Sunday, 11 May 2014
Gozen Japanese Restaurant at Johor Bahru, Amansari Residence Resort 御膳
I was invited to visit Gozen 御膳 Japanese Restaurant at Amansari Residence Resort in Johor Bahru.
Gozen Japanese Restaurant at Amansari Residence Resort is a small, neat and cosy place. There is a serene and peaceful feel about it - ah.. yeah... Zen.
The owner-Chef Mr. Chua learnt his craft working in the Japanese restaurants of Pan Pacific Hotel and Swissotel in Singapore.
Mr. Chua returned to JB in 2011 to start Gozen.
Over the 3 years, Gozen has built a loyal following of Japanese expats and retirees as well as Johoreans.
We were at Gozen at 2:00pm after it closed for the afternoon. So Mr. Chua had time to chat with us and so it wasn't like the usual tasting. Most of what we tasted were off menu and was decided as our relaxed conversation flowed.
Here were what Mr. Chua whipped up.
Pan fried salmon belly. Belly is my favourite part of any fish as long as it is fresh :D I like the softness and sweetness with subtle hints of bitter notes.
Gozen Special Course comprising Sashimi combination (Tuna and Salmon belly), Edamame (soybeans), Nameko Chawan Mushi (mushroom and egg custard), Tempura (batter fried prawns), Unagi (eel) steamed rice and fruit slices.
I like the soft sweet Unagi (eel) and tasty steamed rice.
Nameko Chawan Mushi (mushrooms and egg custard).
We spoke about the ramen culture of Japan and Mr. Chua brought out this Sapporo ramen set.
The springy ramen was served in a large bowl of ice cubes.
The light soy dipping sauce for the cold ramen.
Tender and savoury smoked duck with torched skin.
Fresh shrimp with roe.
I love the Sappora ramen set - a style of ramen that I have not tried before.
Gozen's house made chilled apple sake. Sweet and smooth liquor.
Ice cream dessert set with tea and cut fruits.
The food and ambiance at Gozen was neither overly exquisite nor exclusive but it felt intimate. The type that makes Japanese expats and retirees return regularly to Gozen because it makes them feel welcome, at home and comfortable.
Gozen is a nice little quiet nook to enjoy simple Japanese fare at moderate prices.
Oh, car parking is free for restaurant patrons at Amansari Residence Resort. Just have the cashier validate your parking ticket before you leave Gozen.
Restaurant name: Gozen 御膳 Japanese Restaurant
Address: Amansari Residence Resort (Seri Alam), Block D, LG 1, Jalan Persiaran Seri Alam, Bandar Seri Alam, Johor Bahru
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:30am to 2:00pm, 6:00pm to 10:00pm (last call: 9:30pm) including public holidays (closed on Sunday)
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
Date visited: 21 Apr 2014
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