Japan Tsu Shin – Donburi Series – UOKATSU

Savory Seafood Donburi At Uokatsu

Sometimes origins are unknown, lost or hidden away in some secret vault. Not so for Uokatsu’s Mentai Rice. It’s simple, a pregnant wife asks her husband to hook up a late-night comfort meal. Something light, a little salty but filling. Head chef of Uokatsu, Masa, made his wife Winnie, a version of what is today’s top seller. Spread atop a perfectly fluffed Japanese omelet is pollock roe in a simple sauce. Being the modestly priced meal at RM19 in the donburi section might help its draw. Many patrons state emphatically that it’s a fav because of the comfort food power it wields. Regardless, this is the hands-down crowd pleaser at this classic Japanese fish market-style restaurant in Plaza Damas 3.

Reviews show many tout Mentai Rice, which we definitely sampled, so we thought to compare other donburi offerings. Unfamiliar with ‘donburi’? Literally translated it means bowl, but in Japan, it is so much more. Most Japanese food fans are familiar that this is essentially a savory item over rice. An easy craving satisfier as variations can be made from almost any ingredients. Usually, the sauce is a pleasing sweet and tangy mix of soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar and sometimes cooking sake. How this plays out is that subtle dance between chef and eaters.

Owners Masa and Winnie initially wanted to steer away from the demanding nature of food and beverage. Something more along the lines of a fish market was the plan. But their passion for serving up great food and showing examples of what people can create with seafood drew them into Uokatsu. Somehow, the tides changed.

Our meal began with a bowl of creamy miso soup and salads. Filled with chunks of daikon, burdock and fish made for a far richer soup than usual. Potato and tomato salads opened our palate with delicate hints of herbs and spices. These dishes were a balancing flavor check to lean on between sampling the different donburi.

We tried Negitoro, Sanmakabayaki and Trout Ikura Don’s. Although all shared a bed of rice beneath them, each brought its own flair to the game. Freshly minced tuna garnished with spring onions, gari and a dollop of wasabi had a light on the tongue mild refreshing taste from Negitoro. Sanmakabayaki was flavored like an unagi don and shared similarities in texture. Sanma’s bones deftly removed and a delightful flakey lightly smoked taste was satisfying. A bowl of Trout Ikura Don commands the attention of the eyes. Bright orange roe coupled with slices of salmon decadently melted over the tongue.

Besides donburi, many other items are available. Sashimi, braised dishes and house specials depend on the seasonal stock. We love how rice in a bowl can be reinterpreted. Yes, Mentai Rice is good. Let Uokatsu empower your tastebuds and try a different bowl.

7, Ground Floor Plaza Damas 3, B-0, 63, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, 50480 KL ​
Tuesday and Wednesday: 11:00am – 2:30pm
Thursday to Sunday: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 9:30pm
Closed on Mondays
03-6201 0339