Saturday, April 5, 2008

Kampachi (勘八) @ Pavilion

Had I applied for membership, I would have been rejected faster than Simon could say "no!" to that cowgirl who literally butchered a Janis Joplin song by wailing, instead of singing it in an audition for American Idol in the last season.

And why is that? At a meeting (or a farewell lunch for the honorary lifetime member):
(一) I couldn't name all the members and their ranks.
(二) I couldn't recommend any good/smart dishes.
(三) Biology was not on my side.

I hope that was not my last/only invitation to their meetings as I had a really great time at Kampachi that Sunday afternoon with レモングラス-さん, ボーリジアスーさん, シアオロンぐバオ-さん, ボルーエガル-さん and スパラシーさん.

Sexpectation was high as good reviews have been bestowed upon this kampachi (or kanpachi), which means greater amberjack in Japanese.

Before the jokes started rolling, the Soft Kani Maki (RM38) or soft shell crab roll was rolled out. The roll consisted of soft glutinous rice, crispy (cucumber strips aside), slightly savoury fried soft shell crabs and crunchy tobikos which burst in the mouth, like a mild version of a carbonated drink, sans the burn and numbing effect. Quite a three-dimensional texture. Good.

I enjoy Rainbow Makis for the sole reason of the rich texture. Imagine biting into a soft, fresh piece of salmon or tuna or both with a slice of buttery avocado. If done correctly, the richness can somehow lubricate the soft Japanese glutinous rice as it slides into your mouth and down your throat. Like how a thick curry enriches or smoothens the white rice. Kampachi's version (RM32), though fresh and rich, was rather minimum in size. A somewhere-stuck-between-the-rainbow experience.

My Chirashi Set (RM42, not RM84 as stated earlier) consisted of a seafood Chirashi Don, cold soba, prawns tempura, chawanmushi and (if I recall correctly), fresh fruits. The selection of seafood for the don included salmon belly, tuna, octopus, surf clam, tobiko and crabstick (technically, it is seafood). Freshness was commendable but crabstick?? At Kampachi?

In the case of the prawn tempura, the batter was crunchy and the flesh was firm. The soba, however, failed to impress as it was rather hard. As for the dipping, I would have appreciated some sesame seeds. Perhaps my sexpectation was too high. Can't blame me since soba is one of the signature dishes here. Or perhaps being part of a set called for a different grade of soba. The point is, I didn't enjoy it as much as I would like to.

The chawanmushi was rather generic. Then again, besides commenting on the softness of the steamed egg white and the freshness/flavours of the ingredients used, what else can be said about this simple, hearty side? This one complied to all the characteristics mentioned above. Generically good.

Nothing beats a good black sesame ice cream to end a Japanese meal. At RM12.00 a scoop, it was rather on the expensive side. Topped with a Japanese, Bourbon-lookalike cookie, the ice cream was sweet and refined. Personally, I prefer the coarser, slightly savoury version.

This fish has an extensive menu and as with any authentic Japanese restaurant, absolutely attentive staff. Perhaps I should return just to try the soba again. But for now, something's yo-ing me downstairs.

Truth be told about JFKA (Japanese Food Kawan Association).
They are a really nice, fun bunch.

Kampachi (勘八)
Lot 6.09.00, Level 6,
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2148 9608

For other reviews on Kampachi at Pavilion, do visit:

A Whiff Of Lemongrass
Lots Of Cravings
Brought up 2 SharE

I heard of your gloriousness in Osaka City right now.
You're always like this.


Big Boys Oven said...

truely nice but ... wait a minute ... crab meat stick at Kampachi ... ain't that something below the average to serve? I was at the grocer today, a pack of crab meat stick is only RM3.50

Xiu Long Bao said...

Goodness. Was not aware of the pricing of your set. I would rather have the tekka, hotate n' unagi from isetan. I'm goin bck for more very very soon.

Btw, that luscious shiro maguro is yo-ing me back for revisit too.

Nic (KHKL) said...

big boys oven, yeah, that's what i thought too...but then again, i checked the price, and its Rm42, not RM84. sorry for the confusion, ya! :)

xiu long bao, phew! thanks for the rectification on the price! it's RM42, not RM48... luckily i've got enough sleep today to realise that! haha!

yes, yes, please include my share the next time you visit isetan@shaw. lets try otoro! you'll have a chance to yo! soon..hehe

wmw said...

I blogged on Rakuzen! See you in May...all the best!

team bsg said...

Silently behind them, we have always have a sniggering suspicion that the esteemed Association members are more delectable than those things they err errrringly worship ( hope nobody hears this )

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

damnit..i still got an outstanding application to JFKA..i m wondering which table the paper is being used to support..

you know there have a 84rm or something or rather chirashi sushi..want to splurge on it..cannot imagine the amount of fish on it..ohhhh...

the crabstick is std..even if you go to shangs, also got..its just part of the thing you put on it i suppose..

JOjo said...

Isetan got jap food?

wenching & esiong said...

ニークさん、面白いです!Haha, you translated their names into Japanese, funny la!

We've been there once, their food was good. But we didn't try their soba. But my friend said the soba wasn't very good too, wonder why... Next time we would try it out!

Precious Pea said...

Ahh...a meeting that i missed. come i missed that? Where was i??

Hazza said...

What elite club is this? So, what are the criteria for membership? Do you get to eat free if you are in? Great looking healthy food, but the prices could induce a heart attack!

ling239 said...

hmm... why the chirashi don u had and the one i had look so diff ~
different set ? i dun remember mine had the soba... :p

Nic (KHKL) said...

wmw, yeah read d...for a moment, i thought you have eaten! yes, see ya in may and thanks for the wishes!

team bsg, haha, i think they hear ya loud and clear, but have no fear cos it's the truth. they are a really fun bunch!

joe, haha! dont give up! you'll make it one day. i only wish i can join them once in awhile...membership's too exclusive lar...

is it? i din know abt the RM84 thingy...wanna go ar??

i wish i could substitue the crab with another piece of fish...any will do..

jojo, yupe, yupe...and value for money too...the only downside being no dine-in. had a tekka (tuna) don at only ard S$11. isetan@shaw, ya!

wenching & esiong, hehe, though katagana would make the names more interesting...ニークさん sounds like meat-san, right? haha...

i thought the soba was quite hard. but will give them another try later...

precious pea, i think you were in bangkok, shopping at chatuchak market...hehe...hope to see ya in the next meeting lar...(if i am invited lar, hehe...)

hazza, this is one exclusive club where the criteria is...err...i seriously have no idea! haha! well, it aint free but comes with lots of fun...yeah,'s slightly on the high side.

ling239, oh, mine was the chirashi don + soba set....perhaps that's the reason why my don was smaller...will give the soba a second try lar...u tried yo! sushi already? i like it! :)

Cokeworld Citizen said...

hey my favourite combo...cold soba with tempura and the rest. I dun have money go kampachi so have to be content with the japanaese stall at Wisma Atria's Food Republic. I can eat almost 3 set ady la with that price.

sc said...

have not tried this branch in Pavillion yet..looks good nonetheless..

fatboybakes said...

i normally wouldnt bother to correct other ppl, but at 12.00 a SCOPE...(of sesame seed icecream). heh heh.
(you're like spiderman mah, with great power (of the language) comes great responsibility)

Jun said...

truth be told, i'm nvr a sushi person when it comes to jap food, but i gotta admit those makis sure look tempting!

oh and u know whr i discovered one of the nicer goma ice-cream? yuzu in gardens :) i like it cos u can see bits of crushed black sesame seeds in it.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Criteria for full membership into JFKA is quite simple - must have breasts (any size will do and must be original).

I agree with you. The food was just so-so that day.

So does it translate to our blog names or something obscene?

Cokeworld Citizen said...

hey i have breast and not silicon wan. does that enable me to be accepted by JFKA?

Ling's Passion said...

I love Japanese food and these look glorious. *lick lips in anticipation*

Nic (KHKL) said...

cokeworld citizen, oh, i've not tried the japanese food at wisma's food republic. and i heard ichiban boshi's soba's good too but the queue usually puts me off...haha! perhaps i should try at pavilion, less people..hehe...

sc, i've not tried the one at equatorial hotel. that was where it all started, right? haha...i would say kampachi@pavilion was ok but could be much better. the soba, sigh....

fatboybakes, hey, thanks for the correction! sometimes, a little shiok sendiri at my side can cause a lot of mistakes on the writing. will amend it right away. me, spiderman? wah, an overwhelming compliment, i must'll be surprised to know i've not watched even one of them trilogy !

jun, truth be told too, i am always a ramen person. sashimi came slightly later into my J-life.

oh, if you enjoy that type of goma ice-cream, check out haato (me think) at wheelock place. and for the ultimate refined type, check out azabu sabo! there's one at the central, clarke quay.

lyrical lemongrass, understood. that's why i included reason (三) in the post. hehe...technically, i think guys are boobless, but then again...errr, nvm...aiyah, membership or not, makan with you all sure lots of fun lar!

ok, let me "re" translate the katagana (Japanese characters for foreign words):
レモングラス-さん : remongurasu-san (Lemongrass)
ボーリジアスーさん: borijiasu-san (Boolicious)
シアオロンぐバオ-さん: jiaorongubao-san (Xiu Long Bao)
ボルーエガル-さん: boru-egaru-san (Bald Eagle)
スパラシーさん: suparashi-san (Splashie Boy)

No lar, nothing obscene. Dun worry. ;)

cokeworld citizen, hehe, i think there are many more criteria involved. then again, technically, i'm already disqualified.

ling's passion, if you like japanese food with a twist, check out yo! sushi. love the butterfish and black miso cod. gosh, i've been there only once and already recommending it to everyone..haha!

Cokeworld Citizen said...

lolz wish i paid more attention in japanese class. Only noe a few hiragana characters...haih...

nice of u to put in the romanji.

KampungboyCitygal said...

its a place that i can go during the beginning of month, while im still loaded

Anonymous said...

LL: "Criteria for full membership into JFKA is quite simple - must have breasts (any size will do and must be original)."

Damn. I should have applied ten years ago. Might have been the only useful side-effect of my near-obesity. :P

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

eh does man boobs count?

Precious Pea said...

Joe, nipple doesn't count. Hahahaahah!

Tummythoz said...

Lol at Precious Pea's comment.

Nic (KHKL) said...

cokeworld citizen, haha! thanks! i thought it would be fun to include the romanji...wah, you studied japanese before ar?? cool.

kampungboycitygal, same like me. save up for a good meal on weekends. on weekdays, i usually go for instant noodles..ok, sometimes only...hehe...

kenny, hehe...same here! i think if i dun start working out after my exams, i will be able get instant membership already...haha! (where is this conversation leading to, eh?? lol)

joe, dunno leh but i guess chances are very slim. omg, this jfka is really selling estrogen to us guys!!! goodness!! haha...

precious pea & tummythoz, hehe..i knew it, i knew it!..i was almost certain that someone's gonna say that!!! haha!!!

Cokeworld Citizen said...

haha almost took it as minor which luckily I didn't else i will be failing at a rate faster than water flowing out of the pipe!

I took a few classes held by japanese club. Must read back the set of characters during the long holiday. lolz...

U din take japanese class? Then how u type the katagana?

haha wat a conversation about boobs...XD aiks did i say something? ehehe

Nic (KHKL) said...

cokeworld citizen, i guess years of working experience in a J-com helped a bit. just need to memorise the characters, much like "ejaan", i thought: :)

~Christine~Leng said...

kinda exp, but... i LOVE kampachi :)

Anonymous said...

nice! btw, can you relinked me? i moved to


Jun said...

ok mr poet, we shall chk these places out when i'm down in spore end of next mth :D but food-wise, nice anot wan??

Nic (KHKL) said...

christine, i think i should revisit kampachi later...just to check out the soba...hmm..or should i go to the one at equatorial instead? hehehe...

brad, sure, sure, no problem. will get it done soon..oh, congrats on your new domain, ya! ;)

jun, kampachi is in kl lar...hehe...i know a place where we can get affordable and good sushi in singapore...we shall go there ;)

ai wei said...

i wanna try out KAMPACHI!!!
sobz sobz. have to wait til after final. sigh

Nic (KHKL) said...

ai wei, ya, ya! me too! my wishlist is getting very long already...but after my finals too..sigh

Y-Maeda said...

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I am Japanese.
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