When I first lunched at Sushi Hinata, my big brother and I sat at the sushi bar and watched Chef Ori at work.
We feasted on one of the best Japanese meal we have had in a while (outside of Japan) and was thoroughly satiated with the omakase set.
No doubt it wasn’t cheap but you get what you pay for.
In fact, a mediocre meal in one of the Japanese restaurants in the Klang Valley could possibly be priced about 20% (or less) lower than Sushi Hinata and not quite 60% of Hinata’s standards.
Frankly, for Japanese sashimi, I’m willing to fork out more if it guarantees me superb quality.
Not long after that meal, we heard Chef Ori had moved to Oribe at Vipod Residences.
We are glad to see him again after a long while, still cheerful and fastidious behind his sushi bar, sharp-eyed and meticulously ensuring that each plate served are to his exacting standards.
We didn’t manage to secure a sushi bar seat this round, but we enjoyed our meal nonetheless for the restaurant is quiet, the spacing of the tables adequately distanced, the temperature comfortable plus lighting at our corner was advantageous.
So lunch had us both chatting away, taking photos to our hearts’ content while being assisted by a ever-smiling and helpful staff.
My lunch was the Mino Set (RM180++) while his is the Omakase (RM350++).
The subsequent images below will depict both of our sets, but labeled so you would know what to expect if you are having the Mino or the Omakase.
Lunch opened with both of us having the same appetiser; a firm tofu topped with ikura and freshly grated wasabi on a pool of light sauce.
Subtle and delicate it went down easily and got our stomach juices churning for more.
His sashimi platter (Omakase) was an impressive spread of luscious, glistening fresh seafood while mine was the Chef’s Specialty Sushi (Mino Set).
For my sushi I find the seafood firm and fresh but the rice beneath it a bit loose. Each time I picked up a sushi with my chopsticks, it broke into 2 (the rice) before it could be safely deposited into my mouth!
His: Omakase means you’re entrusting the entire dining experience to the chef who in turn, are likely to serve his diners the best produce he has in hand.
On our visit Chef Ori’s sashimi platter was a mix of 3 fishes, a prawn and a saucer of uni (sea urchin).
Look at that gorgeous peachy-orange hue. Taste-wise it was exquisite; creamy and sweet with all of its briny oceanic flavours intact.
Mine: 8 pieces of sushi with a variety of fishes, a scallop and a prawn.
The first sushi I devoured was the scallop. Yes, I’m a huge fan of fresh, sweet scallops.
This particular torched fish was superb as well; sweet, flaky and soft.
And of course, the luscious, fatty tuna belly.
Each of these babies had fresh wasabi beneath between seafood and rice but a lump of freshly grated wasabi is provided on the plate if you need more.
He got a succulent, plump oyster next (Omakase). I watched as he devoured it, his eyes lighting up with glee and then as expected, pronounced it excellent.
My Mino Set has a total of 11 sushi and since I was served 8 earlier, the remaining 2 appeared on this “roll sushi” platter.
The highlight of this course was the “Chef’s special bowl“; a miniature dish of sweet white prawns, uni and seasoned chopped tuna on a bed of sushi rice.
Stir all with rice and ingest one of the best raw seafood rice bowl that you ever had!
The 2 sushis on the side are flounder fin and red snapper. Both were torched but while the flounder fin was melt-in-the-mouth good, the red snapper retained a raw, muscular springiness to it.
Chef’s Special Bowl: I could eat this everyday. Perhaps I should start a lunch delivery service offering just this uni, ikura, minced tuna bowl?
He had 3 more course before we were both served our chawanmushi; a serving of flying squid, grilled rock fish and Hokkaido crab meat with fish liver.
Omakase Set – Flying squid.
The flying squid live in water from 5 to 27 °C and tend to inhabit the upper layers of the ocean.
They are short-lived, only surviving about a year because as soon as they reproduce, they die.
Japanese flying squid are caught all year round, but the largest and most popular seasons are from January to March, and again from June to September.
Since it is March now, it explains why Oribe is serving this currently.
Omakase Set – Hokkaido crab meat with fish liver.
Hokkaido crab is self-explanatory. The flesh is firm, flaky and sweet, lightly flavoured by the pool of sauce it was settled on.
Omakase Set (Grill Dish) – grilled rock fish.
All fish should taste like this; naturally sea-sweet flesh and delicately flaky in texture.
We shared the above 3 dishes and I was so stuffed by then.
Then came the Chawanmushi (for both Mino & Omakase set).
Oribe’s version is one of the best there is; silky, eggy and though delicate, it was umami-rich.
Contents include small prawns with shell on (no problem eating them with shell on), a lone gingko nut that was soft and thankfully non-bitter, a small piece of scallop and a tiny mushroom.
Then his Sushi Platter arrived. To his glee, it included a portion of our favourite Chef’s special bowl.
And here’s the rest of the sushi platter – 2 fishes with a otoro and a scallop.
Then a course of red miso soup followed. Both of us found the miso to be ordinary and we didn’t bother with pictures.
His (Omakase): Fresh cut fruits. Not the Japanese rock melon though.
Mine (Mino Set):
A fruit jelly.
Hmmm, obviously desserts are not a highlight here.
So, besides my Mino set and the Omakase, is it possible to order ala-carte?
Well, yes of course you can!
Here are the current menus for both set lunches and ala-carte. Too bad the “special bowl” is not available ala-carte or else I’ll be here weekly!
So if you’re in search of the best omakase in KL, Oribe could very well be the one!
Jalan Kia Peng (just opposite the road from Menara HLA)
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Contact: +603-2181 4099
1. Master Chef HIDEAKI ORITSUKI
2. Assistant Chef NAOYA KAWASAKI