and mushroom.
The simple miso soup and salad were both tasty. The fruits were also fresh.
Despite being a part of the set, we had to check in three times for our sashimi. We'd already finished all our food by the time it's served - sashimi for dessert, anyone? Thankfully, the slices of fish were thick and fresh. Worth the wait!
Overall, the food tasted delicious and fresh. Quality control across dishes is commendable since it's a busy day. But when paying premium prices with a 10% service charge, the dining experience fell short. The constant blaring of waitstaff walkie-talkies and their loud casual chatter killed the ambiance. Aside from the prompt refilling of green tea, it's far from the attentive and polished service synonymous with upscale Japanese restaurants. Nonetheless, the food was delectable enough to warrant a second visit - let's hope the service improves next time!
Sabbylicious Makan Rating
Food : 4/5
Price : 3.5/5
Environment : 3/5
Service : 2.5/5
Must order : Sashimi & unagi.
Operating Hours Monday - Friday (11.30am–2.30pm, 6.00pm–10.00pm) Saturday - Sunday (11:30am–10.00pm)
KAZE Japanese Restaurant
22, Jln Icon City, 14000 Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang