Cool, clean and contemporary Shangri-La Hotel’s Japanese restaurant, Zipangu, is a gentle tranquilizer for the mind and quality nourishment for the body. It’s one of he city’s most popular locations for weekend brunch and, ambience, just as much as food, is the reason why it’s so well adored.
|Private Dining Room|
Taking the traditional elements of Japanese design – nature, simple lines and a primarily neutral palette – Zipangu is an uncluttered, calming space. Modern Buddha Bar music with a touch of Zen hums behind the sounds of pots chiming from the kitchen.
Bordering floor to ceiling windows overlook a manicured garden space. White pebbles make a floor margin for leafy plants with tall bamboo bunching and sprouting at regular intervals. A water feature cascades over a natural rocky wall and a table by the waterfall is one of the most sought after seats in the house.
The buffet is a long semi-rectangle. It’s partially lined by glass windows protecting guests from splashes from the kitchen, while other segments allow face-to-face interaction with chefs. Light wood tables fill the room and we’re content at our spot by the window soaking up some of the morning’s muted light.
|Zipangu Japanese Buffet Brunch|
A host of Japanese favourites are featured in the spread. I attempt a sensible start with salads and sashimi. A sweet lotus root salad, lightly sweetened with a soy dressing, grabs my attention for a second round. Raw fish slices look lush and I admire the chef’s skill as I witness him slice a fresh plate and add it to the buffet. Sushi too is available pre-prepared from the line-up or made personally to order. I include a plump juicy oyster and a fresh prawn on my plate for good measure. There’s crab in its shell too, but that will have to wait until later.
|Selection of Sashimi and Sushi|
Hubby dives straight into the heavier dishes. He fills his plate with tempura hot out of the pot and, puts in an order for a variety of meat and seafood to be cooked on the teppan grill. Just finished with his fried food selection, the plate of barbecued items arrives to the table. Lightly charred and coated in a thin semi-sweet sauce, the baby octopus and salmon are the first to disappear. Small pieces of beef are pink in the middle, exactly to hubby’s liking, and vanish soon after.
|Order from the Teppan|
Next hubby takes a splattering from the cold dishes and I some soup. The mixed vegetable broth is full-flavoured, slightly salty and packed with enoki mushrooms, cabbage strips and balls of sticky mochi goo (Japanese gelatinous rice cakes). Hubby is salivating over the sashimi delicacies. He has salmon, tuna, butterfish and prawns. Carefully admiring each one before he devours it, then swallowing, is followed by either a satisfied, “Mmm,” or an exclamation, “Superb!”
We’re sipping on a free flow of hot Japanese tea and find it refreshingly fragrant and smooth. It’s a great digestive and we have multiple cups before we’re done. The tea is also available cold served over ice, with coffee as an option for those wanting a little more caffeine.
A noodle station too is tempting me, as is the baked Japanese custard chawanmushi. I don’t have enough tummy space though as I want to save a little pocket for dessert, so mark them as something to try next visit.
|Mochi with Lotus Seed Paste|
|Green Tea Truffle|
A rainbow of desserts are cut into bite size pieces tempting me to try more than one. I exhibit some form of self-control and try to restrict my choices to just the Japanese inspired sweets. A mochi ball filled with lotus seed paste and a green tea truffle are sumptuously fantastic! Black sesame and green tea ice cream are the restaurant’s specialties so a scoop of both of these are ordered too. A glass bowl cradles balls of dark grey and pale lime, dolloped with a wad of sugared red bean paste. They’re creamy, but not heavy, providing a perfect ending to a delectable brunch.
|Green Tea and Black Sesame Ice Cream with Red Bean Paste|
The weekend Japanese buffet brunch is available from 11:30am – 2:30pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. It’s priced at RM110++ per adult and includes a free flow of hot or cold tea, coffee and house-made ice cream. Children 6 – 12 years old eat for half the price, and up to two children below the age of 6 years dine for free.
Reason to visit: good value weekend brunch, splendid atmosphere
Level 1 Shangri-La Hotel
11 Jalan Sultan Ismail
Kuala Lumpur 50250
+6 03 2074 3900
Lunch: 12noon – 2:30pm
(Monday to Friday)
(Monday to Friday)
11:30am – 2:30pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Dinner: 6:30pm – 10:30pm (daily)