Surrounded with large windows and bricks, Greenhouse by Muir is a fresh new concept that is situated by Gleneagles Hospital. Gaining inspiration and its namesake from the Scottish-American environmentalist, John Muir, they deliver “the idea of Environmental Philosophy & Environmental Ethics through the love for food”. Lush bushes and trees line the perimeter of the area, providing shade for the customers. The building houses an array of options, but their food hall, Kuroshio, is the shining star. While Japanese restaurants usually offer the same things – a counter at the bar, a menu that sells vaguely western “Japanese” dishes, and thin slices of fish – Kuroshio breathes new life into the concept of fast dining in an authentic way.
Ropes and wood adorn the walls and ceilings of Kuroshio, which give the place a warm and homely feel. Many of the customers are families, though people from neighboring office building come during off-peak times to grab a bite. The idea is simple: there’s a hot and cold food section, and you grab a tab with a number that corresponds with your desired order. At the register, your tabs are charged, and you can then proceed to your table. This efficient method allows people to order at their own pace, without compromising taste or quality. As a Japanese living in Malaysia, I’ve encountered a fair share of disappointing dishes that masquerade as authentic sushi, so my hopes were not high as I waited for my meal. Kuroshio’s menu is comprised of different dishes. We ordered 10 pieces of sushi and assorted sashimi, along with a tempura don and kaisendon for the table. I was surprised – the sashimi was cut in thick pieces, and the rice was light and fluffy. I could tell that the tempura was fresh, as it still retained its warmth and crisp, which usually gets lost after a few minutes. The food was aesthetically plated with a tremendous amount of care and detail. The miso soup was a bit richer than expected, possibly to appeal to the tongues that are used to Malaysia’s rich cuisine. It’s a shame that the condiments that were offered were the only aspects that slipped in quality. They came in plastic wraps, with a very artificial color and taste, and did not do justice to the food. Nonetheless, I was satisfied with my dishes, and amounted to around 135RM for our table of 3. I was very comfortable with the price range, given the quantity and quality that Kuroshio delivered.
The concept of using self-service gives people the choice to take their time and explore the area, or come in for a quick lunch or dinner, and its minimalism allows for focus on quantity without compromising quality. If Kuroshio is not your thing, Greenhouse by Muir also offers Evendough Bakery, where an array of Japanese pastries are sold, Brycg, an eatery that offers plates from New Orleans, and soon, Minu, a contemporary Japanese restaurant. For extra variety, there is also a stand that sells Japanese snacks and goods, and there is even a florist available. The space is still relatively young, having been established in 2015, so there is still room to improve and expand. If you are looking for a place that offers variety at a relatively low cost, head over to Greenhouse by Muir in Ampang between 10AM-10PM on weekdays, and 10AM-11:30PM on weekends.