I have been so laid back (read: lazy) with my blog posts that I am entering this somewhat unusual review for the first half of this entry. Earlier in the year, I was back in KL and together with the family, we went to try out Kodawari Menya at 1Utama. I had noticed the eatery on my previous break in KL the year before, and made a note to self that I should try the place out. It was a franchise of an actual udon chain in Sanuki, Kagawa-ken in Shikoku. Interestingly, the Malaysian branch labels itself as an udon and tempura place. One item in the menu that made me want to try the place out was that they do tempura donburi/tendon. I’m nuts about this dish if you can remember.

So, what is it that makes this first half of this post unusual? The eatery I went to is now closed. But fear not, the chain still exists in the Klang Valley and the addresses are at the bottom of the post.

The place was relatively quiet which made me a tad wary (using the axiom of busy=good food, quiet=not so much). The menu was divided into udon dishes and rice, which includes tempura as an addition to the rice dishes. There was also a small standalone tempura selection in the menu. It is a men-ya, ie noodle shop, so I shouldn’t be that surprised.

I ordered a tendon that had (one) ebi/prawn, chicken (if I remember correctly), aubergine and a salad leaf. I had no issues with the quality of the tempura, but one prawn? The tendon sauce wasn’t exactly as I remembered it when I had it last in Shinjuku, but it was enough to satisfy my craving, somewhat. Dad had a small plate of ebi and yasai tempura, the veg bit comprising some aubergine, pumpkin and a croquette/korokke.

My brother and his missus ordered a chicken donburi and a gyuniku kare raisu, respectively – both of which were okay. Albeit this may well be just a mid-price place, I would have thought the franchisee to produce quality dictated by the main company in Japan. Because this was an udon place, and I am a simple (and greedy) person, I ordered a kitsune udon thereafter. This one was all right.

I’d love to come back just to have a simple meal after a walkabout in 1Utama but as the branch is now no more, I guess I’ll just have to wait for my next trip to Ja… never mind. I note that the menu is changed (reduced in the number of items to choose from, and no tendon now). You can check Kodawari Menya out at its 1 Mont Kiara or MyTown Cheras branches.

Now, one franchise selling comfort Japanese meals that I swear by is Sukiya and the branch I go to is in Damansara Uptown. I am a sucker for gyudon (gyuniku donburi – beef rice) and I’ve to say the selection at Sukiya is better than its rival Yoshinoya[1]. The basic name[2] dish is just nice if you wanna have a try but I bet you’ll go for a large bowl next time you drop by.

My fav is a large negitama gyudon with spring onions/negi and egg. Now, in Japan, the egg is served raw (yum) but due to how eggs are in Malaysia, it is served half boiled (on the runny side) – which is fine by me. On a day where I think I can pig out, I’d order seconds but in the form of a name plain gyudon.

Sukiya has a variety of gyudon to choose from, as well as a variety of other dishes, which I am not to bothered with. In Japan, shops/eateries tend to be specialised, and from experience, I am wary of a Japanese eatery that serves a variety of food other than the one they specialise in. Believe you me, I have eaten bad sushi in Japan before – because it was a syabu-syabu restaurant! However, when it comes to their gyudon, Sukiya delivers (geddit?). Do check out Sukiya (they have other branches in KL/PJ/Melaka/Johor) and some of them do deliveries.

[1]We used to have it in KL but not anymore.
[2]並 / なめ – regular.