It sure seems like KL has a new Omakase place popping up every other month isn’t it?
Before we start, I’d like to quote this from the search result of “omakase vs kaiseki”:
Omakase, another multi-course Japanese meal, is sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably with kaiseki. With omakase, the upcoming courses can be adjusted to suit the diner depending on their reaction to the food, whereas kaiseki is a prescribed set of courses that is dependent on the seasonal produce.
Now that we’re clear of the distinction, in this review we’re going to examine Kintsugi, one of the latest Kaiseki restaurant in KL that I was fortunate enough to have been invited to for a tasting session earlier this month.
Kintsugi Kuala Lumpur is situated at Isetan MidValley Gardens Mall and helm by Michelin Starred Chef Jeff Okada Ramsey. I’ve previously tasted Chef Ramsey’s creations at Babe KL half a decade ago, also part of Clearwater group, the same people behind Kintsugi.
The name Kintsugi refers to the centuries-old Japanese craft of golden joinery, which is what the restaurant take its inspiration from.
Anyway, let’s get to the kaiseki course we had for the night.
Our evening started out with a house brewed donburoku, the cloudy sake that’s made by chef Okada himself. A great way to prepare the taste buds.
Next on the course was Kinmedai Nanbanzuke with black pepper, the bite size appetizer that’s not dissimilar to amuse-bouche. I enjoyed the kinmedai’s balanced taste with the seasoning that didn’t overpowers it. If you’ve seen those red fish with huge golden eyes in Japanese restaurant, this is it.
The Soy Braised Ankimo with Salmon and Pickled Plum was another delightful dish, the monk fish liver is often called foie gras of the sea, and the taste certainly backed up this claim. Brought back the memory of me having this for the first time in Vietnam more than 15 years ago.
I think no Japanese course meal is complete without raw fish, right? The special menu certainly did not disappoint in this department with the Three Types of Premium Seasonal Sashimi served here. 2-week aged Nagasaki chutoro (tuna belly), 1-week aged grouper, and shima ebi (grey prawn). These tasted luxurious, with the shrimp on sweeter side and tuna belly being creamy and most satisfying.
As an added bonus, the chef also gave us a some home-made tuna jerky as well, where can we buy those?
The Fugu Shirako Agedashi was perhaps the dish that impressed me the most. I’ve never had great exprience with shirako, they’re almost always too sticky/creamy for my liking. The brilliance of chef Okada in using this ingredient as a substitute for tofu in the agedashi dish can’t be understated, it was smooth, elegant, and surprising in a very good way.
Then there’s the Roast A5 Wagyu Tenderloin & Asparagus. Nothing surprising here, a great cut of meat properly cooked is always an experience to be treasured, and this is no exception.
Three Types Seasonal Sushi came next, we had the 3-day aged black throat seaperch (Akamutsu) served in a fancy glass covered with an added aroma, another piece of sushi that was lightly torched (can’t remember the fish name..), and ogawa uni wrapped in seaweed. The sushi continues to deliver the awesome creamy, luxurious notes that I’m starting to think I’m going to miss this meal in days/weeks to come before we’re even finished.
We had Matsuba Crab Donabe Gohan as our final proper dish, a showcase of chef’s ability in the “simple” rice dish with snow crab that’s in season (winter). The crab meat was packed withÂ rich seafood sweetness and well balanced by Nameko Mushroom Soup that was served alongside.
We concluded the evening with Matcha & Yuzu Entremet, a sweet and fitting conclusion to the night.
Chef Okada pushes the boundary hard enough to make it exciting while not abandoning the traditional values of a good Kaiseki course, culminating in memorable night out fitting for anyone who wish to treat themselves a great Japanese meal.
Kintsugi Kuala Lumpur
The Table, Isetan, The Gardens Mall, 3F,
Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City,
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 010-381 1330