Nippori first introduced itself in 2016 as a Japanese home-cooking cafe in Empire Damansara; this month, it debuts a spinoff that embraces a European viewpoint - Nippori Bistro is set in a high-ceilinged space that's meant to evoke a British colonial residence, with eclectic elements like a French-inspired patisserie's cake counter, an oversize portrait of a heavyset Mona Lisa enjoying her Italian wine, and Japanese tatami-like floor seating with low tables.
Pizzas, pastas and sushi are all given a cross-continental makeover: The Expensive One (RM65) is the humorously but honestly named pizza that strays far from its Neapolitan roots, topped not only with a Parisian brasserie's flourish of foie gras but Japanese-inflected ingredients like cubed unagi and wagyu beef, black tobiko and house-made teriyaki sauce. It's almost an overload of sweet-savoury richness on a relatively thin-crusted pizza.
Coming close to spaghetti with sashimi, the Nippori Reimen (RM48) showcases slick, smoothly firm Japanese noodles, served cold in a sauce with both umami and zest, blanketed with raw and cured fish and crustaceans - a fresh twist on seafood pasta.
We love our liver, so the maki topped with trout and foie sounded too luscious to ignore, especially with a moniker like Foie Gras Heaven (RM58). Again, a tad over the top, but if you like punchy flavours, these recipes should be robust enough for you.
If you're wondering whether this meal should be paired with sake or wine, have both. Diners are tempted to order two glasses of the latter - one glass clocks in at a pricey RM38, but two glasses cost a sensible RM48.
Pastries and cakes galore are available to end the experience on an English high-tea note.
The service team is authentically warm and proficient, ensuring a pleasant visit.
Lot 2 and 3, B Land, Jalan 51a/225, Seksyen 51a, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 12pm-10pm.