Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reliving the Japanese favorites at Miraku

Miraku is a proud home brand to G Hotel; an impressive and wholly owned local hotel located strategically on the most coveted and desirable location on Penang Island.

The seafront location offers the familiar sea view and timeless scenes of local taking walks down the famous promenade of Gurney; otherwise affectionately known as Gurney Drive to the locals, makes this one of the fastest growing hotels despite it being one of the late baby boomers in the industry, and they have also recently launched a new addition to their family; G Hotel Kelawai.
(I was at their topping ceremony last year)

The strategic location is undoubtedly one of the reasons for the successes, but the hospitality and bold  contemporary design along with their remarkable marketing and service cemented the branding further in the hearts of their guests. Their success and the growth in the popularity of the hotel are testaments to that. It can be challenging booking a room at the hotel at the very last minute, and early bookings are always recommended to avoid disappointments.
They are definitely one of the most preferred hotels among both local and international tourists to the state, and that includes corporate guests as well.

Food is another augmenting factor proudly and shamelessly boasted by the hotel, and every reason to do so. The wide variety and diversified choices await the guests and diners at their homegrown restaurants. From the usual buffet fare and international choices of an open cafe to specialty cuisine restaurants and relaxing lounges, G Hotel has nailed it to keep their guests at bay despite the many alluring temptations from its neighboring malls; not one, but two prominent multi-storey malls.
It may seem challenging to sustain their food and beverage business while being flanked by the highly popular malls housing multiple restaurants and cafes, offering more diversity in dining options but G Hotel has stepped up to the challenge and even snagged some of the mall shoppers towards their home restaurants which have proven their quality over time.


Miraku is just one of G Hotel's brand which did just that.
Its Japanese offerings entice the usual Japanese food lovers towards its welcoming lair and its name (and fame) has definitely spread more than just being a hotel resident restaurant.
I was here when they newly opened, many years ago, and it was only recently that I have returned to relive the Japanese tastes which have remained intact in my mind for so long.
I am a fan of Japanese food, and I am often on the hunt for the good ones; though I remain loyal to some of the ones I have marked as my favorites (I am always the comfort eater, and I tend to stick to some places for some time).

It is still as I remember it; the exterior and the minimalistic interior which just boosts of warmth and simplicity. That is the concept embraced by G Hotel which I like about; simple and contemporary design just makes everything clean and neat, which just speaks of comfort.


Fuss-free designs like these make it easier for diners to adapt to and settle in immediately, warming up to the ambiance to prepare themselves to enjoy the food.
It is also that same concept emulated from the Japanese dining style, found in most Japanese restaurants and even in the Land of the Rising Sun itself.



Green tea, or Ocha is synonymous with my kind of Japanese meal.
It just seems incomplete without it, in my own humble opinion.
(Of course, I do try some of the other beverages, once in a while, but going Japanese without Ocha is like going for afternoon tea, without the tea. It is just weird, at least it is, for me).


Miraku's Appetizer of the Day to start the meal with; a homemade dish of lentils, beans, mushrooms and radish served ala pickles style.


Sashimi, or fresh raw fish and seafood, is always an essential part of a Japanese meal; or at least, it is to me.
While there are those who do not fancy raw and uncooked food, sashimi speaks languages in which the fans could understand and truly judge of the standards of a restaurant claiming that Japanese cuisine label.

Sashimi of the Day (MYR26.00) is a simple option to start, especially for those with a petite appetite.
Consisting of the usual Sake (salmon) and Maguro (Tuna) sashimi, these are the simple favorites and even the mandatory (for my case) for my usual fill of the raw fish.


This is an economical option for the sashimi lovers, and since my other half was not too keen on gorging on raw fish, I find this rather satisfying for the first try.
(I will leave the other variety of sashimi to my next visit).


The thick slices made up its worth, but the winning factor lies in the freshness of the fish.
I have tasted the real deal from Japan itself, and I have a favored Japanese restaurant which serves the best sashimi (in my opinion) that it is hard to refrain from judging the quality of the sashimi served in most Japanese restaurants (excluding the chain restaurants of course).
Freshness is indeed important; even crucial to make me forget about the name of the restaurant I patronized if I was disappointed, and I am glad Miraku made me relive my earlier memories and my love for their fresh maguro slices back then.
The wasabi is equally important to complete my sashimi platter. This greenish paste made up of grated Japanese horse radish is frankly, one of the main components to complement the raw fish and most of the stuffs we get in the usual Japanese chain restaurants are paste-like in its texture.
However, the real thing is again, fresh and tastes like it.
It is not dried up paste sitting in the metal container for the entire day, but packed with luscious moisture (not in a gory way) and breathes of fresh horse radish taste, giving you that kick in its spice factor as well.
Anyone with a blocked nose will definitely benefit from the spunky wasabi, and the fresh one will immediately help you with that sharp shocking sensation sent all the way to the roots of your hair.

Curry Udon Set is a satisfying and price-friendly option for those who want to enjoy a little bit of everything along with the main course.


Comprising of the Curry Udon; served in a small black pot filled with thick udon noodles immersed in the rich curry-powder concoction of a gravy along with vegetables and prawn tempura, chawanmushi (steamed egg with mushrooms), Inarizushi, salad, and seasonal slices of fruit.






We strayed from our usual order of Sake (Salmon) Teriyaki and opted for the Spanish Mackerel marinated in miso sauce instead (MYR25.00)


The thick succulent flesh of the Spanish mackerel screamed of sultry goodness and every bite evenly oozed of the smooth and lush texture of the fish, generously and consistently infused in the flavorful miso sauce. The savory tastes of miso is truly detectable in the hint of saltish edge rubbed over the fish while maintaining that handshake with the dense quality of this species of mackerel.
It was a taste which will stay in the memory for a while.


I still have my favorite Japanese restaurants close to my heart, but Miraku is definitely sticking to the list and reliving memories of why I liked it from my first visit years ago.

I could never say no to a good Japanese meal, and I am glad that I have now officially reinstated Miraku in that list of my favorite places to dine in.

If in doubt, check out the number of Japanese expats and tourists making up the patrons in the restaurant.
Miraku could certainly be in the race for a very long time.

Miraku Japanese Restaurant is located on the 1st Floor of G Hotel, Gurney Drive.
The staffs are warm and friendly, and service was prompt as well.

All the experiences are based on my personal tastes and are in no way representing the general.
This is not a sponsored post by the restaurant, and is purely based on my personal opinions.

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