When we talk of Japanese restaurant, we have to categorise them properly. What I am referring to is the usual sushi/sashimi outlet. KL has been inundated with many high end Japanese restaurants per the last 3 years in particular. Sadly, most of them were respectable but had no soul. The offerings were premium but usual run of the mill.
(Chef with the flying fish which we had for sashimi and the bones for soup at the end)
A proper sushi/sashimi place has nothing much to work with except the ingredients, and even then you only need to tweak it lightly to bring out the flavours. Sourcing usual fine ingredients is a given, added to that, effort must be made to source out seasonal stuff and even imaginative ways of sourcing produce.
(the absolute beauty of the shark's heart sashimi, crisp and clear ... I has chicken liver and heart sashimi before, they were good but had a tinge of metallic aftertaste, the shark's heart was wonderful on the palate)
This new place more than fulfils those requirements. As in any "labour of love" establishments, you cannot be BIG. This place can only take 8 pax max at the counter (the place to be), plus a couple of tables. Thus we are looking at 10-16 pax max for lunch or dinner. Reservations a MUST.
Helmed by all Malaysians... led by the effervescent Mister Foo (having done his rounds in various places in Japan for over 30 years).
(very young botanical with uni ... chef uses two types, ottawa and anabi uni for different dishes, this was their attention to detail, aftertaste and how well the uni meshes with different seafood)
The setting is modest but stylishly minimal. Reminiscent of the usual small 2-3 star Michelin places in Tokyo. Solid sake and shochu but feel free to bring your own premium alcohol. Must offer your drinks to Mister Foo as he is a mighty purveyor of alcohol.
Its almost a pure OMAKASE place. Prices starts at RM400pp, RM600pp to RM800pp. Let me assure you that their RM400 menu beats the XXXX out of paces in KL that price their menu at RM900-1,200pp.
(this the dish of the night, it is ONDEN, the cut behind the head of bluefin tuna, small area, lightly seared to release the oils... nowhere are jelly as the toro or chutoro cuts, its mild but very pleasing)
Freshness of ingredients is a given. Its the sauces and the cuts that highlight the natural taste or enhances them. Below was the tamagotchi's, my least favoured thing from a sushi place, but I had to show them here, its the best piece I have ever eaten. Its eggy but oh so light and not sweet, the essence of the egg was the star here.
I won't go into all the things I had, have a look at the pictures. Then you will discover the world of: Sekko Kani, Wakasaki, Onden, Madai, Ohaji, Ogawa uni and Anabi uni ..... you will still get great cuts of kampachi and shima aji, and a delicate crab broth flavoured chawanmushi.
HINOIRI Japanese Omakase