Oh, let's just give that benefit of doubt to the people working hard at rolling the sushi by hand, and preparing all the orders in the kitchen.
Started with an appetizer of Turban shells with Okra (Lady fingers) -MYR15.00
The turban shells are unique, and I was again curious though I was a little skeptical with the name and also the idea of having shells; partly because I am not a fan of shells despite my professed love for seafood (shells somehow never made the equation, they don't fit in) and then I was again dumbfounded by the sight of the peculiarly shaped shells when they arrived.
Obviously the plate was laden with more lady fingers than the first named specialty of the dish, though I will not say it was not a good thing either, but the peculiar shape of the shells are well grounded since they are directly named due to that shape resembling that winding cloth making up the headwear (originating from Persia) worn mostly by the men in the Sikh community.
I am not the adventurous type; I am not going to say that I was fascinated by the sight (refer back to my earlier comment on my relationship with shells).
The turban shells are not your typical species of clams, or so I almost thought, for they are a species of sea snails.
Yes, read that, Snails.
I am sticking to the lady fingers, thank you very much.
We ordered this on our own will, but I will leave these turban snails, I mean shells to the other one and just make sure I have my share of the okra, which was just stir fried before drizzling them with the pleasant and light tasting sweet sourish and thin hint of chili gravy. The natural viscid texture of the lady fingers lent and blended well to create a slightly more treacly combination in the gravy, yet not appearing too gooey at the same time.
It was a subtle mixture and is simply alluring, leaving it hard to resist as one would subconsciously take one bite after another, and another.
As for the snails, or shells, I am going to need therapy at the thought of it, so I will leave to ignore the photos or that I even ordered this before. Enough said.
Don't ask me, I have no recollection of this.
The name of the next dish; has momentarily vanished from my memory, and perhaps it was a little (too) salty to our liking.
Stir fried udon with diced chicken, assorted vegetables, one or two shrimps and a few slices (or broken tentacles from a squid) make up this.
I just remember it being salty, which was quite a pity because it definitely look really good in its appearance when it arrived (and even now in pictures), but you know what they say about high sodium in your diet, so sorry, I have to pass on this.
My regular favorite, Salmon Teriyaki (MYR20) was slightly more expensive than most of the versions I have had in other Japanese chain or specialty restaurants, and I could not help but compare this with the others I have had.
Thinner by definition, the fillet was quite frankly, not meeting what I usually would like or even what I had in mind. The sheer amount of the teriyaki sauce did not do much to give the salmon fillet the flavor it deserved, though the only thing which saved it was that it was not overcooked.
I think it was quite nicely done, but it could have been slightly better.
It is one of my personal favorites, not to mention regular, and I definitely have set slightly higher expectations for this wherever I go. Yes, even when it's homecooked.
I am perhaps a little salmon-crazed?
Anyway, our dining experience at Azuma was not too bad and do not be disheartened, it could be my personal tastes which may differ from yours.
I would say the food here displayed significant signs of the intermarrying of both the Japanese style and also a little local tastes injected into cooking and preparation of the food, making it more of a fusion rather than purely Japanese.
It is something that I have observed evident in most of the local Japanese restaurants, especially among the chains, though there are still a few outlying (and outstanding) restaurants which have differentiated in their own presentation and obedience to the authenticity of the cuisine origins.
It is creativity, perhaps innovation, but there is always something to suit everyone, isn't there?
One man's meat can always be another's poison.
After all, the charm that lies in that culinary sector is all about experimenting and getting creative with all that there is.