Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gen Japanese (Legend Hotel) Chef gives Imported Anago a Fusion Touch

THE eel is not the most popular delicacy among Malaysians but is an important part of the diet for the Japanese.

And, more often than not, it is the freshwater eel (unagi) that is served at local Japanese outlets.

However, in Japan, the sea eel (anago) is very popular.

Unagi is more popular here because it is commonly cultivated. Local outlets rarely offer anago,” said Gen Japanese Restaurant senior sous chef Lau Yeou Shin, 42.

“Eel, in general, has a distinct taste - one that is not easily acquired. But, the taste of the anago is not as strong as unagi.

“Most local Japanese restaurants serve the more common or popular eel dishes, but there are many ways of preparing and cooking eel.”

At work: Lau coating deep-fried breaded eel with avocado puree.
This is why the restaurant is coming up with an anago promotion to introduce the imported sea eel to the locals.

“This is the second time we are having this promotion. We served more traditional-styled eel dishes previously. This time we are more creative, giving a fusion touch to some of the dishes,” Lau said.

His highly recommended Grilled Conger Eel with Kabayaki Sauce accompanied by Fried Soba is a perfect example.

While the eel is cooked original style with homemade Kabayaki sauce, it is the fried soba that has the Western twist, said Lau.

The ingredients contained in Kabayaki sauce include sugar, rice wine and shoyu.

“The soba has a creamy taste because I have fried it with butter and cream. Conventional and contemporary make an interesting combination,” said Lau.

Another similar combination is the Pan-fried Conger Eel with Crab Roe Sauce accompanied by Pumpkin Salad.

Nice: The Gen Japanese Restaurant has a cosy and classy interior.
Although the eel is the featured item of the month, the star of the dish is the crispy pumpkin salad.

“The breaded pumpkin is deep-fried to a nice crisp and is an edible 'container' for pumpkin pieces and crunchy bits of onions,” he explained.

For something on the crispy side, there is Crispy Fried Tempura Conger Eel tossed in mayonnaise, sprinkled with salmon roe and served on a bed of shredded burdock root.

Lau said, the burdock root has health properties and commonly used in Chinese soups.

Alternatively, there are the Deep-fried Breaded Conger Eel coated with Avocado Puree and topped with Ebiko, or the conventional Grilled Conger Eel with Kabayaki Sauce served with Japanese Steamed Rice.

“The best ways to prepare eel is to cook it tempura-style or with Kabayaki sauce but through this promotion we want to show that there are many ways to prepare eel.”

All dishes are priced from RM30++ onwards. Promotion ends on Feb 28.

  • GEN JAPANESE RESTAURANT, The Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, 9th Floor, Putra Place, 100 Jalan Putra, KL (Tel: 03-4042 9888 ext 1011). Business Hours: Daily, lunch (noon-2.30pm); dinner (6.30pm-10.30pm).

  • Source : STAR
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