If you are love a good food scene and constantly keep your ear to the ground, you will be well-acquainted with the name of this Japanese restaurant ‘Chotto Matte’. The meaning behind this recognisable Japanese term is actually ‘to wait a moment’ and the people behind this restaurant believe that the food is good enough to deserve a moment’s wait.
This restaurant, noted for its sushi, sashimi and yakitori, is tucked in one of the shophouses along Blair Road, just a stone’s throw away from the famous cafe Strangers’ Reunion.
Backed by its co-owner Jeff Ong who is responsible for Torii, an outstanding yakitori restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, and helmed by Chef Roy Chee, previously Executive Head Chef of Standing Sushi Bar, Chotto Matte presents a comprehensive menu rarely found in Japanese restaurants.
With such an endorsement, we looked forward to a well-executed meal of both raw and cooked items.
We started with Chef’s Recommended Sashimi Platter of sake (salmon), kajiki (swordfish), hamachi (yellowtail), maguro (tuna) and hotate (scallop) and tobiko (flying fish roe). The sashimi had a slightly fishy taste, which was an indication to me that it was not very fresh.
The Chotto Matte Cocktail ($28), their specially crafted cocktail using citrus-flavoured sake Umenoyado Yuzu Shu, Yamazaki 12 and egg white. Never have I thought I would say that I enjoy having egg white in my drink.
Foagura Unagi Maki ($28) and Aburi Salmon Maki ($19). I did not try both dishes, but according to my sis, she preferred the makis at Sushi Tei.
Shiro Maguro Carpaccio ($29), marinated American white tuna, topped with truffle. Very delicious! I thought the carpaccio looked kind of like abalone!
Dobinmushi ($16), seafood consommé. Love the presentation and it tasted better with a few drops of lime juice, but on the whole not really memorable.
Chef’s recommended yakitori. Tokusei Tsukune ($4), special meat ball with soy sauce, Tebasaki ($3), chicken wings, Wagyu ($9) and Kagoshima pork belly ($5). The skewers here were really tasty.
While the chicken wings cost the least, they were actually the best among the four (but they were all delicious). Simply seasoned with pepper and sea salt and grilled over binchotan (white charcoal), resulting in meat so tender, juicy and full-flavoured.
Buka Kauni ($29). Braised pork belly with sweet sauce (a reduction of mirin, sake and ginger). This was lacking the oily/ greasy taste often associated with pork belly. A rather small portion.
Kagoshima Pork Belly Don ($35). Char-grilled Kagoshima thin-sliced pork belly over garlic fried rice. What is shown here is the sampler size. The original one is about three times this size.
Despite the fact that this was the last savoury dish before dessert and my stomach was almost bursting, I could not resist polishing of this bowl of garlic fried rice.
Yuzu Sorbet with Jelly ($12). Japanese citrus sorbet with jelly, great for cleansing the palate after dinner.
By the way, as you are dining, you will notice many colourful paintings gracing the walls of the restaurant. These are painted by the other co-owner Sue Ooi.
Should you prefer an omakase experience, the staff will lead you to a separate side door to their sushi room, where you can enjoy ten courses of raw and cooked dishes from $100 per person.
Here is an interesting fact. This may look like a fire extinguisher, but it is actually water filtration system imported from Japan, where the rice is washed and cooked using this filtered water to enhance the sweetness of the grain.
Overall, will I ever return on my own? The ambiance is great, and the restaurant is suitable for date nights and intimate gatherings. However, the prices here are too steep for me.
54 Blair Road, #01-01,
Tel: 6222 8846
Opens daily from 1130-1430hrs and 1800-0000hrs