Tag / wagyu
The name Kampachi is not foreign to fans of Japanese cuisine in Malaysia, especially to those who gravitates towards the higher end establishments. Starting as restaurants within Equatorial hotels, the Kampachi brand now spread outside from its confine and can be found at several other locations.
The latest branch being at Plaza 33 in Petaling Jaya, and we were lucky enough to to sample the food and drinks at this fine restaurant a couple weeks ago in a private food review session with a few other like minded bloggers.
Kampachi at Jaya 33, check out the sake ball
Right by the side of the restaurant main door hung a ball of something that can be easily assumed as a hive of geometrically evolved species of bee, but is in fact, a “sake ball”. A ball made of cedar twigs traditionally hung over the door of sake breweries to signify new arrival of (high quality) sake to customers.
Appropriate here as Kampachi prides itself in stocking one of the largest selections of Japanese sake, including some hard to find “cult” sakes from exceptional breweries that are made available in Malaysia exclusively by Kampachi.
open kitchen concept, with plenty of wine and sake
Kampachi has certainly spent a lot of effort in creating a very striking interior of the 198 person capacity restaurant. A lot of traditional Japanese materials, such Japanese paper, imported floor and wall tiles, and more are applied in a contemporary way to make up a sophisticated and modern look.
I especially like the bamboo seating pods that can seat maybe up to 5-6 person that can be rotated for added privacy.
In the interest of not bothering paying customers with camera flash & loud chatters, we had the session in one of the three private rooms. Interestingly, these rooms come with a private sushi kitchen of sort, concealed by a movable panel that kinda reminds me of those cabinets that conceal TVs in the 80s.
shima aji sashimi (raw striped jack)
Our review session was of the omakase meal (priced at RM 220), which means “I’ll leave it to you”, or degustation menu in Japanese. Typically you get the freshest seasonal ingredients and chef’s favourite dishes this way.
Our first dish was the Shima Aji Sashimi, or raw Striped Jack.
Chef Looi, who carved the fish right before our eyes behind that private kitchen, told us that the very fish beautifully presented to us was still in Japan the very same morning.
To describe the fish as merely “fresh” would be an understatement. I can’t criticise any aspect of the sashimi - taste, fat content, and visual appeal were all simply spot on.
the sashimi, shake kawa salad (green vege with crispy salmon skin & salmon roe)
Cold sake is dispense from a special holder that keeps ice separate as to not dilute the drinks. While the mechanism is visually similar to milking a cow, you don’t need to squeeze or suck, just a gentle tap will do.
Our second dish was Shake Kawa Salad, green vegetable with crispy salmon skin and salmon roe. I particularly like the very thinly sliced crispy salmon skin, made available from the 2-3 whole salmon consumed here each day.
wagyu teppanyaki (grilled Australian wagyu beef)
Before continuing with more seafood, we were served with Wagyu Teppanyaki, the beef sourced from Australia, grilled medium rare, and served with the unique Kampachi truffle sauce.
The sauce is a blend of Tosa Shoyu and mushroom broth with a hint of black truffle and olive oil. I usually don’t have my beef with any condiment, but this sauce managed to make it just that much better. My only complain is that they don’t sell the sauce in bottles.
unfiltered sake, ankimo beko an (pan-seared angler fish liver with simmered radish)
In French cuisine, foie gras often signifies luxury, and in Japanese food, the equivalent would be Angler fish liver, or Ankimo Beko An.
The liver makes up quite a large part of the fish, has a very rich texture. Simmered radish is used to expertly mask any fishy taste the liver might carry to balance this unique ingredient. This was the 3rd time I had ankimo, first was in Vietnam, and second at Hokkaido Ichiba restaurant.
Following the cold sake, we were served warm, unfiltered sake. The milky color is pretty unique for usually clear looking sake, and yet was definitely smooth and leave a feeling of warmth and comfort in the stomach.
aburi sushi (seared sushi) – anago (conger eel), shake harasu (salmon belly), hotate (scallop)
miso soup with striped jack bones
What’s a omakase dinner without sushi?
Three types of Aburi Sushi (seared sushi) were chosen for the night – Anago (conger eel), Shake Harasu (salmon belly), and Hotate (scallop). Each were seared just very lightly and still partially raw at the bottom, the first time I tried sushi prepared this way and I liked it.
Miso soup was made with the bones from our first dish, and the striped jack definitely contributed to the extra sophistication in the soup that would have been quite boring otherwise.
garlic fried rice, Japanese peach, and ciki enjoy the fruits
We specially asked for garlic fried rice just cause Ciki needed some carb for her half marathon preparation, and I was glad to go along with one as well. Most definitely the best garlic fried rice I’ve had, it’s hard to explain, there weren’t any magical ingredients, just plain old rice, garlic, eggs, and such. Execution was the key, great job by the chefs.
Instead of fancy desserts, we had a couple slices of Japanese peach.
These fruits were priced at RM 66 per peach, and “WHAT?!!!??” was my initial reaction. Then I took a bite, and it was a realization and instant understanding on why and how a fruit barely the size of my fist can cost more than 4 hours of solid domestic housework. You get what you paid for, it was excellent and now I’m staring at this piece of apple on my desk while writing this and dreading it.
Haze, KY, and our parting drinks – sake bomb
As for drinks, we started out with the pink colored cocktail - Blushing Maiko (trainee Geisha) to get us started prior to dinner.
After the cold and warm sake, it was a mixture of green tea with Hakushu Single Malt Whisky, interpretation of Baileys the Japanese way perhaps?
We concluded the night with Sake Bomb - shot glasses of sake lined up atop beer glasses and knocked down with Domino effects, it was quite a show and I suspect the bartender has done this a hundred times probably with water and tea before perfecting the skill. We were well impressed, and of course, had one for the road.
It was a great dinner, and I want to go back.
P/S: The famous Kampachi Sunday Buffet is back and now available exclusively at the Plaza 33 outlet, priced at RM 118++ for adults and RM 68++ for children below 10.
P1-02, First Floor
Plaza @Jaya 22
Jalan Kemajuan, Seksyen 13
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.10988, 101.63787
Tel : 03-7931 6938
Hours: 12-3pm for lunch, 6-11pm for dinner
Haze and I both knows how to enjoy a piece of good beef, but unfortunately good beef are usually only available at very up class restaurants (such as Prime or Mandarin Grill); and speaking from experience, those from the more affordable places often disappoints.
Then there’s Las Vacas, a no-frill restaurant and retail that offers prime cuts of beef and lamb at very decent price.
Las Vacas at Kelana Jaya
Las Vacas is basically a meat shop with professionally trained butchers and a kitchen. They stock a wide selection of meat and you can either buy raw to grill at home, or dine in.
There’s Angus, Wagyu, grain fed, tenderloin, ribeye, sirloin, lamb shoulder, and even salami, sausages, and burger patties.
grain fed tenderloin and wagyu ribeye
We went there for the first time a few weeks ago, I ordered a medium rare tenderloin, while Haze asked for her Wagyu ribeye to be prepared rare. Prices of meat is indicated at the display per 100 gram, and normal cut is usually 280-300 grams, though you can always choose a bigger/smaller portion according to appetite.
There’s a cooking fee (RM 15 if I remember correctly) on top of the price of the meat, and you get a small serving of salad (quite forgettable) and a piece of pretty decent garlic bread on the side.
love that my tenderloin was cooked to perfection – medium rare
The meat did take a while to get prepared, and I believe it was because they actually let it sit before serving to ensure they are properly moist. There’s Dijon mustard and A1 steak sauce if you like, but I love my steak as is with nothing but basica salt & pepper seasoning to fully enjoy the unadulterated taste of meat.
The result was excellent, and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Dinner ended up at around RM 180 including a couple bottles of premium carbonated drinks. Pretty reasonable for what we got, will visit again.
No.23, Jalan SS5A/11 Kelana Jaya
47301 Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.095934, 101.604719
Tel: 03-7874 0711
Hours: Tues – Sunday, 10am – 10pm
Ten Fine Dining Restaurant is back, relocated from their previous location at Publika (where I got to meet Iron Chef Sakai in 2011). The new location at Marc Residence replaced the lot that Delicious used to operate. Right by KLCC, it has much better visibility than being in the maze that is Publika.
I was fortunate enough to be one of the few who was invited to a review session at Ten last week.
Ten Japanese Fine Dining at Marc’s Residence
The floor plan isn’t exactly conventional. There’s a long dining hall with smaller private rooms on the sides, with another big classy private dining hall that can house some 20 people at right side of the entrance. The interior decoration certainly has a flavor of modern Japanese styling but one that does not stray too far from the tradition, as evident with the stone garden at the other end of the restaurant.
unique Japanese Dango, cocktails
Our review is on the four course degustation lunch menu that starts with the unique Japanese Dango made with seasonal vegetables filled with French foie gras.
The three dango (or dumplings) were made from carrot, sweet potato, and yam. The taste was subtle yet exquisite, with the bits of foie gras enhancing the overall flavor. Katsuobushi (smoked skipjack tuna) and leek shavings giving the soup an extra touch of sophistication, a good way to start our lunch.
assorted ocean fresh sushi & sashimi
The second course had a simple description on the menu – assorted ocean fish sushi and sashimi. On the plate these beautifully crafted delights:
- grilled baramundi and sushi rice with salmon roe
- slow cooked scallop with chili and plum paste
- poached alfonsino fish marinated with natto soy sauce
- simmered white clam with sticky egg sauce and grilled sushi rice
- Otoro (tuna belly) sashimi and tuna tartar with a hint of truffle flavor
- geoduck with Italian leaf soy
- anago (salt water eel) with black garlic vinegar
- Tasmanian salmon sushi with mascarpone sauce
- Tasmanian lobster sushi with deep fried leek soy sauce
It was hard to choose a favorite, and if I had to pick one I’d probably choose the otoro, with truffle flavor really adding to the already superb cut of tuna belly. While I personally dislike natto somehow worked, and I even helped my table-neighbor finished hers.
This was by far the most sophisticated plate of sushi/sashimi I’ve ever tasted. If you’re a fan of Japanese food, this is a must try.
teppanyaki styled Miyazaki A5 wagyu beef
Our third course was another masterpiece. Teppanyaki styled Miyazaki A5 Wagyu beef served with Tasmanian garlic chips and daikon.
I asked for mine to be prepared rare (chef recommended only rare or medium-rare), and it was truly glorious. A bit of freshly grated wasabi complemented the meat beautifully. Teppanyaki and ponzu sauce is available, but to truly enjoy a piece of red meat, none were really required. The garlic chips were great to have in between those chunks of pure heaven.
Ten’s specialty desserts
The sad thing is, every meal has to eventually come to a conclusion, and the fourth course was a dual of Ten’s specialty desserts. It was perhaps impossible to keep up to the excellence of the previous three courses, but dessert lovers would not be disappointed with the bitter sweet chocolates and the sweet & sour combination of plumb and jelly.
Nana, Michelle, KY, Chenelle, Tian Chad
Ten Japanese Fine Dining will have some pretty stiff competition in a few other restaurants within the vicinity. Ozeki Tokyo Cuisine offers great lunch value and is just a stone’s throw away at Menara TA, Fukuya at Jalan Delima can never be discounted for fine Japanese foods, and Fukuhara too is a fine alternative if you’re looking for a good evening of Japanese delights.
Ultimately though, I think Ten does manage to set itself apart with it’s modern offerings and pretty unique menu. Teppanyaki course is at RM 200 and RM 300, Sushi course at RM 300, and Omakase (degustation) course is priced at RM 300 per person.
Ten Japanese Fine Dining
A-G-1, Marc Residence, Ground Floor,
No.3 Jalan Pinang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.155396, 101.710203
Tel: 03-2161 5999
Hours: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 6 pm onward, closed on Mondays
Ah… red meat. The “newest” type of meat for me.
When I was growing up as a boy in Penang, I can’t recall an instance when mom cooks beef. Actually, due to her staunch believe in Kwan Yin and everything fantastic in the most confusing religion that is Taoism, she doesn’t even eat beef.
My very first experience in beef was probably that one time when my late dad took me to a beef noodle place (there was probably less than a handful of such stalls in Penang then) when I was in my teens.
Little did I know that years later, I’d have tasted some of the best beef there is. It goes to show that past performance is not indicative of future results… or something.
The Restaurant at The Club, Saujana Resort
Anyway, lets get back on topic.
I was invited to the somewhat confusingly named restaurant – The Restaurant at the equally curiously named hotel – The Club Saujana Resorts with the promise of Wagyu beef.
Wagyu beef basically refers to several breeds of cattle that is famous for their intense marbling characteristics, in another word, layers of unsaturated fat in the meat that provides very rich flavor. Wagyu is often regarded as some of the finest beef in the world.
The famed Kobe beef is a type of Wagyu beef, but only available within Japan and Macau.
our menu and chef Alexander Waschl
As for the hotel, The Club Suajana Resort is a very classy boutique style hotel that oversees the golf course with its lush greenery. Despite the misleading name, it is open to public (no membership or anything like that is needed.)
The Restaurant too reflects the same classy standard, with tastefully done interior and an alfresco dining area by the pool that provides a really nice ambiance. I felt severely under dressed when I was there in my collared t-shirt and jeans.
Our dinner was the degustation menu prepared by Chef Alexander Waschl from Austria, who was previously the Sous Chef at The Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Switzerland and was responsible for creation of the menus at the Kronenstubli Gourmet Restaurant which was awarded 16 Gault Millau points, the equivalent of a Michelin Star.
spiced Wagyu beef tartar, Wagyu beef carpaccio
Our first introduction to Chef Alexander’s creation came in the form of spiced Wagyu beef tartar (RM 128, ala carte) with piece of crispy potato roesti and pan-roasted quail’s egg with sour cream. The raw beef was rich and flavorful that the use of raw egg is unnecessary, which is where the quail’s egg filled in perfectly. Crispy potato roesti provided a welcoming change of texture too.
The first dish from the degustation menu was Wagyu beef carpaccio, a generous strip with Parmesan cream, Parmesan shavings, extra virgin oil and aged balsamic. The aged balsamic was wonderful, as with the Parmesan shavings.
The beef however, was a slightly too thick and a little difficult to chew if too big a chunk is fed into your mouth at one go. Don’t get me wrong, it was very good beef and chef explained that they cut it raw instead of frozen, and the serving size was to provide a good value for diners. I thought perhaps two thinner slices of beef would improve this dish a bit.
Wagyu beef cheek consommé
Next to come was the Wagyu beef cheek consommé, or in laymen’s term, clear soup that’s made from stock with ground meat and mirepoix (mixture of onion, carrot, & celery), among other things.
The one that was served to us was actually a two in one - consommé with ravioli and vegetable balls, and a saparate ravioli with minced meat in creamy sauce. The former light and subtle, and latter thick, strong, and flavorful. The combination worked pretty well though the essence of Wagyu beef is perhaps less apparent in this dish.
braised Wagyu beef cheek
Braised Wagyu beef cheek came next. A fried wantan with beef cheek filling sitting atop a slab of braised Wagyu cheek and oven roast vegetables. While the wantan was an interesting invention, I particularly love the slab of braised beef, it was so soft and smooth you could cut it with a blunt butter knife. Melt in your mouth type of goodness, I am missing it.
This reminds me of the similar dish at Tanzini Upper Deck, but I think executed better here.
Wagyu beef striploin
The main course was Wagyu beef striploin with black pepper sauce, garlic beans, horseradish moussline. Contrasting the beef cheek, striploin has a firmer texture but also with a richer taste to it that is released in the process of chewing. The black pepper sauce wasn’t overpowering, and the meat certainly did not disappoint. It was as good as it looked in the photo.
chef Alexander, dessert, PinkStilettos & Coco Wen (Hotel Manager), Suanie & KY
We concluded the dinner with a serving of very rich chocolate cake with raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries, and a scoop of raspberry sorbet freshly made with PacoJet (I want one!). The dessert was more than up to task as a conclusion to this dinner, as rich and as sinful as the dishes before it.
The 5 course Wagyu beef promotion at The Club Saujana Resort is available for the entire month of July 2012 and is priced at RM 350++ per person. Ala carte menu available too.
The Club Saujana Resort,
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,
GPS: 3.10781, 101.57930
Tel: 03-7806 7000
It’s been a while that this blog features any fancy dining experience, so the invitation from Tanzini Upper Deck came just at the right moment.
Situated at the 29th floor in G Tower, Tanzini Upper Deck features a double volume (ermm.. aka very high ceiling) dining room complete with custom made star-lights which. Coupled with the full view of the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers, the ambiance is about as good as one can wish for.
Tanzini Upper Deck at G Tower
Tanzini Upper Deck only offers 4-6 course degustation menu and private functions, if you’re looking for ala carte dining, that would be Tanzini just a level below.
While waiting for everyone to arrive, we started off the night with a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne, a non-vintage champagne comprises 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier. I’m not exactly a wine critic, but the fruity aroma and full texture of this drinks makes it one of the better champagne I remember having.
Lollipop Scallops, Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane”
We tried three types of appetizers, starting with a daring display of creativity in the lollipop scallops. It was in essence, grilled scallop on a stick encased with caramelized sugar. Sweet and savory, a departure from the normal preparation which tends to go towards the salty side. Interesting nonetheless.
Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane” is inspired by Japanese mixed metal patterns. In this instance, using halibut and salmon that results in the orange/white pattern. Served with house pickled ginger, lemon grass-calamansi granita, candied hojiso (shiso leaf), and horse radish. The taste was quite distinctly Japanese for me, and in a very good way.
Black Truffle Custard
Another choice of appetizer is the black truffle custard that comes in three parts – truffled egg-mushi, a squid ink cone with sweet corn, and finally, prawn noodle with trout roe.
This was almost a 3-in-1 dish. I love the truffled egg (kinda reminds me of the foie gras egg in Gu Yue Tien, though they are different) and enjoyed the textures of prawn noodle with trout roe. The final third of the dish though, was overpowered by the sweetness of the corn that very little hint of squid ink was apparent.
“BLT” soup – bacon marmalade, lettuce m-sponge, tempura soft shell crab
Next up was a choice between the two soups we tried.
Chef Eugene’s interpretation of “BLT” was our first soup. Veloute de tomates, bacon marmalade, 30″ lettuce m-sponge, and tempura soft shell crab.
I’ve never tasted bacon, lettuce, and tomato quite this way before, and I gotta say it was very impressive and daring. The soup was like a very supped up (pardon the pun) version of tomato soup. It was quite delicious.
Smoked Oyster Tea
Should you choose the smoked oyster tea as the choice of soup instead, you won’t be disappointed. This dish was a demonstration of the perfect harmony in consomme of oyster, fenugreek (herb), smoked trout roe, ginkgo, and oyster kara-age (similar to tempura).
The soup is poured just before eating, and rightly so, because 2 minutes later the crispy skin of oyster kara-age would’ve become soggy.
Ox Tongue Yakitori and House Muscovy Duck
After appetizer and soup, we moved onto starters.
Ox tongue yakitori and house-cured muscovy duck were the two dishes to be chosen from the menu.
On one hand, the fancier ox tongue dish comprises of miso-ginger infused ox tongue skewer, fennel in Yuzu dressing, asparagus kimchi, and fried béarnaise. The ox tongue was very good in its delicate taste and texture, fried bearnaise was interesting, but the asparagus kimchi though, was a surprise that wasn’t exactly in a good way. I felt that it was a little bit out of place.
the duck dish, on the other hand, was excellent! Plum sauce, pop rocks & melon galia, truffled potato stuffed bok choi, and litchi glass are the ingredients. Chef Eugene got this one perfectly executed, it just tasted very very good.
Redefined “Aussie Pie”
We had an intermezzo in the form of some sorbet which acted as a palette cleanser, after that was the main dishes.
Out of the 3 choices, I selected the Redefined “Aussie Pie” - glazed hilside farm lamb loin in house stock, kataifi, truffled mashed peas, vegemite orb, and sautéed vegetables. This dish was another display of art, and the good news was, it actually tasted rather good. The lamb loin was almost a little too dry for my liking, but that was just me nitpicking a little.
“Uncle Sam” Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Desconstructed English Man’s Treat
Haze had the “Uncle Sam” Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks - slow braised wagyu in rye stock, grilled king trumpets, dark chocolate crouton, and seasonal vegetable. This turned out to be one of the weaker dish, and we felt that it was actually a little bit of a waste to braise a good piece of meat. Truth be told, it was a disappointment.
The third main dish was the Deconstructed English Man’s Treat, basically chef’s interpretation of the classic fish and chips, with fillet of marbled goby fish & carbonized batter, violet potato, glazed savoy cabbage, texturized garlic oil, and 62 Celcius organic egg yolk. Eiling, who ordered this dish, had this to say:
“This is a very complicated dish but I like the contrasting textures and the egg yolk certainly is a unique addition.”
Sweet Ending: Flamed Popcorn Gelato
The dinner ended with flamed popcorn gelato – hazel streusel, bruleed banana, black elderberry glazed fuji apples, and salted caramel toast.
The presentation of the dessert really placed an exclamation mark to the chef’s creativity. It was served with the smoke from dry ice overflowing the table, and some Grand Marnier poured onto the glazed apple for the flame. The spirit did make the dessert a bit bitter, but I actually love it bitter so that suited me well (not so for the girls).
KY, Eiling, Haze at Tanzini Upper Deck
All throughout the dinner, chef Eugene came out and explained the meaning and intricacy of each dishes, which made a world of difference. Service too was excellent throughout (but this is an invited food review, so your mileage may vary).
Most importantly, you might ask, is the price:
RM 155++ 4 course dinner
- Chef’s Special
- Choose one out of Appetizers, soups, or starters
- Choice of Mains
RM 185++ 5 course dinner
- Chef’s Special
- Choose 2 out of Appetizers, soups, or starters
- Choice of Mains
RM 215++ 6 course dinner
- Chef’s Special
- Choice of Appetizers
- Choice of Soups
- Choice of Starters
- Choice of Mains
Tanzini Upper Deck
Level 29, GTower
199 Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.1590, 101.7200
Tel: 03-2168 1899