Tourism Malaysia

Sushi Heng

November 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm

A friend of mine once said that in essence, Japanese food is simple but elegant. It is never difficult to learn the ways of making sushi or even a bowl of miso soup. However, this simplicity is the very same thing that makes it challenging. While anyone can make sushi, not everyone is able to make it really good and delicious. Though this fact may change with years of practice, something tells me that there are other factors that contribute greatly to the makings of a great chef.

Chef Nicholas Heng at his stall in Asia Cafe at SS15 Subang Jaya

Of late, Malaysians are spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting their favourite restaurants for Japanese cuisine. Eateries like Saisaki, Iketeru at Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Jogoya, Sagano at Renaissance Hotel and Rakuzen offer not only a wide selection of Japanese cuisine, but are also known for their authenticity and quality in all of their dishes. This also means that to enjoy really good Japanese food, one must be prepared to pay as it usually comes at a price. So what can a person do if they want great tasting sushi but not burn a hole in their pocket? They go to Sushi Heng.

It is always busy come dinner time at Sushi Heng

Do not let the name fool you though. Sushi Heng is not a spin-off of another famous Japanese food franchise that most of us know. This quaint stall modelled after a typical Japanese eatery is located within Asia Cafe in SS15, Subang Jaya. The stall is manned by Chef Nicholas Heng, hence the name ‘Sushi Heng’. Now one may wonder, what is it that makes this place so unique and different from the many other stalls that offers sushi. Well, other than the fact that the food is absolutely delicious to both the eye and the tastebuds, Chef Nicholas has a knack for creating something different for his customers.

Chef Nicholas teaching his assistant how to roll carrot slices for decoration

Chef Nicholas uses a special machine to make the sheets of pear and radish

The thinly sliced sheets of pear and carrot, used to create Chef Nicholas’ delicious sushi dishes

To be honest, when the invitation was sent to us requesting for a food review for a Japanese restaurant, we did not have any expectations. So, with an open mind and heart, we sat down and waited for Chef Nicholas to awe and amaze us with his wonderful creations. He began by serving us with one of his specially created dish known as the Diet Roll. Yes ladies and gentlemen, who said that those who are on a diet cannot enjoy Japanese food? The Diet Roll does not have any rice in it, yet it is sufficiently filling to act as a meal on its own. Instead of the usual nori sheet to wrap the ingredients, Chef Nicholas used a thinly sliced sheet of pear skin and radish. It was a delightful change as the sweet skin was crunchy and firm to the bite, and when combined with the prawn tempura and ebi, vegetables and avocado slice, the taste was not too heavy nor was it bland.

The Diet Roll

The Diet Roll is so delicious, it makes dieting a piece of cake!

The next dish prepared by Chef Nicholas really caught our attention. This roll is called the Special Roll and it has red tuna, soft shell crab and avocado inside. The whole dish was sprinkled with sliced strawberries and different types of fish roe and drizzled with mayonnaise. Chef Nicholas was generous with his portions, which made every mouthful heavenly as one can not only taste the rice but also every bit of the other ingredients as well. The one thing that was noticeable was the fact that Chef Nicholas makes it a point to not only make wonderful tasting sushi, he also ensures that the presentation of the dish is ‘appetising’ to the eyes too. It might be a wild guess, but I assume that a person’s appetite and curiosity is greatly whetted when the food looks extremely appealing.

The Special Roll

The Special Roll has a piece of red tuna, soft shell crab and avocado inside

No Japanese restaurant is ever complete without offering raw ingredients on its menu, and a review without trying the restaurant’s sashimi dishes would not do the restaurant much justice. So naturally, our next dish was Chef Nicholas’ Sashimi Mix. The dish offered a selection of three kinds of fish, salmon, red tuna and butterfish. The salmon was nothing short of exquisite. It was smooth and fresh and after a chew or two, it literally melts in one’s mouth. It was indeed a very welcomed experience when compared to other salmon sashimi dishes offered at chain outlets that offer Japanese food. The same goes for the red tuna and butterfish slices. Though the red tuna has a firmer consistency to it, it was never chewy or tough and also melted in one’s mouth after a while. Once again, we could see Chef Nicholas’ generosity through the thick slices that was offered on the plate.

The Sashimi Mix

Salmon Sashimi

Butterfish Sashimi

Red Tuna Sashimi

We ended our review session with the Salmon Skin Roll. The Salmon Skin Roll came with a serving of deep-fried salmon skin on the side and was garnished with fish roe, slices of strawberries and fresh seaweed drizzled with mayonnaise sauce. The salmon skin turned out to be quite an unexpected surprise as it was crisp and devoid of any fishy and oily aftertaste, something that other outlets struggle to perfect.

The Salmon Skin Roll

A piece of the Salmon Skin Roll, beautifully decorated with strawberry slices, fish roe and mayonnaise

The salmon skin are crisp and crunchy with no fishy and oily aftertaste

So, at the very end, what makes this dining affair at Sushi Heng so special? For us at, it is the fact that despite eating in a place that can be considered simple and down-to-earth, the food that was served was nothing less than heavenly.

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Tourism Malaysia

A Malaysian Cooking Up a Storm in a Japanese Kitchen

October 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm

What makes a good chef? Is it merely just his cooking? Or are there other contributing factors that gives a chef the honour of being known as a great chef? The team recently met up with Sous Chef Mohd. Zamri at Sagano in Renaissance Hotel for a brief chat about his food and him being nominated as one of the chefs participating in the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2011.

Sous Chef Mohd Zamri – a simple and elegant man

The cosy atmosphere of Sagano Restaurant in Renaissance Hotel makes dining an unforgettable experience

One of the first things that one may notice when conversing with Sous Chef Mohd Zamri is the fact that he is a very humble person. When asked about his scrumptious creations for the gourmet festival, he explains that this year’s menu was inspired by the previous menus created for this event. Sous Chef Mohd. Zamri is a person who prefers to let his food do all the talking, as everyone knows that good food always speak volumes. His creations are elegant and simple and is a reflection of the person itself.

The ingredients used for Wagyu Striploin and trio of mushroom with wasabi-teriyaki sauce

It was by coincidence that Sous Chef Mohd. Zamri ended up where he is now. He started out working in one of the top five Japanese restaurants in 1988, where jobs were hard to come by as a result of the economy downturn. What started out as ‘fun’ job turned into a lifelong passion after he fell in love with it. Sous Chef Mohd. Zamri then went on to work in one of the Japanese restaurants at SOGO shopping mall before moving on to Nikko Hotel, where he stayed on for twelve years. When asked about his memorable times during his career, he smiled and remarked that it was during his tenure as a chef in Nikko Hotel where he had the opportunity to serve three different Japanese Prime Ministers during their visits to Malaysia. He even had the chance to serve the Japanese Emperor when he was visited Malaysia!

Sous Chef Mohd. Zamri putting on a demonstration on the preparation of one of the MIGF dishes

The menu that is available for this year’s gourmet festival is a testimony of his cooking talents drawn from 23 years of preparing Japanese cuisine. Sous Chef Mohd. Zamri has prepared a stupendous feast for all, featuring some of the favourite ingredients frequently used in Japanese cuisine like soft-shell crab, unagi, salmon, cod fish and wagyu beef. The price of the menu is set at RM 138.00++ per person (without wine) and RM 188.00 ++ per person (with wine). There is also the light Festival Menu, priced at RM 108.00 ++ per person (without wine) which comes with appetizers, soup, choice of one (1) main and dessert, suitable for those who would like a quick bite. The entire menu is definitely value for money.

Medium Rare Atlantic Salmon and Grated Yam, Hot Spicy Sauce and Ikura

From Top to Bottom: Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab with Sticky Ginger Soy Sauce, Egg Tofu and Boiled Live Prawn with Bainiku Sauce, Unagi Sushi with Seaweed Sauce

Sagano Wagyu striploin and trio of mushroom, wasabi-teriyaki sauce

Sagano is not the only restaurant of the Renaissance Hotel that is participating in the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2011. The hotel is offering a double delight promotion, featuring Sagano and Dynasty Restaurant, a Cantonese cuisine restaurant. The package is also priced at RM 138.00++ per person (without wine) and RM 188.00 ++ per person (with wine). For those who are on a diet, there is also the light Festival Menu, priced at RM 108.00 ++ per person (without wine) which comes with appetizers, soup, choice of one (1) main and dessert.

For more information and reservations, please call 03 – 2162 2233 or email

All prices are subject to 10% service charge and 6% service tax. Dynasty Restaurant is a non-halal restaurant.

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