Now open: Eat Paradise @ Isetan 1 Utama
The new Isetan 1 Utama might not have a Foodmarket but in its place sits Eat Paradise, a cluster of Japanese restaurants. By Surekha Ragavan
Most of you might have noticed the new Isetan outlet at 1 Utama is devoid of the Foodmarket, the pride and joy of both the KLCC and Lot 10 Isetan outlets. Taking its place is Eat Paradise, an eat-in food area specialising in fuss-free Japanese food. The Japanese theme in itself is a unique selling point for a food court and in its infancy, Eat Paradise has proven largely popular among shoppers and those working in the area.
A quick look around may suggest the area isn’t very big but the specification of cuisine allows for this flaw. One of the most talked-about shops within the parametres is Ichiro Sushi Bar, an unassuming corner serving up simple rolls and sashimi in typical Japanese fashion. By this, we mean you literally sit at a bar and order your food in kanji characters on an iPad. Help is provided where needed. To add on, the cooks here are Japanese if that sort of thing matters to you.
The most conspicuous of all counters is Menya Musashi, a ramen shop which entrance is adorned with a painting of the chef in full samurai gear. Bowls and plates take on a similar obsession with samurais and while some of you may regard this as campy, they make great conversation starters. Word on the street is the ramen here can rival some of the best in KL (Menya Musashi has branches in Singapore) so let’s see if the shop stands the test of time. Its rival Gantetsu also specialises in ramen and as we type this, we’re deeply saddened that the Time Out KL office isn’t close to 1 Utama. Gantetsu’s most popular ramen is the miso ramen with king cha-shu which goes at RM30.
The BIG Group’s first foray into 1 Utama is Puran B (a spin-off of Plan B) at which regular café offerings are available but with a promised Japanese twist. After a quick scan of the menu, we notice the food is (almost) identical to other Plan B outlets so in future, we might give this a miss over the more original Japanese counters in the area. Desserts are consistently good here, so this is where Plan B will step in quite nicely. Other outlets in the compound are Gyu-Kaku, a promising Japanese BBQ restaurant and Senya, similar to the branch at Isetan KLCC (we hear the chicken karaage and katsu are both commendable).
Those who would much rather cook at home can also purchase packaged Japanese food in the centre of the eat-in area. We noticed piles of instant noodles, wasabi nuts and crunchy seaweed – considering all three are potential desert island snacks, we suggest you stock up.
Eat Paradise is located on the first floor of Isetan 1 Utama. For more info on location, see mall listing. Open daily, 10am-10pm