Panda Peeks – Raku Pizza
I have a confession to make: I don’t really eat Japanese food. I know that’s sacrilege to every food lover out there, but there’s always been some sort of stereotype I always associate with Japanese food (like it being raw, and only about seafood) which has made me avoid it at all costs.
When I stepped into Raku Pizza, I didn’t know what to expect. I had imagined pizza with sashimi toppings and wasabi sauce, to be honest. Having always seen the signboard on my way home however, it had always piqued my interest – I mean, who doesn’t love anything pizza? I jumped on the chance to pay Raku Pizza a visit for this review, because otherwise I knew there would be no other chance for me to try it.
Raku Pizza’s setting is very café-like, with wooden chairs and tables, bright lights and cheery interiors, and a Japanese-styled open kitchen. Elaine Teh, Raku Pizza’s founder, said she has put in her heart and soul in the food they prepare. “I was actually an auditor before this, but I left the profession to open up Raku Pizza.” A bold step for a young woman!
The food itself was very different and eclectic – I would describe it as Japanese comfort food marrying American comfort food. First, we tried the Katsu Waffle Burger, which was basically two banana-based waffles with a deep fried chicken fillet, served with red corals, capsicum, shredded seaweed, ebiko, tongarashi powder and katsu sauce. What a mouthful!
The waffles complimented the dish perfectly, and boy, what a pleasant surprise it was! The mix of sweetness from the banana waffles made the deep fried chicken fillet pop, and the tongarashi (pepper and chili) powder gave the dish the spicy kick it needed. This was my first time tasting ebiko or shrimp roe, and surprisingly its salty and tangy textures tasted very much like the shrimp paste that we cook at home, the only difference being ebiko wasn’t spicy. First Japanese fusion dish – didn’t let me down!
Next up was something I was looking forward to – pizza. Not your average pizza though; this one had soft-boiled egg, seaweed and teriyaki chicken as toppings with wasabi mayo sauce base! It was called Teriyaki Chicken Onsen Pizza and according to Elaine, this one is their absolute bestseller. We weren’t surprised at all! The egg was creamy, the chicken succulent, the seaweed salty – all in all, an amalgamation of amazing flavours! Here’s another confession: the photographer and I had two servings each of the pizza!
The final dish we tried was Raku’s Pizza Waffle. Yes, you read that right – a pizza waffle. The waffle base had a curry sauce topping, replete with karaage chicken, sweet corn, cheese, bonito flakes, onions and Japanese mayo. The first thing that hit us about this pizza waffle was its mouth-watering scent. The bonito flakes, which are made from dried tuna, absolutely nailed the dish with their salty melt-in-the-mouth texture and were a perfect accompaniment to the breaded fried chicken and curry sauce.
To sum it all up, Raku Pizza totally changed my view on Japanese food and Japanese fusion food. Am I game to try “pure” Japanese food now? You know what, here’s my last confession for the day – I already have!
Address: 80, Jalan SS 15/4d, Ss 15, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mo – Su, 10.00am to 10.00pm
Click here to order online
If she’s not busy writing, Yogeetha is usually researching fan theories about Game of Thrones characters or having a cup of coffee in solitude. Also, she loves doughnuts as much as she loves puppies!