One of the oldest Japanese restaurants in town, Kampachi still serves up good quality Japanese food
Try out the weekly Sunday brunch
Hotel Equatorial, 27, Jalan Sultan Ismail
50540 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2161 7777
They are happy to explain Japanese food and the dishes to you
Firstly, Japanese cuisines need not be very expensive if you know which dishes to select. Two, if you are going with some friends or on a date and you are worried about the budget, it helps to call the restaurant manager in advance and ask them whether can you get a decent dinner with the price you have allocated. You can surprisingly get a decent and enjoyable meal. Three, if you don't know what to order, tell the restaurant manager some of your preferences and ask them for some recommendations.
Kampachi Japanese Restaurant is arguably the most established Japanese Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. All the essential qualities of Japanese cuisine are reflected in its preparation: the use of absolutely fresh ingredients, the artful presentation, and the perfection of technique by a skilled chef. First up is Edamame or Steamed Soya Bean. You open up the pod, take the beans out by chopsticks, dip them in some soya sauce and in you go. Nice....
Next up, came the Shake Sashimi or Sliced Raw Salmon. This is raw Norwegian salmon. A visit to a Japanese restaurant is not complete without some raw fish. Dip some salmon in soya sauce mixed with wasabi and its delicious. A good Japanese restaurant can be benchmarked by how fresh its Sashimi is prepared. This one has a very fresh taste. Kampachi's sashimi came with sea kelp and oba leafs. Sea kelp is a type of seaweed. The oba leaf tasted a bit minty. However, when I tried the combination of sea kelp, oba leaf and salmon, it tasted delicious.
After that wonderful experience, came the Chawan Mushi or steamed egg custard. Its ingredients consist of egg, ginko, chicken, mushroom and prawns. The whole concoction is steamed in the bowl and served hot. I like this one but egg custard tends to make you full. So I suggest that you go easy on this one.
Everyone can relate to sushi. The Japanese make rolls cooked glutinous rice. This rice is wrapped in seaweed leaves and served cold, and just like a sandwich it has cold cuts and a spreads with it. However, the cold cuts are not sausage or meat but seafood or fish, and the spread is not mayonnaise but wasabi. I had Soft Kani Maki Sushi or Sushi Rice with Deep Fried Soft Shelled Crab.
Next came Tempura Moriawase or Deep fried seafood. Seafood and vegetables are the raw materials of tempura. At Kampachi, we had cuttlefish, prawns, carrots, ladyfingers and brinjals. These are dipped in batter to give them a thin, almost transparent coating. After this they're dropped one at a time into the oil (a combination of vegetable and sesame oil), which must be constantly kept at exactly the right temperature. Finally, the tempura must be cooked for just the right amount of time, pulled out of the oil the precise moment it's done. If all goes well, the final product is perfect tempura -- crisp, golden brown, hot and delicious just like the one we tried at Kampachi. This tempura came with a different lighter soya sauce. I recommend that you sprinkle some lemon juice over the tempura before dipping it in the sauce. Ehmmm... delicious...
Gyuniku Teriyaki (Grilled Beef with Teriyaki Sauce) and (Grilled Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce) Tori Teriyaki came after the Tempura. Teriyaki is a kind of meat seasoning consisting of a sweetened soya sauce. At Kampachi, their teriyaki dishes are wonderfully prepared. The chicken teriyaki sauce seeps deep in the flesh and the beef teriyaki is soft and moist. Of the two, I prefer the beef teriyaki, though.
With the main course over, here comes dessert. I was recommended their very own in-house Matcha Ice Cream (Green Tea Ice Cream) and Abe Kawa Mochi (Glutinous Rice Rollled with Grounded Peanuts). Matcha Ice Cream is made out of powdered green tea leaf, milk and red beans topped with rice crackers. It is quite refreshing. An excellent dessert after a nice dinner. However, I particularly like the rice crackers. It is topped with cream cheese and almonds. One taste and I was addicted to the crackers.
The mochi is made of glutinous rice rolled in powdered roasted peanut. This one has a sweet taste and to those of you familiar with kuih batang buruk, this one tastes similar. There is an art to making Abe Kawa Mochi. The glutinous rice are grounded, steamed, cooled until hardened, roasted, boiled in water and then rolled with grounded peanut . In that order. Abe Kawa has a nice smooth sweet taste probably due to the labourous process in making it.
That ends our review on Kampachi. I give them the thumbs up both for the service and delicious Japanese cuisine served. They do have Sunday Brunches where you get to try out different types of Sashimi, sushi, tempura ala buffet style. Great for the Japanese novice.