Monday, November 4, 2013

Watami - Japanese Casual Restaurant @ One Utama

When Watami first opened its door at One Utama Shopping Mall, I was intrigued by they label themselves as Japanese Casual Restaurant. What was the casual for? At that time, I didn't know that the term "Casual Restaurant" was actually originated from the Watami founder himself and is currently registered as a trademark of the Watami Corporation.

And also the Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant is also based on "Ishokuya" concept - dining oriented bar. With this concept, it's not just "wine" or "dine", in Watami, you can enjoy both together in a cozy atmoshpehre.

The concept behind "Casual Restaurant" is very simple; it is to provide extensive, rich and enjoyable food at a comfortable space with your friends and family. In Japanese Kanji, the WA means "Harmony"; TAMI means "People", therefore "WATAMI" means 'gather people to in harmony'.





As you can see, inside Watami, there's a bar. So if you come across a situation when your friends prefer to drink & wine but you prefer to have a proper dining. You could suggest Watami and be amazed by their extensive selection of drinks & food.

Fire Oyster Roll Sushi (Chili Oyster Roll) RM18.90

When this dish arrived on the table, I was hesitating whether or not to try it. First off, I have never been a fan of oyster. Then again, how could I be a reviewer if I were to be so choosy anyways? (CHEH!) In the end, I braced my fear and tried a piece. Surprisingly, I love it. I have never come across a sushi that used the quite localized thai chili sauce as part of the dressing; they actually match well with the rich japanese mayonnaise. The fried oyster's flavours was well-blended with the saucing, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the oyster's aroma this way instead of the raw ones.

Kankoku Butchige (Korean-style Army Hot Pot - Pork) RM29.90

What matters the most, just like any steamboats you are having, is the SOUP BASE & of course fresh ingredients. In this case, this Korean Style Army Hot Pot, they are using some sort of Kimchi soup base. If you are a fan of kimchi, you might love this. It's not that strong however, just enough to give the ingredients the flavours they need. For the price you are paying, the portion is pretty huge, this dish is good for sharing between 2 - 3 people. It's a good dish for friends and family to enjoy over. :)

One thing that surprises me is that fact they are implementing a bit of Korean taste in their Japanese menu.

Ten Zaru Soba (Cold Soba with Tempura) RM23.90

I know many of my friends love a cold soba, but just not me. Maybe I am a little conventional, I love my main meal hot and nice. This cold soba however, changes my views. This dish comes with a decent portion of tempura - prawns and vegetables, the standard ones. To enjoy this soba, you dip the thin buckwheat flour noodle into the chilled sauce and then enjoy it that way from the cup. Apparently, the soba is fully imported from Japan. The soba itself is rich with flavours and the chilled sauce helps to bring out the taste from within.

The last time I had soba in centuries ago, I was disappointed. This time around, thanks to Watami's Ten Zaru Soba, I am starting to have Soba craving these days. It's that flavourful! Try it!

Gomoku Kamameshi (Chicken & Seafood Pot Rice) RM26.90


This dish - Gomoku Kamameshi comes with the lid closed and with a fire on the bottom. You will need to wait for 15 minutes before the steam's starting to come off on the top to indicate that it's cooked and ready to be served. If you ask me why do we have to wait for that 15 minutes on the table? It's all about the dining experience - the idea that while you are waiting for your food to be fully cooked, you could chit chat with your friends and just spend time together.

If you want me to be honest, I don't find this food as nice as expected. The ingredients were fresh however I found each spoonful was lacking in flavours. It didn't seem to reach the level where I would say it's GOOD; it was quite plain. It was a simple dish with a bit of extra gimmick to make it look special.

Nagasaki Chanpon-fu Ramen (Nagasaki-style in Pork Broth with Pork & Seafood) RM26.90

Nagasaki-style ramen with pork and seafood in tasty pork broth. Originally from Fujian, China, this dish was adopted and made local by residents of Nagasaki in Ryushu. This ramen is unique as the noodles and vegetables are stir-fried to bring out the flavour before it is served in steaming hot pork broth.

THIS ONE. It's a MUST-ORDER DISH. You could totally ignore all the food inside and try out the soup itself and you will get what I mean. Then of course, I believe that the aplenty ingredients help to add in some flavours to the soup. According to Watami staff, the pork broth was boiled for at least 5 - 6 hours daily. No wonder the it was so rich in taste, you could totally taste the awesome essence here. This bowl of ramen is one that I would forgo all my diet plans and order two for myself! I will save all the descriptions for myself and urge you to visit Watami soon and try this!

You won't regret it!

Tonpeiyaki (Pork, cheese, cabbage & egg) RM18.90

Tons of pork slices inside. There's something with the combination of eggs, cheese, pork and the generous amount of mayonnaise saucing that make it irresistible. mmm-HMmmm! It's like Fu-Yong egg in Japanese style with different fixing. Something you should seriously consider ordering during your visit.

Watami Salad RM21.90 (BIG) RM13.90 (HALF)

The salad is served with lotsa fresh vegetables, chicken, shrimp and tuna mayo. The dressing, I suspect, is the japanese sesame sauce that many japanese restaurants use. The main thing that matters in a salad is its FRESHNESS of the ingredients. In Watami, the quality and freshness of their food is something you don't really need to worry about. :)

Watami Sake RM47.90

In Watami, you can get Sake as cheap as less than RM50. Watami even has their own brewed Sake! Their own recipes.

<LUNCH MENU> Tokyo Meibutsu Stamina Don (Pork rice with egg yolk in Tokyo Style) RM15.90

If you are nearby Watami during lunch time, they have a few selected dishes that you wouldn't be able to find in their original menus, and yes they are only served during lunch hour. Take this Tokyo Meibutsu Stamina Don for an example, stir fried with pork slices and lotsa onions, it is definitely one of the best japanese dons I have had out there. To top it off, mixing the pork slices mixed onions with the egg yolk makes it really smooth and totally alluring. I am serious and if only they put in their main menu and serve it at any other time, I might just visit Watami pretty often. Unfortunately, I don't work around the area and they don't serve this during weekends. :(

The surprising thing I discovered on my Watami visit is their extensive menus. They have plenty of drinks and food; they believe that they will always have something for everyone. I love their comfortable space. It's definitely a restaurant that you could spend a long period of time there just enjoying your food, drinks and time with people.

The food is up to standard, and for the price you pay, you get a decently large portion enough for sharing. It's a little bit high but rest assured, the quality of the food will make you feel that the money spent is all worth it.

Pinch of Salt Card - Loyalty Program

Do you know with the Pinch Of Salt Card, you could enjoy a 10% off in any of Chaswood's dining establishments? That include TGIF, Bulgogi Brothers, Watami and many more!  It's FREE to sign up in any Chaswood dining outlets and you can accumulate your rebate points for the next visit! Visit Pinch of Salt website for more information.


Honey Lemon Girl's Rating
[xrr rating=4/5 imageset=default label="Ambience:"][xrr rating=4/5 imageset=default label="Service:"][xrr rating=4/5 imageset=default label="Food:"][xrr rating=4/5 imageset=default label="Value:"]

Watami Website | Facebook

Watami Malaysia @ Pavilion KL

C4.04.00, Level 4, Pavilion KL Shopping Mall,
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

T: +603-2141 6671

Watami Malaysia @ 1 Utama

1st Floor, Rainforest, 1 Utama Shopping Centre,
1 Lebuh Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

T: +603-7727 1399

Watami Malaysia @ Paradigm Mall

Lot 07, Level 1, Paradigm Mall,
1, Jalan SS7/ 26A, Kelana Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

T: +603-7886 9661

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