在 Bacchusj 的意式美食清单里,上瘾就是这么一回事!Who says Asians can’t do good Italian food? Just ask Chef Moka!

[编辑 Editor 吕大人   英译 Translator 刘大人   摄影 Photographer 刘大人]

当大人把刚於 Bacchusj 所品尝的美食靓照摆上社交媒体时,嗜食的友人留言道,「这或许是新山最好味的牛扒了。」能把餐饮业巨头等级的老饕引出并如此盛赞,Bacchusj 里精于日、意、法三国精致料理的日籍主厨 (兼老板) 功力怎可小觑?

When we first shared among our friends the Matsuzaka Beef we just had on social media, the unanimous reaction, including thumbs up from some of the seasoned beef aficionados and food connoisseurs that Bacchusj serves one of the best steaks in town is testimony enough on the quality of their dishes, and the pride of their chef-owners from Japan!

依斯干达公主港国际餐巷中的异国酒食风情有多盛,想已无需赘言,信手拈来自是不会令老饕们无功而返。当夕阳落幕后,喧嚣纷至沓来。巷子末端的意大利餐馆 Bacchusj 倒是有股众人皆醉我独醒之姿,选址宁静,大人心想这与当初 Chef Moka (米澤基司 Motokazu Yonezawa) 举家离乡到异国落脚立业的决定,有着一种不约而同的勇气。

Puteri Harbour today is fast becoming a prominent location lined with several “atas” properties and neighbourhood of high land value, as well as home to many characteristic cafes and restaurants. Having received glowing reviews about a Japanese couple with an Italian heart and soul, we were also curious about how they ended up serving their menu of Italian fare in Johor Bahru, at this far end of the promenade at Puteri Harbour.

Bacchus 巴克科斯(拉丁语:Bacchus,希腊语:Βάκχος)是罗马神话中的葡萄与葡萄酒之神、植物之神及生育与庆典之神。既以葡萄酒神命名,当然也得以真功夫致敬!满是葡萄美酒的橱窗中可见真章,原来 Chef Moka 与太太 Noriko (米澤宗子) 皆为受意大利严格培训与认证的合格侍酒师!看官们应不难联想紧连着 Bacchus 中的 j 寓意着啥了吧?「那可是 Chef Moka 的家乡日本与柔佛的第一个字母噢!」

In case you are wondering, Bacchusj (pronounced, ba-cus-jay) drew its inspiration from Bacchus, the Roman version of the Greek god Dionysus. Usually depicted as a middle-aged man with a beard and a full head of hair that’s been crowned with an intricate headpiece filled with grapes and vines, legend has it that the god of agriculture and wine and the son of Zeus wandered the earth, showing people how to grow vines and process the grapes for wine. Associated with celebration, Bacchus almost always had a procession filled with followers who would dance while he made wine and it’s this revelry that prompted the owners to name the restaurant with a “j“, presumably paying homage to their home country and their new-found home in Johor!

环顾 Bacchusj 四周,全室以蒂芬妮蓝、希腊蓝与向日葵黄的地中海色彩呼应典雅的木器,鹅黄灯下甚有异域风情。户外空间颇大,而室内亦备有可二合为一的大小型包厢:

  • 小型4人包厢 Private room (4 pax) – 最低消费 min. spending RM800
  • 大型6人包厢 Private room (6 pax) – 最低消费 min. spending RM1,000

Clad with a baby blue close to Tiffany blue, with its secluded location adding to the cosy ambience especially for diners who wish to enjoy their meal in relative privacy, Bacchusj has a choice of three seatings. The main dining room can seat 16 pax, while there are also two smaller private rooms that host 4 and 6 pax respectively (with minimum spending between RM800 to RM1,000). In addition, the marina terrace can hold a further 31 people.

 

Chef Moka & 妻子 Noriko 的有缘千里来相会
A fairytale encounter in Florence

来自横滨的 Chef Moka 不仅是合格侍酒师,一身好厨艺亦源于早年负笈意大利佛罗伦斯及拿坡里,说起与妻子 Noriko 的结缘,双颊不自觉牵出温柔的微笑弧度。有缘千里来相会,那些年原在日本并不相识的两人,竟因深深着迷於探索酒食而在异乡浪漫邂逅,尔后夫唱妇随携女迢遥而来到南方之境,转眼也有五年的光景了。

「我们的脸书专页里有许多不在餐谱里的即兴佳肴噢!」正拿着餐谱翻阅的大人,被好客的经理小小提示了一回,赶紧拿起手机挖宝。

A native from Yokohama, Japan, Chef Moka passion for Italian cuisine took him to the Italian city of Naples and Florence, where he met the lovely Noriko. We guessed their shared passion for fine Italian wine and dine brought them together. Subsequently, the couple decided to set up their own restaurant outside of Japan and were encouraged to do so in Singapore, before their consultants helped them to see the vast potential in opening their Italian restaurant in Johor. The benefits of quality education opportunities presented to their daughter in Iskandar Puteri also swayed their decision towards JB. In 2014, Bacchusj opened for business in Bandar Uda Utama, before anchoring at the more scenic waterfront promenade in Puteri Harbour!

As he explained his affinity with his wife, Chef Moka pointed to the two certificates that were awarded by the AIS (Associazione Italiana Sommeliers) in his name and that of Noriko.

 

Antipasto
Insalata di rucola e fette di pere con gorgonzola

「前菜原来是大人最爱的芝麻菜啊!」餐谱上皆附意大利文,大人一时还回不过神来。这道以微苦的芝麻菜搭上薄梨片、奶酪与腰果果仁碎粒的开胃前菜 Insalata di rucola e fette di pere con gorgonzola (Wild Rocket and Sliced Pear with Gorgonzola Cheese),数种浅淡的滋味匀和而来的香气,清润丰美,周末还没来我就在嘴里踏青呢!

Our starter of Insalata di rucola e fette di pere con gorgonzola is undoubtedly a mouthful when it comes to the pronunciation, but we had no issues with our appetiser and found this mustard-flavoured leafy green to be very fresh and not overly bitter. Overall, the salad is refreshing with sliced pear, and the gorgonzola cheese is a welcome change from ordinary parmesan; not to mention a healthier and tastier alternative too.

顶级松阪牛肉
Matsuzaka Beef A5

日本三大和牛:松阪牛、神戶牛、近江牛的魅力,让许多老饕光听名号就已胃液翻滚不能自拔。长年累月听着古典音乐与被按摩伺养的A-5等级松阪牛,肉质可想而知,身价自是不菲。「这重达5公斤的松阪牛,每100克的价格约为RM400!」捧着RM20,000的顶级牛肉,心情应该好忐忑吧!

Beef Ahoy!!! Check out this Matsusaka Wagyu beef, also known as “The Queen of Dignity”, is recognised as one of the top three beef in Japan and are typically fed with beer & wheat, receive massages and listen to Mozart’s symphonies for relaxation! Shiok lor, these cattle have better lives than us, no wonder they can fetch a hefty price of nearly RM400 per 100g! This slab of meat on the tray alone weighs about 5kg and easily cost nearly RM20K!!! No way are we going to let it slip through our butter fingers LOL!

Antipasto
Carpaccio of Japanese Beef

「入口即化,人间美味!」还有什么形容词能比这更传神?Carpaccio of Japanese Beef 以数毫米的松阪牛前腰脊肉薄片搭上芝麻菜、橄榄,还有那画龙点睛的芝士,亦可撒上些胡椒、盐粒与柠檬,「五味同在嘴里争宠,大人好幸福!」

The play on textures is highly commendable, with the Carpaccio of Japanese Beef truly exemplary of this traditional Italian appetiser. Made with the very Matsusaka Wagyu beef striploin, and topped with shaved cheese, olive and wild rockets, the tender yet lean beef contrasts the crunchy green with a waft of subtle aftertaste, and the cheese adding intermittent bursts of dairy flavour giving a mix of bittersweet, sour and savoury in one mouthful. Truly glorious.

Antipasto
Parma Ham & Salami Napoletano

这可是大人从脸书专页里翻找出来的美味 Parma Ham & Salami Napoletano!切成薄片的帕尔马火腿与萨拉米肉肠经久腌制,若要精准形容其咸度,这可是堪比咱们生吃咸鱼😂!「搭酒自是最好不过了。」

Here’s one of our favourite dish of the day, but not necessarily everyone type of meat! The Salami Napoletano was sliced pretty thin and yet remains rich in taste and spiced just right. When we try it, we initially taste all the robust flavour of the pork and aromatic herbs while the chilli is very gradually released reaching a fine crescendo of taste and heat on the palate. Brilliant. On the other hand, the cured Parma Ham added a touch of sophistication to the simplest of dishes, but admittedly the saltiness level is much more overpowering than we thought it might be.

Primo piatto
Spaghetti frutti di mare

搭上特别辣酱后的 Spaghetti frutti di mare (Seafood and Tomato Sauce Spaghetti),入口后的滋味可比肉眼所见更浓郁十倍,「海鲜们都不小心被提味了!😋」

On most occasions, we probably wouldn’t have ordered such a common dish, but we were tempted by the seafood. Boy, we were well-rewarded in this case, as this hearty heap of  Spaghetti frutti di mare is full of crustacean flavours with the noodles cooked al dente – firm enough such that the tomato sauce coated the pasta perfectly!

Carne
Bistecca Alla AUS Wagyu MB6

「原来牛肉与 wasabi 和 mustard 如此搭调!」以五分熟姿态现身的澳洲MB6等级和牛 Bistecca Alla AUS Wagyu MB6 (Australia Wagyu Beef Steak MB6),入口后就知实力多坚强!即便是五分熟仍为软嫩多汁,爆浆感在口中阵阵袭来,招架不住只能老实地叉起这让人沉溺不已的肉香,上瘾就是这么一回事。

Happy cows produce happy meats, right? Their Australian cow-terparts are also having their fair share of the spoils and good life down under indeed. We had our Bistecca Alla AUS Wagyu MB6 with medium doneness, and its beautiful shade of reddish-pink is something that we personally love. While the steak was tasty and tender, we found the gamey flavour to be overpowering at times. That’s when we can sprinkle some sea salt on the beef to neutralise its gaminess or pair it with, surprise surprise, mustard and wasabi! Honto ni oishii yo!

Pizza
Margherita

Pizza Margherita (Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese and Fresh Basil) 郁绿深红,煞是好看!不得不说这罗勒叶真的好能带出食材的香气,微焦的披萨饼皮搭上略咸的芝士与微酸的茄汁,碰着罗勒叶的强大,都得甘拜下风呢!

Our mouths water just from the fresh aroma of tomato, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil of our next dish as it leaves the oven, and we dig into our Pizza Margherita immediately upon serving. From our experience, the “magic” lies in ensuring all sides receive equal char time so that the crust is crackling and crispy to the bite, and its distinctive wood-fired smokiness and crispy charred edges won us over.

Dolce
Semifreddo & Tiramisu

意大利人在制作提拉米苏时鲜少置入酒精,因此亦有正宗的提拉米苏 Tiramisu 其实并不含酒精一说,Bacchusj 的版本正是如此,「这儿的提拉米苏软嫩又带苦劲!总是吃着有酒精版本的在地人反而有点失措。」而浓郁消暑的覆盆莓半冻冰糕 Semifreddo,半为冰淇淋半为甜点的酸甜组合,在本地较鲜为人知,滋味却相当有趣,「咀嚼时还能咬着碎冰呢!」

We have an incredibly soft spot for Tiramisu, and many around us can’t bear the idea of this Italian classic without liquor in the past. However, a trip to lo Stivale (the boot) in 2005 changed all that perception, and we’ve been craving for the original recipe ever since. Nothing fanciful, just plain tasty AND alcohol-free, we highly recommend this original Italian recipe at Bacchusj!

On the other hand, Chef Moka also insisted that we try the Semifreddo, with the berry nodes giving this homemade cold mousse an overall light and refreshing touch, a certainty if we want to clean our palate after a heavy and flavour-packed meal.

相附依偎的日意文化交融让 Bacchusj 的美食清单里,有者美在日式的细腻极致,有者妙在意式的简约独特,来过一回,舌尖就会乐而忘返了。

So, who says Asians can’t do good Italian food? Apparently, Chef Moka has shown his capability at adapting to our local market with his decades of culinary experience working in classic Italian restaurants, and Johoreans are indeed fortunate that this Japanese couple has made JB their home, and hopefully for a long time to come…

 

BacchusJ

Address: LG-18, Lower Ground Floor, Puteri Harbour, Persiaran Puteri Selatan, 79000 Iskandar Puteri, Johor
Reservation: +607-509 6722
Time: Tuesdays – Thursdays and Sundays, 12.00pm – 11.00pm
Time: Fridays & Saturdays 12.00pm – 12.00am (Closed on Mondays)
NON-HALAL

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