Now open: Kampachi @ The Troika
We visit the brand's new flagship outlet and return with a report: It's a knockout. By Surekha Ragavan
If you think about it, The Troika is the perfect location for a budding business. It’s dead in the middle of the city, basement parking is sufficient and it gives you a KL-away-from-KL feel. Acme Bar & Coffee milked the most out of it in early 2012 and a few weeks ago, Kampachi joined the club. Let’s take a few steps back. Kampachi is by no means a budding business, but only one of the most acclaimed Japanese names in town. It snagged three Time Out KL Food Awards titles and has hosted many business lunches at its former, now-closed primary outlet in Hotel Equatorial.
After the brand extended to Pavilion KL, business boomed instantaneously. But surely we need a flagship outlet? An outlet that’s elegant, serene and girlfriend-proposal-worthy? Addressing exactly that, The Troika outlet is a knockout. The setting is as good as it gets; a hundred sparkly bulbs suspend from the double-heighted ceiling, moody lighting bathe the sprawling wooden tables, a thick troll-sized door closes off a rather charming private room, towering glass panels reflect the Twin Towers and a sushi bar displays heads of tuna and other sexy, pink fish. Head upstairs for more mystery and also, where the teppanyaki counter is. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the teppanyaki chefs put on knife-juggling theatrics.
Grilled conger pike
The food will bring you straight back to the much-lauded Hotel Equatorial days and safe to say, is of quality standards. The star is most surely their signature soba noodles. Kampachi might possibly be the only Japanese brand in KL that serves handmade soba; each strand is springy, mildly chewy and rightfully exciting. Where fish is concerned, sashimi is air-flown from the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, only the biggest wholesale fish market in the world. The sashimi vendor that provides to Kampachi (bless the man) sells exclusively to Kampachi, a sign that every delicate slice of tuna belly is discerningly picked.
Japanese melon and kumquats
If the menu overwhelms, do it omakase-style. Allow the chef to present you samples of dishes in small portions; all you do is sit down and eat. This way, you get a little of everything in one night. A seven-course omasake meal (including things like grilled rock fish marinated with miso and pan fried foie gras with simmered winter melon) will set you back about RM350++. The menu is seasonal, so while you can expect the signatures to stay put, the specials rotate. Devotees of the Kampachi Sunday brunch can expect the spread to return to full swing starting Jan 20. It’s priced at RM150++ per person and RM85++ for kids. A spread of unlimited sashimi, noodles, tempura, rolls and skewered meats on a Sunday morning? The stuff you dream about on Saturday nights.
For more info on Kampachi's location, see venue listing.