Iso Gin Japanese Restaurant @ Vantage Desiran Tanjung, Tanjung Tokong, Penang.
There lies another hidden gem at the very quiet commercial building of Vantage Desiran Tanjung. Navigate your way to the upper floor and you will find yourself right in front of a seemingly curious Japanese restaurant with no English signage displayed. Push the door open and you will find yourself in a typical Japanese restaurant beautifully covered with evocative wooden walls. Simple, nothing fancy and without any traces of ostentation. Probably the management wishes to offer the best quality to their diners, their menu is quite limited with choices with rather steep prices. However, the restaurant managed to impress us with their top-notch quality food and we did not leave feeling shortchanged, every single penny was well-spent. I feel an overwhelming urge to indulge at this place again.
We welcomed the Iron Sashimi Moriawase (Rm 70) with a gleaming smile. Three slices of six different types of Sashimi were carefully presented on a bed of fresh greens- Shiso Leaves, shreded Daikon and Kombu. The Sashimi was generously sliced to the right thickness and sizes to my liking and the freshness of the Fish was beyond words. The Fish literally melted in our mouth, leaving a delicate floral and Umami flavor on the palate; as though they were still alive and swimming in the mouth! No lackluster on the Wasabi either, Iso Gin uses freshly grated Wasabi instead of the artificial Wasabi paste. The order was good enough for the three of us.
I have been longing to indulge in good Sushi again ever since my trip to Tsukiji Market, Tokyo. Thus, I settled for Sushi- Fune Moriawase (Rm 35) which comes with nine different types of Sushi. Despite the quality might not be as good as the ones I had in Japan but very close enough, the vinegared Rice has the nice acidic touch with chewy-resilient texture. The Fish slices were undeniably fresh; with that quality and portion, that's a steal at Rm 35! It would be perfect with a bowl of piping hot Miso Soup!
It took them quite some time to serve the Unajyu (Rm 38) but we figured out why later. The Chef steamed the Eel, Rice and container together, to make sure that the temperature was even. The Eel was thickly cut and smeared with a generous amount of sweet-soy sauce. A very satisfying bite together with the chewy-hot Japanese Rice.
Nabeyaki Udon (Rm 20) was impressive either. springy Udon submerged in the clear Dashi Jiru, topped with Aburaage, Tempura Prawn and Onsen Tamago. The crystal clear broth was sweet with a pleasant after-taste. A heart-warming dish to order during a rainy day.
Complimentary Appetizer- Okra marinated in Dashi Stock
Taste: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Service: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: No
Address: No. B-1-6, Vantage Desiran Tanjung, Jalan Desiran Tanjung, 10470, Tanjung Tokong, Penang.
Business Hours: 12 pm to 2 pm; 6 pm to 10 pm. Closed on every Monday.
Contact Number: 604- 890 4741