Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nagisa Japanese Restaurant, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Sabah

The award winning Japanese restaurant, Nagisa at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, is a venue valued not only for quality cuisine, but too for its suitability to entertain important guests and visitors.

Resembling a Japanese winter cottage, the restaurant is framed with dark wood panels, and lit with gentle warm lighting. The main dining area has an outlook over the sea, of which the hotel is an immediate neighbour. The large space is divided into smaller more intimate areas with the division of a tatami room, two private dining rooms, a sushi counter and two teppanyaki tables.

I meet some friends for a light lunch, which turns into quite a feast, as there are so many tempting items that grab our attention.

A house specialty, Unagi Sunomono – vinegared eel with seaweed, sliced cucumber and ginger shoot – whets our appetite for more, much more! Good thing the Miso Soup arrives and takes the edge off our hunger. It proves a good standard with the signature murky broth holding plenty of seaweed, cubes of white tofu and a speckling of green herbs.

An assortment of sushi is made a la minute and we have such a challenge choosing just a couple that we leave our selection in the hands of the manager, who picks three for us to sample.

The white rice exterior of the Soft Shell Crab Maki Roll is speckled with sesame, while the interior is a twirl of green chives, orange ebiko roe and fried brown crustacean. With the crab still hot, the bites are bundles of deliciousness.

The most popular roll is the Unagi Maki. Topped and filled with avocado, ebiko and Japanese mayonnaise, it’s a lovely combination of textures: creamy avocado, fresh bursts from the roe, slippery eel, crispy cucumber, and sweet Japanese omelet tamago.

Last month’s promotion was so successful it remains on the menu, Salmon Skin Maki. Rolled in dried grated seaweed and stuffed with cucumber, pickled veggies and roe, the warm filling contrasts its casing creating a very pleasant experience.