Only on Saturday afternoons
February 29, 2020
I am excited at the thought of meeting My Best Friend and a few others at Still Water’s Saturday-only Japanese buffet in Maya Kuala Lumpur.
The sun is quite merciless these days and despite the air-conditioning on at full blast in the car, I am beginning to sweat as I walk up a short flight of steps to the restaurant. So I am glad to see iced green tea and quickly grab a drink before I turn my attention to the buffet spread.
|Sashimi selections, marinated octopus, edamame and salad choices
Having cooled down, my eyes are drawn to the spread of colourful sushi and sashimi. There are four types of sashimi fish – ahi (tuna), abura bozu (butterfish), sake (salmon) and yellowtail – as well as octopus.
|Inari sushi or tofu pockets
|Wide range of sushi on the buffet spread
|My pick of sushi, sashimi and pickles
|Unagi handroll made to order
Alongside these are salads, inari sushi (stuffed tofu pockets), marinated wakame (green seaweed), jellyfish and my favourite baby octopus. Next to this, a chef is making handrolls to order with fillings such as soft-shell crab, unagi and salmon.
On another table, I see maki sushi, nigiri sushi such as salmon, tuna, ebi (prawn), octopus and tempura prawn, and dragon uramaki with deepfried prawn topped with barbecued salmon and fish roe. What I appreciate most is that the fish is extremely fresh and yummy.
|Grilled chicken with teriyaki sauce
|Grilled Pacific mackerel with salt
|Deep fried gyoza
Don’t worry if you prefer hot or cooked food as you’ll be spoilt for choice with juicy deepfried breaded chicken cutlet, oden (braised stew), grilled chicken with teriyaki sauce and Australian beef sirloin, panfried salmon with teriyaki sauce, grilled Pacific mackerel with salt, skewers of deepfried shishamo and chicken wings with aubergine, tempura prawn and assorted vegetables and deepfried gyoza (dumplings).
|Teppanyaki Australian beef sirloin
|Skewers of shishamo and chicken wings with aubergine
I head for chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) kept warm in a steamer. This is my all-time favourite dish in a Japanese restaurant. The egg custard is silky smooth but unfortunately, it lacks salt that would have otherwise made it so perfect.
|Ramen with condiments in miso soup (left) and fish head miso soup
Next to the chawanmushi steamer are udon, ramen and green tea noodles with condiments. Customers blanch the noodles lightly and add Japanese fish cake, cubed tofu, chicken, crabstick, scallions and seaweed. Then pour over the hot miso or clear soup. There’s also a pot of miso soup with chunks of salmon head that you can add to the noodles if preferred.
Yaki udon is fried with assorted vegetables and topped with bonito flakes. There’s also Japanese garlic fried rice.
For dessert, I’m having a bowl of hot soya bean milk cooked with barley, ginkgo nut and fu chuk (beancurd sheet). This is more of a Chinese-style dessert rather than Japanese, but nevertheless, I enjoy it thoroughly.
|Part of the dessert spread
There is freshly cut fruit, mochi, cakes, mango pudding and six flavours of gelato with a range of toppings, from colourful sprinkles to chocolate buttons.
The Saturday lunch buffet is priced at RM78 nett (adult) and RM40 for senior citizen and children aged 5-12. Diners who share a photo on instagram and tag @hotelmayakualalumpur with #eatatmaya will get 20% off the bill.
Executive sous chef Zainurin feels the price factor and quality food give Still Waters the advantage over other Japanese buffets in the city. The chef also gives a demonstration on prepping a whole fresh salmon as well as offer tips on how to tell if the fish is fresh.
STILL WATERS (no pork served)
Level 1, Hotel Maya
138 Jalan Ampang, KL
Monday - Friday
Lunch: Noon to 2.30pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10.30pm
Saturday: Noon to 3pm
RM78 nett. RM40 for senior citizen above 60 and child (5-12)