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Motormouth From Ipoh

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Seeking Solace in Penang - Azuma Japanese Restaurant @ Queensbay Mall

Escaping from Langkawi (that sounded harsh you say? It was NOT your idea of a routine holiday, that's for sure! Click HERE for previous post if you're having doubts!) after 5 whole days on the island, or rather, IN a camp ON the island, we flew back to Penang for a timely restoration-cum-relaxation period. Nursing sore muscles, scratches, blisters, and fatigue, we checked into our hotel the instance our plane (Firefly) touched down at the airport. Penang's air has never smelled this good ... The Air of Freedom?


The Krystal Suites @ Bayan Lepas, Penang

The Krystal Suites (www) is a hotel situated at Krystal Point, in Bayan Lepas, Penang. Krystal Point houses a dynamic range of restaurants, featuring cuisines from all over the world, from Japanese food to Thai food, and Western fare to Chinese cuisine. A query to any Penang flogger: Has Jurin moved from Krystal Point? I did not notice its existence this time around.
For only RM238/night, you can stay in a 2-bedrooms suite, with one King-sized bed, and another room with 2 single beds. Suite amenities include individually-controlled air-conditioner (all 4 of them, one in each room and two in the living room), ASTRO channels, mini fridge, microwave oven (yup, read that right!) free broadband internet service, and free parking space for one car per room. 1 Bedroom Suite starts at RM178/night, with the same amenities except the second room.


Azuma Japanese Restaurant @ Queensbay Mall, Penang
The magnetic force of the comfort, and spaciousness of our suite, my eyes were set on the comfortable, plush beds. But hunger struck at that very moment, as lunch seemed some ages ago. Hence we put off the idea of recklessly neglecting our hunger pangs and slept til morning comes, but instead ventured over to Queensbay Mall, a mere 5 minutes' drive away.

The Japanese restaurant opened for business late last year ... and gaining momentum, judging from the dinner crowd on a weekday's night
Initial plan of dining at TGIF (where else for an American diner's Supersized Portions?) was thwarted when the cravings for Japanese food came knocking at our doors. Or our guts. Azuma has large, transparent windows overlooking the bay and parking lots, thus tempting our curiosity and tastebuds at the same time.

Shake Tataki Maki and Una Cheese Maki @ RM30
Walking in to the restaurant situated on 2F of Queensbay Mall, we were promptly greeted with chants of 'Irrashaimase' and ushered to a table by the windows, with sofa seats. The interior of the restaurant was considerably bright, albeit with yellow lighting (bad for photography purposes!), with a kaiten belt section with freshly-prepared (we hope) sushi for those casual diners.
Running through the menu revealed an impressive list of Japanese and fusion items, from the usual Tenpura, Sushi and Sashimi, to Bento sets, Special Maki, and Japanese Pizza.
The 8-piece serving of Una Cheese Maki and Shake Tataki Maki was one of their recommended item, whereby from the menu, each item is priced at RM28, but for an additional RM2 you can mix and match. The Una Cheese Maki consists of sushi rice rolled with eel, cheese and vegetables, while the Shake Tataki Maki contains shrimp roe, crab sticks, cheese, vegetables, topped with grilled salmon. Each morsel was full of flavour, owing to the creamy cheese added into the rolls, and the perfectly rolled makis. So far, so good.

Azuma Deluxe Combo Sushi (RM60 for 24 pieces)
Of course, breaking free from the monotony of 'prison food' (ahem, I beg to differ, it's more like dorm meals instead), and suitably famished after the ride, we ordered recklessly, til the staff jolted out of his boots. Or apron. He politely reminded us that the Deluxe Combo Sushi is normally reserved for a 'bigger' group, and had us having second thoughts on over-ordering.

Very nicely presented, scoring top marks in aesthetic values (except for one failed salmon mayo roll) ... Tastewise?

Of course, we were in Sushi mode that evening, so we cancelled the other orders instead. The platter of mixed sushi was intimidating, as each sushi was not of bite-sized/dainty proportion, but instead rather filling. To the point of feeling rather bloated by the 5th of 6th piece. The platter includes prawn, salmon, tuna, prawn roe, eel, tuna mayo in beancurd skin, and salmon mayo roll.

All were fresh, the fish firm and sweet, while the cooked items scored as well. Except the ebikko (shrimp roe) which was a little salty. The maguro (tuna) was deliciously thick and succulent, while the tako? (octopus)'s texture was bouncy, and firm.



Azuma Zushi Pizza - Raw salmon and eel pizza (RM28)
Another signature of Azuma's is the pizzas. A combination of grilled eel and raw salmon slices were placed on top the rice (yes, the rice IS the dough!) coated with batter and fried til crispy, topped with some shrimp roe, chopped scallions and garnished with parsley. The crispy exterior coating the sticky rice, paired with the salmon/eel and sauce was heavenly. Minor gripe? The small serving (only about 4" per pc) had us wanting more!

The complimentary green tea ice cream as dessert
Reliving days of yore, we challenged each other to a Wasabi Face-Off. Yeah, 5 days in camp does irrepairable damages to one's brain, it seems! Though the wasabi (horseradish mustard) at Azuma's lacked the sting compared to the average ones elsewhere.

Location : AZUMA JAPANESE RESTAURANT @ No. 100-2F87, Queensbay Mall, Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang
Tel : 04 6413118.
For second opinions, click them :
Satiated, replenished and still reeling from lethargy, we attempted to burn some calories (as if) by strolling around the mall, though embedded deep in our minds, we knew that supper's just around the corner ..... ;)

33 comments:

KCA said...

wei.. i miss the pizza soooo much le.. so special and nice.. **drooling** =P

allie said...

I wanna go Azuma but wallet not thick enough :(

Precious Pea said...

That's a great sushi feast!!!

SimpleGirl said...

wow, nice sushi....make me crave for some as well...will check out this place!!nice photos!

Life for Beginners said...

A Wasabi Face-Off? Does that involve a pair of katanas or nihontos too? Slash, slash! :P

Julian Si said...

Haha... I like the comment on "air of freedom" :-)

You are right, great aesthetics on the sushi!

I have just added you to my blog's blog-roll .. cheers!

ck lam said...

I am going there again and this time will be for your recommended pizza...

FoOd PaRaDiSe said...

Thanks for the link. I think I should chk this place up once again. ^o^

thenomadGourmand said...

hhmmm..Azuma seems to be the plc for Jap in Pg now! what's do u think its an equivalent outlet in KL?
When i'm bk in Pg I just dont go to restaurants u c, its hawker all the way! ;p

New Kid on the Blog said...

ai yo.. ipohan already visited this place and me a penangite also haven't step in leh.
shame on me

Selba said...

Beautiful sushi!!! Is RM 60 for 24 pcs consider cheap in Msia?

backStreetGluttons said...

You sure have been eating like a Prince !

Make sure you go swimming for at least 8 km a week or jog 5 km a day !

J2Kfm said...

KCA : yeah, din expect them to be filled with rice, and crispy also.

allie : wallet not thick? oh I think their bento is value-for-money also, ranging about RM20 only.

Precious Pea : we could've ordered more had the waiter didnt stop us. hmmm ...

Simple Girl : thanks! the camera ain't mine though, belongs to a friend. I didnt bring mine to the camp.

Life for Beginners : no katanas, nor nunchakus. but a bit of tears .... we're so touched.

Julian Si : thanks Julian. will link you later.

ck lam : yup, do give them a try. and in my mind I tot japanese pizzas=okonomiyaki pulak...

Food Paradise : no, thanks to YOU guys I've found out bout the place as well.

thenomadGourmand : true also, but after ahem, 5 days of mediocre food, you'd do anything to satisfy ur cravings for GOOD food ...

iamthewitch said...

Wow you have a big stomach. :P But the sushi looks really nice and big. I guess higher price really comes with better quality and portion. :)

J2Kfm said...

NKOTB : nothing to be ashamed of! so many new restaurants in Penang, it's impossible to catch up! :)

Selba : erm, reasonable I'd say. not really cheap lah ...

BSG : there we jogged 2km once, an endurance test. within the time limit.

iamthewitch : i wouldnt say they're exactly pricey, compared to many others.

SuwEi said...

So many types of sushi! Yummy~ Did the devil take all this?Haha!

J2Kfm said...

SuwEi : surprisingly, he took it all in stride. no allergies, no effects. pure satisfaction. hehe ...

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Hahaha...after dorm food, one must eat like a prince! =D

Nice photos! You've got me craving for sushi now...

J2Kfm said...

Bangsar-Babe : yeah, ate more like a KING ... must replace all the lost 'energy' ... :)

jason said...

Now I know gov servants are quite rich... ;)

jasmine said...

hmm, sounds worthy of a try. good info for me as might have to go to pg to work again... and probably @ bayan lepas area. we usually stay at the b suites though since only us 2 and krystal is a bit.. big.

J2Kfm said...

jason : wei! where got ... fitnah! fitnah! LOL.

jasmine : haha ... true also. B Suites also not bad right? judging from the info on the site.

mimid3vils said...

Japanese style pizza with rice base, so special~~~

Lingzie said...

wah this is really revenge of the sushi! lol sooo much sushi!!!

i like their amiyaki beef don. and the pizza too. but i found the pizza rather 'jelak' so can only eat about 2 pieces! lol

iamdoryfish said...

Yeah, Jurin has moved from Krystal Point...for more than 1 or 2 year++ d. Business is not doing well...i don't really fancy Jurin anyway. :P Wow, will try the azuma zushi pizza next time!!

J2Kfm said...

mimid3vils : yeah, crispy and savoury.

Lingzie : yes ah? only few pieces woh. i can finish a whole of it myself. hehe ...

iamdoryfish : oh no wonder. Jurin got another in Pulau Tikus right?
Queensbay got a lot of restaurants lah, not bad.

Nic (KHKL) said...

woah, what a return!!! haha! i'm curious to know how raw salmon and unagi will taste like as a pair..the texture should be interesting la, hor!

solace indeed!

J2Kfm said...

Nic (KHKL) : erm, yeah ... though half of the pizza is unagi, another half is salmon. so the flavours don't really mix.

YilingL said...

the pizza looks really special! lucky i just had jap yesterday too, if not i'll be staring at your pictures the whole day!

cariso said...

J2kfm,
In my opinion,Krystal suite better than Vistana in terms of its lodging comfort and room space. fyi, Azuma set lunch is also very worthy!

sakaigirl said...

we are thinking where to eat to celebrate my friends' birthday, azuma or golden triangle. the food here looks really nice! i think we might come here,haha!

viagra online said...

I love Japanese food ! :p thanks for sharing all these mouth watering pics :)

I'll be staring at your pictures the whole day!

Anonymous said...

so special and nice.