And the moment I have been waiting for.. Kampachi comes to my hood!
It is no secret that I love Japanese food. So, it is also no secret either, that I complain endlessly that most of the great Japanese joints are located in KL.
Well.. this week, I had a lot to be happy about. You see, Kampachi, one of my favourite Japanese outlets, has come to PJ!
Its latest restaurant has opened shop it Plaza 33, the new extension of the highly successful Jaya 33.. and all the PJ folk say.. Oo-Oo!
Yes indeed, Sushi lovers will be ecstatic with the debut of Hotel Equatorial group’s much-lauded Kampachi restaurant, that is now here in the satellite city of Petaling Jaya, and whilst it looks a lot like the Kampachi in Troika (great quality cuisine and all that jazz), there is also a new point in its favour, especially for those who like their happy hour tipple. This place has an amazing selection of Sakes and Sake cocktails, so be sure to unwind here one of these days, especially when the afterwork traffic proves too much for you.
And one thing which struck me was just how large this restaurant was – Kampachi Jaya 33 can seat 198 persons, has a stylish bar area at the entrance and also a swanky main dining area. The overall design is the epitome of chic – traditional Japanese materials, such as specially imported floor and wall tiles, decorative paper and other finishes, are applied in sleek contemporary ways to create a sophisticated, modern look.
The well-stocked bar features rows of slender bamboo poles suspended above several unique seating “pods” that can be rotated for added privacy or to face a neighbouring pod to accommodate larger groups.
A large sugidama or sake ball made out of cedar twigs, traditionally hung over the door of sake breweries to signal the new arrival of sake to customers and outside restaurants as a sign that high quality sake is served on premise, can be seen at the entrance of Kampachi – you can see our model Haze, taking a good long whiff out of the cedar (no, it did not make her sneeze). In addition, a wide selection of cocktails, wine, shochu and other beverages are available at the bar.
I like to spend my time at the sushi counter because it’s just so damn beautiful to see the chefs work with their ice cold hands. The bar is so gorgeous it makes me want to weep – intricate hand-made Japanese paper that appears to float overhead are just a sight for sore eyes. A teppanyaki counter is also pretty amazing, accentuated with intricate hand-cut panels made by expert wood-working artisans.
There are three private rooms (one of which is a traditional tatami room) available, each with its own distinctive aesthetics. A particular highlight of one of these rooms is a special show kitchen concealed by a moveable panel where special omakase meals can be prepared right before the guests! You can see the chef (but cannot touch) as he slices the sashimi with great precision.
First, Executive Chef Looi Weng Leong, introduces himself and the dishes.
Then the chef starts to prepare our Sashimi dish..
He flays and slices the raw Striped Jack with great precision
Shima Aji Sashimi… perfectly presented and perfectly fresh!
Sake Udders? No.. Sake contraption that keeps us all happy throughout dinner..
Wagyu Teppanyaki – grilled Australian Wagyu
The perfect blush.. too bad there was so little of it. I could have eaten an entire Wagyu cow.
Check out this shallow sake cup..
It cute receptacle was for the Nigori-zake – a cloudy sake that looks as it does, because it has not been pressed fully from the fermenting rice solids. The “clouds”are nothing more than unfermented rice solids deliberately left floating around inside. There are several styles or forms that nigori-zake can take, but mainly the nigori-zake is sweet and smooth and creamy in texture. I really like it. And though the nigori-zake does not offer the subtlety and refinement of good premium sake, it really does grow on you. It kind of reminds me of toddy. Less strong smelling of course.
Ankimo Beko An – Pan seared Anglerfish Liver with Simmered Radish
I soon realised that Anglerfish Liver is really Foie Gras in disguise. Japanese Foie.. how divine!
Aburi Sushi – Seared sushi of Anago (conger eel), Shake Harasu(salmon belly) and Hotate (scallop)
We were told to eat it in this sequence – the Hotate, then the Shake Harasu, then finally the Anago, and we could see why. Each mouthful topped the next. What an awesome experience .Who could possibly go back to eating Unagi, when there is Anago!
Shima Aji Atama Shiru – Striped Jack Miso Soup
Loved this low salt version of the Miso… with big chucks of fatty fish in it, it was worth slurping down to the last drop.
garlic rice – garlic to ward away evil, and rice, so that I can run my marathon on Sunday!
Momo – Japanese Peach.. so good that you will go… mo-mo! (more.. get it? :P)
The Return of The Famous Kampachi Sunday Buffet..
Many regular customers of the Kampachi have lamented the absence of the legendary Kampachi Sunday Buffet Lunch at Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur ever since that hotel closed for re-development in March 2012. Well, have no fear.. the buffet is back! And back with a vengeance – that’s right folks.. the Sunday Buffet Lunches are back! And all the PJ people go.. Oo-Oo!
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Add: Kampachi P1-02, First Floor, Plaza@Jaya33, Jalan Kemajuan, Seksyen 13, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. open daily for lunch from 12.00 noon to 3.00 pm; dinner from 6.00 pm to 11.00 pm. The Kampachi bar – open till 12.00am nightly. The Sunday Buffet Lunch is RM118++ (adults); RM68++ (children below 10). For reservations, call: +60 3 7931 6938 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Other standalone Kampachi The Troika (Tel: +60 3 2181 2282), Kampachi Pavilion (Tel: +60 3 2148 9608) Johor Premium Outlets (Tel: +60 7 590 9277)