Thursday, February 13, 2014

All Kansai Festival, Kansai Kaiseki Dinner on 19th, 20th & 21st February, Kampachi Pavilion

Those who follow this blog would know that I have developed a new found fascination and love for Japan and all things Japanese, and I've made up my mind to save all foreseeable future holiday money for the exploration and discovery of this fascinating Land...of the Rising Sun.

When Makan Fairy Godmother waved her magic wand again, and secured me a place for "lunch" (it was actually lunch, but at 4pm) at Kampachi Pavilion, for the All Kansai Food Festival, I was over the moon, ...and Sun, because I knew for a fact that all the ingredients for that meal were freshly flown in that very day, and there was no room for any extra person ...fortunately, (for me, but not for him), Cumi of CCFoodtravel could not make it, so there I was, partaking of a splendidly fresh and palate gratifying meal.

Kampachi Restaurants in collaboration with All Kansai Food Promotion Committee and TheKansai Food Export Promotion Cooperative, will be bringing a special culinary promotion featuring the finest from Kansai region from 15 – 23 February 2014 at the Kampachi Pavilion.

Taste of Kansai
For the uneducated (like me), the above map gives you an idea where Kansai is, in relation to Japan, and Honshu Island. (It's the dark green bits)

Kansai is also known as the “Food Mecca of Japan” because of its culture in adhering to refined, taste and variety when it comes to food. The abundance of food resources from the mountains, sea,rivers and lakes of the region are where the gastronomical journey of Kansai cuisine begins,making it a truly unique food culture unlike others.

On 19, 20 & 21 February, for a limited seating, Japanese Chef Koji Tamaru will showcase the
purity and uniqueness of Kansai cuisine through a nine-course kaiseki dinner by selecting the finest seasonal
ingredients and focusing on bringing out the actual taste of ingredients.

We were privileged that evening to try several highlights from that 9 Course Kaiseki,....

Sakizuke, a fresh Hiroshima Oyster With Ponzu Vinegar Gelee.  Just look at how plump and juicy that oyster was, and looked like it was still soaking in the brine that it was swimming in earlier that morning, in the sea of Japan.  To describe it as fresh would be really an understatement.  Oh, not to mention, the oyster is rather huge too.  Nothing in that dish is there just as a garnish, each component plays a role in enhancing the flavour (although it needed little enhancing) to really maximize the gratification from sliding that wonderful bivalve mollusc down your throat.

The newly renovated interior of Kampachi in Pavilion

Ah, glorious freshness from the sushi/sashimi bar.

The affable Chef Koji behind the sushi counter.

Next we had the Suminomo, clear soup with clam, Japanese Mustard Spinach, Julienned Leek and young Japanese pepper buds. "The clam is underneath the vegetation", says Ciki.  Duhh, state the obvious.

Well, this succulent clam makes our lalas look like clam roe... this clam is HUGE, and very tasty.  The texture is amazing, and the best part to me is actually that little piece of tendon that connects the clam to the shell.  And by virtue of the size of that clam, that little tendon piece is almost like a mini scallop in itself.

Sake makes us happy any time of day.

Tuna, Arkshell and Yellowtail.  Arkshell, ..such an exotic name.  An arkshell, if you were google it, actually looks like a big cockle, and this is the flesh within the shell.  The texture is like a mollusc, chewy and clammy, but the taste is almost like fish.  Really quite a treat for the senses.  The yellowtail of course is always my favourite here, melt in the mouth goodness with no hint of fishiness.

Box Sushi With Seabream, Prawn and Conger Eel.  I missed the demonstration at the sushi bar, when they were preparing the box sushi. Sanshoku Oshizushi, a beautifully handcrafted box sushi that is a technique and specialty of the Osaka prefecture incorporating luxurious seafood such as sea bream, shrimp and conger eel. Prefecture, I love that word.  I live in the prefecture of bliss, in the state of hysteria.

The toppings were certainly very different from your everyday run of the mill sushi offerings.  The bream and the prawn had a gelatinous type of seaweed cover, and the rice seems to be rather extraordinary.  Does not taste like your usual sushi rice.  And the conger eel tastes like a more refined and delicate unagi.  Popped these three dainty morsels into the mouth and they were gone before you could say sush...i.

Grilled Yellowtail With Teriyaki Sauce, Garnished With Shishito Green Pepper.  In the actual Kaiseki menu, the fish served will be Wild Amberjack, which I am told, is stunning.  The yellowtail, according to Chef, due to the absence of fat, made the filleted piece slightly on the dry side.

At RM300++ per person, guests can enjoy the wonderful Kaiseki Menu.
Fresh seasonal Kansai ingredients will also include colourful spring vegetables such as the Kujo
leek, Kintoki sweet red carrot and Manganji Togarashi green peppers. Unique only to Kyoto
prefecture, these vegetables are robust in flavours compared to vegetables grown elsewhere.
Cooked in a multitude of ways, these simple ingredients will be elevated to an artisan level by
Chef Koji Tamaru. (pic)

To finish off a perfect meal, Yuzu Mousse.  A refreshing tangy mousse that cleanses the palate and gives a feeling of wellbeing.

The lovely Sarah and Umei of CCFoodTravel.

The handsome Yujiro Takano san, (who doesn't really look Japanese), Makan Fairy Godmother and Me.

At RM300++, considering the freshness and quality of the ingredients, I'd say this kaiseki from Kansai really kicks ass, and is totally worth it!!!

The Kampachi restaurant is located at Lot 6.09.00, Level 6, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and is open
daily for lunch and dinner form 11.00am to 10.00pm.

For reservations, please call tel: +603 2148
9608 or email:

Other standalone Kampachi restaurants are located at The Troika (tel: +603 2181 2282), Plaza33 in
Petaling Jaya (tel: +603 7931 6938) and Johor Premium Outlets (tel: +607 590 9277).


Ciki said...

The state of hysteria eh..? if it's anything like wisetria.. that would make u a desperate house husband :P LOL So long as u get to eat ginormous bivalves, im sure u won't mind! hahahaha

Ciki said...

sorry i meant Wisteria (typo) :P

Sandra Thomas said...

I've actually made this before!! I love this recipe because it is cheap but so filling!