Having tried quite a few omakase places in town, Jien and I were looking forward to what Kintsugi Kuala Lumpur has to offer and if it were any different from the rest. Helmed by Tokyo Michelin-starred Chef Jeff Okada Ramsey, Kintsugi serves progressive kaiseki and sushi courses, merging traditional Japanese fine dining with modern techniques and elements.
To start, the concept of Kintsugi already sets it apart from other omakase spots in town – inspired by the craft of “golden joinery” where you’re encouraged to appreciate the beauty of imperfection.
What draws me towards Kintsugi is the attention to detail and also explanation of each dish and concept behind what we’re about to eat. That amplifies the omakase experience in my opinion, versus an omakase that serves expensive ingredients just because “you’re paying for it.”
Highlights of our omakase at Kintsugi were the Soy Braised Ankimo with Salmon & Pickled Plum, Fugu Shirako Agedashi and seasonal fish used to prepare our sashimi and sushi courses.
My sashimi course comprised a two-weeks aged Nagasaki chutoro, one week aged Japanese grouper and shima ebi. I really enjoyed the texture of the tuna belly and grouper; the aging technique gives the flesh a deeper flavour and creamier texture.
The Fugu Shirako Agedashi is a unique way of handling milt, which is creamy and delicate in nature. I usually come across shirako served with ponzu or grilled, so this tempura method is a nice change.
We tried three kinds of seasonal sushi at Kintsugi and all of them wowed. Wild winter yellowtail (kan-buri) is aged for two weeks and brushed with an Edo-style dressing of sake with roasted fish bones. Smoked yakusugi (cedar) gives the sushi more depth of flavour and aroma.
Akamutsu (black throat seaperch) goes through three days of aging giving it a juicier and sweeter flavour. It is torched upon serving to add aroma and a smoky-savoury layer on top. I’m not sure if it’s the aging or the preparation method but the texture of this seaperch is quite close to what you’d expect from an ootoro (tuna belly).
Ogawa bafun uni completes the sushi course and as expected from an A grade ingredient – sweet, creamy and firm in texture. After a warm bowl of Nameko Mushroom Soup, dessert is served; Matcha & Yuzu Entremet.
I must say, it’s a pleasant change from “premium fruits” which is commonly the dessert course for omakase menus. And Kintsugi serves a rather delicious one, I have to say. All in, I find the experience at Kintsugi more immersive as Jeff Ramsey and his team explains “a little bit more” about what goes into the making of each course.
The food pushes boundaries while sticking to Kaiseki roots, and flavours remain authentically Japanese. Not an easy feat, I reckon.
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KINTSUGI Kuala Lumpur
3F, The Table,
Isetan, The Gardens Mall.
Tel: 010-381 1330