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.
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.