BY TAN BEE HONG
BARELY a year old and Wagyu More is already so popular that you can barely find an empty table at peak hours.
Located in The Gardens Mall, this hotpot restaurant is a buffet-style diner that offers vegetables, dessert and unlimited plates of chicken, pork and beef from RM36.80++.
Rather than leaving sliced meat to dry on the shelves or chiller, all the meat are sliced to order so as to maintain freshness; it’s worth the short wait for the meat to arrive at your table.
But meantime, there are plenty of vegetables, fishballs, meatballs and cooked food on the buffet spread to keep customers happy.
We start with drinks: Hot coffee/tea or soft drinks are available at the dispensers.
Then we create our own sauces from bowls that include goma (sesame sauce), coriander, spring onion, fried shallots, sweet sauce, chilli padi, Red More special sauce, ponzu, garlic and soya sauce.
My favourite mix is chilli, coriander and scallions with creamy goma.
First, pick the soup base. With yin-yang pots, each table can have two types of soup.
Choices include Kombu (seaweed, vegetarian), Sukiyaki (sweet soya sauce) with egg, Miso, Tomato, Pork Bone, Spicy Pork Bone, Kimchi and Japanese Curry. I’d recommend asking for a regular soup and a second that’s spicier.
There’s also a soup of the month and for April, it is Tamarind Pineapple, a tangy, fruity stock to excite the tastebuds. Pork bone soup is popular and perfect for families with children.
I am told that beef is the most popular meat at Wagyu More. I don’t take beef but that’s not a problem as I can get unlimited plates of pork collar, pork loin, belly pork and chicken.
If you want unlimited plates of Spanish Iberico, Australian Wagyu and Japanese A5 Wagyu, go for the All-Day Premium Buffet. Otherwise these three items and Seafood Platter (RM28.80++) are also available on the a la carte menu.
It’s fun to pick our favourite vegetables and meatballs from the buffet spread to put into the soup stock.
I grab oyster mushroom, enoki and shimeji as well as tofu pok, fried fu chuk, bok choy, lettuce, pumpin, yam and sweet corn.
Shelves on one side are filled with salad and dressing, meatball, sea urchin ball, chikuwa, fish ball, vegetable ball, tofu and udon.
There’s cooked food too, including wagyu fried rice, sautéed vegetables, samosa and spring rolls.
By this time, our plates of meat arrive. These are sliced wafer-thin and cook readily, so resist the urge to put all at once into the pot. Instead, cook them one slice at a time.
I don’t take beef but according to nine-year-old Dylan Yap, the finely marbled Japanese A5 Wagyu beef is “very, very good and melts in the mouth with smooth and velvety texture”.
A5 denotes “Excellent” in the wagyu beef grading system.
The pork, also cut in slivers, is delicious too. I love the marbled collar pork and belly pork but if you prefer a lean cut, ask for pork loin.
Satiated, our thoughts turn to dessert. Customers help themselves to the ice cream (two flavours daily) with all kinds of toppings and the variety of pudding, mochi and cakes.
Dining time is two hours which is more than ample to eat to your heart’s content.
A word of warning: Make frequent trips to the buffet spread instead of taking or ordering too much as, to discourage wastage, customers will be charged for uneaten food.
Wagyu More (non-halal) Japanese Shabu-Shabu is located at T-216-B, 3rd Floor, The Gardens Mall Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur.
For reservations, call +603-2202 1811 or +6012 601 3398. Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm (last order 9.30pm) daily.