The firs thing that will inevitably catch your attention at Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya @ Publika would be the three giant wooden bathtubs, with matching wooden pendant lamps shining from above. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody walked into the Japanese restaurant out of curiosity for a meal because of the bathtubs !
Despite looking really gigantic, the seating space within the bathtub is actually quite small. We could envision ourselves being squished next to each other and ordering too much food with no place to put on the table if we sat there, so we sat somewhere else.
But that’s ok because the rest of the restaurant is pretty atmospheric too – with warm lighting and wooden walls that mimic old Japanese houses.
Being a chain from Hokkaido, the izakaya carries a little something extra compared to other Japanese restaurants – “Kamemashi” or “釜飯” , a tall flaming rice pot that’s cooked in front of you and steamed king crab legs that can be ordered by the pot (RM 52.90). The Kamemashi will take about 15-20 minutes to cook.
There are three types of kamameshi – Hokkai Kamameshi (with seafood, RM 36.90), Tarabagani Kamameshi (with king crab legs, RM 36.90) and Unagi Kamameshi (RM 36.90); we tried the last two.
When the cooking time is up and the unagi sauce poured into the rice, the sauce sizzled from the remaining heat, making the rice pot more inviting than ever.
The rice pot is quite tall you might want to scoop it into a small bowl for an easier consumption.
The king crab kamameshi is a scrumptious treat too. Having liked both the kamameshi; the portions were quite small. As you can see from the picture, lots of rice but not a whole lot of king crab legs or unagi.
The butter-grilled scallops are handsomely sweet and succulent that go so well with a slice of leek (RM 9.90, 2 pieces) . The tiny bit of soup being rendered from the scallops is the best part with all the umami flavors concentrated in that one sip.
An unlikely item you’ll find here is the chicken soft bone (RM 18.90). I eat the chicken soft bone all the time whenever it comes attached with a piece of chicken breast; but I never imagined that the bone could become an appetizer on its own. When deep fried till golden, it’s crisp and crunchy, so yeah, why not ?
Nankotsu Karaage (deep fried chicken ) @ RM 18.90 – you can’t go wrong wiht karaage !
Negima (Chicken Skewer) @ RM 7.80 – flavorful with charred bits of chicken and leek.
My friend was happy with his shabu shabu (RM 26.50).
My sister’s Hokkai Ramen was basic @ RM 21.50.
Lastly, dinners should always end with a sweet note – the Macha de Roru (RM 14.90) ; a delicate crepe wrap with ice cream, chewy mochi and sweet red beans. Love the contrast of the green pancakes and the blue plate !
Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya Facebook
Address: A2 ,UG1-9, Publika Solaris Dutamas
Opening Hours : 11.30 am to 3 pm. 5.30 pm – closing.
Price : Inclusive of GST