Initially I was quite keen on trying out Nobu KL because our friend Diyana ate there and enjoyed her dinner there. And she’s vegan so you know that the dishes can be veganised.
However when I sent a message to their official Whatsapp number, the reply was:
“Usually, for the vegan menu, we recommend to order on the day itself.
As the server will be able to recommend/customize based on your food preference.
Especially when the guest has allergies/dietary restrictions.”
I encountered the same reply when I enquired 3 years ago about celebrating my birthday at Nobu KL. We didn’t go as they couldn’t confirm in advance whether they could do vegan or not.
They refused to give us a vegan menu in advance and I don’t know how much I’m paying.
So Nobu KL is out.
I didn’t really wanna go for pizza because there’s so much white flour and olive oil. Although Mr Jazz Guitarist was quite keen on pizza as there’s a restaurant here that can do a full vegan Italian menu.
So I decided to check if Kikubari could offer us a vegan dinner.
I had previously dined there for my birthday in January 2020 and they had come up with nice dishes for us.
It was super easy communicating with them and they said “Hi Yin
Just get confirmation from chef Sean
He will arrange testing menu with five courses follow by your food restrictions .”
Here’s what we had for dinner on his birthday
Avocado & Seaweed Salad Orange Dressing
Amela Tomato, Green Apple & Watermelon
Grilled Asparagus, Vegan Hazelnut Hollandaise
Miso Maitake Stew, Polenta, Edamame
Vegan Banana Cake, Coconut Sorbet, Grilled Pineapple
RM250++ per person
Here’s what I thought about the dinner…
Was delightful. Crispy, spicy, and lots of flavours.
COURSE 1: Avocado & Seaweed Salad Orange Dressing
Simple and effective. I liked it because there’s lots of greens and the dressing wasn’t oily. Nice refreshing start to the evening.
COURSE 2: Amela Tomato, Green Apple & Watermelon
Such a pretty dish. But I felt that the tomato was a bit of a huge chunk…maybe if they could have diced or sliced it, it would have been better.
COURSE 3: Grilled Asparagus, Vegan Hazelnut Hollandaise
I’m not a fan of asparagus as I find it a strange vegetable that’s very expensive and just has a strange taste. BUT Mr Jazz Guitarist loves asparagus so this was a good one for him. It was very interesting to see them use hazelnuts for a vegan hollandaise. Usually vegan hollandaise is made with cashews or tofu or macadamias but this one was with hazelnuts.
I couldn’t wrap my head around it as I’m so used to having hazelnuts in a sweet dish so this was a bit of a surprise.
I do like the creativity of it though.
COURSE 4: Miso Maitake Stew, Polenta, Edamame
I asked if I could sit at the counter to watch them plate the dishes if the chef didn’t mind and they checked and let me know it’s fine. And then I saw Alex take snow peas and grill them and I’m like heyyyy that’s not edamame. So in reality there was no edamame in this dish. Chef Sean promised to give me edamame when I go back in February, haha!
I liked the miso maitake stew but it was a very small portion. It felt like the polenta overpowered the dish instead. I guess if they call it a stew, then it would have been nice to have more.
This was a fermented orange drink.
COURSE 5: Vegan Banana Cake, Coconut Sorbet, Grilled Pineapple
This is quite a classic pairing for vegan desserts - banana, coconut and pineapple. Hey, it sounds like a pina colada smoothie. Hehe. Initially I thought this might be a bit boring but actually it was a really nice ending to our meal. Nice to have the hot & cold contrast.
I think what made this a very enjoyable experience was that Chef Sean and his team were really passionate and you could feel they wanted to put their best into the dishes.
It was his first time creating a vegan menu, previously he’s had requests for vegetarian.
Also, I really like how healthy and clean-tasting the dishes were. I had requested for less oil and I’m glad they catered to that request.
Also the focus was on natural ingredients, so no fake meats or highly processed vegan ingredients which is my preference.
We went back there again in February - so maybe wait for another month till I post how it went? Haha!
L301A, Jalan Damanlela, Damansara City Mall,, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
*** PLEASE PROVIDE ADVANCED NOTICE for customised vegan menu. At least 1 week in advance, more is even better 😃