elb's hovel of thoughts

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Jogoya Review

Recalling that Jogoya was apparently 'the' place for a good 'Japanese' buffet, and being located at Starhill Galleries no less, I had pretty high expectations of the placePhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

That's about it for pictures as I decided to take a break from using my camera that day.

Impressions: Food and seating area are well seperated with some good use of interior design. Concrete and wood somehow managed to blend in together, although the music is a tad bit too loud.

Variety: 'Will this ever end?' I happily asked myself as I scanned the surrounding lines of food from the sushi counter.

Getting acquainted: Within a minute, I was not so happy. I always had the impression that Jogoya was catering as a 'Japanese' buffet, and that was what I was expecting. The only thing Japanese was the sushi counter section, and perhaps some of the rest. Probably up to 70% of the food available was of different cuisines, i.e. Indian.

Each table has a certain number of 'pegs' which you put into the empty bowl in front of the dish that you would like (or peg to the plate, depending). The criticism? Each table has a limited number of pegs. Even with the restaurant almost empty, some dishes took quite a while to arrive. More pegs, please.

As most of you already know, each line has a 'VIP dish', of which I had looked on enviously at first. By the middle of the eating session, I was left pondering whether the VIP dishes would be any more palatable than the rest (I don't know as I didn't try, and I don't think I would have

Food: As stated before, an almost endless parade of dishes. I started off with the Japanese counter. I didn't like the salmon sashimi. Don't ask me why, because I usually help myself to a lot of this. Most of the sushi on offer didn't seem to whet my appetite; the only thing that I personally enjoyed was the seasoned baby octopus (available in tiny individual dip bowls of one each).

Next up: Parrotfish, roasted. Took them like what seemed over half an hour before the dish arrived. None of us enjoyed it. It was dry, and appeared... wrong. My own rookie attempt at cooking parrot fish turned out many times better.

We sampled the tempura. It was horrid; the tempura tasted 'heavy' instead of the light batter one would have expected. We took some of the prawns with grape sauce, and weren't impressed. The beef teppanyaki was decent, to the place's credit. At least I think it was. I can't remember what else we ate, and I don't think I want to. It was unmemorably bad.

Our final dish, a beef claypot dish (which you cook over a portable flame), took forever to cook. And when it did, all we did was to take one bite before deciding to walk off, but not before finishing off our coconuts (probably one of the best things there). And in time for a huge group of over thirty orientals (probably Chinese tourists) to arrive and to either enjoy or disappoint themselves (depending how you look at it).

Overall verdict:
Variety: 9.2/10. Sheer variety gives the place the aforementioned score.
Food quality and taste: 2.5/10.

Call me harsh, but that is my unbiased verdict. Avoid unless you are a sucker for huge buffet lines, and head for the Japanese restaurant Gonbei directly opposite. My friend (who happens to be very discerning as well) gave that place a rave (verbal) review.
T3, Relish Floor
Starhill Gallery
Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur



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