p Picks and Pecks: review: kame sushi

Sunday, March 24, 2013

review: kame sushi

address: 20, Jalan 31/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, KL
tel: 603-2858 7739

Whenever I go to Kame Sushi, I choose to sit at the counter just so I can observe the chef. This hidden restaurant in Hartamas seems to still be frequently patronized by native Japanese - and I am quite sure that there are some perks to it, because I noticed that they get served items which are not on the menu!

That being said, sitting at the counter is also worthwhile because you get to salivate over thick cuts of tuna belly like the one above! It's so marbled with fat that it almost looks like raw, unsmoked bacon!

Kame Sushi does a mix of affordable sets for lunch, but if you have the time (and the budget!) to go for the omakase, you will not be disappointed.The omakase begins at RM150, and increases based on the seasonal items that you add on. I was looking forward to the hamaguri, which is a hard shell clam, but was told that it was sold out! 

The appetiser was small dish of what looked like ikan bilis or little anchovies. Served with grated daikon radish, these little fish were so young that they were served whole as they had no bones. Unlike ikan bilis, these are not salted, so they are quite delicate tasting - not fishy at all!

Next was ohitashi, which is spinach that has been lightly boiled in a soy broth. This was served with grated bonito or tuna flakes on top, which are so thin that they almost resemble onion skins.

Sashimi followed, which included both toro and chu-toro (tucked in the back) as well as octopus, shrimp and one of the largest scallops I have ever seen (front, right). Each scallop was so large that you could serve it in 4 pieces, sliced across its width. Being so large, the texture was different from any other scallop I have tasted - very sweet and compact. The only disappointment here was the octopus tentacle, which was still rather chewy despite having been given a little beating with the end of the chef's knife. The fattiness of the chu-toro contrasted with the leaner tuna - eating it sashimi-style amplified the marbling of the meat.

Egg omelette. This came out whole from the kitchen, freshly made! The chef quickly sliced it into pieces and distributed it among all the diners present - so quickly that steam was still rising from it! The omelette was cooked so that  there was a swirl of a darker layer coiled within the egg - soy sauce? or just lightly charred egg? In any case, the texture was firm enough to lift it to the mouth, yet still moist and almost juicy when you chewed on it.

Grilled fish, serve simply with daikon and a slice of lemon. I couldn't tell what type of fish it was, save that it wasn't the usual cod which is served in most restaurants.

Bamboo shoots, served on seaweed. The shoots seemed to have been simmered till tender, before being plated on the seaweed. It looks so simple, but the texture is different from what we normally get in Chinese stir-fries. Again, I think this was simmered in a soy broth to gently flavor it.

Deep fried fish - a welcome change from the normal tempura one sees in most Japanese restaurants. This was quite enjoyable as the fish was fried in really hot oil so that there was no trace of batter, yet the flesh remained juicy within. The kitchen also fried the bones of the fish - each of us got a piece and it was so crispy you could eat the entire thing! The green accent in the front - which puzzled me for a bit - is actually chilli. I was a bit confused since one does not normally see chillies in a Japanese restaurant, but this had its seeds removed, so rather than heat, one tasted the sweet fruitiness of it, similar to a green pepper but without the bitter edge to it.

The last "main" dish was sushi - six different types which included uni or sea urchin and sea eel. My only comment would be that the seaweed wasn't as crisp as I would have liked it to be. I did enjoy the sea eel though - normally we are used to getting the sweet teriyaki sauce-covered eel which masks a lot of the taste of this fish. 

Our meal finished with a miso soup, and a yuzu sorbet. I definitely will keep coming back to Kame Sushi, if only to see what new items that have on the menu. The only think I want to know is - how many times do I have to come to Kame Sushi before I get offered the little delicacies that are only given to people "in the know"?! Tops on my "I want to taste this" list are the hamaguri and a dish which consisted of a raw, marinated egg yolk, which was served with marinated tuna.

address: 20, Jalan 31/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, KL
tel: 603-2858 7739