Friday, July 12, 2019

Kampachi EQ Sunday Buffet @ Equatorial KL


The Iconic Sunday Japanese Buffet is Back!



Sundays are meant for indulgence… and one of the best indulgences in the metropolitan city of Kuala Lumpur is the legendary Kampachi Sunday Buffet housed in the newly remade Equatorial Kuala Lumpur. The new Kampachi EQ is making its return after its absence since 2012 when the hotel was closed for re-development.



Now ardent Japanese gourmands will be able to savor the acclaimed Japanese buffet once again in the gorgeous Kampachi EQ. Kampachi, one of the most established Japanese restaurants in the nation, serves haute authentic Japanese cuisine set amidst a minimalist Japanese contemporary dining ambiance.

The restaurant takes prides in their beautiful interior where nature’s elements are used to create the elegant and stylish ambiance the place is renowned for. Sparing no expense, Kampachi General Manager, Theresa Wong proudly presented the restaurant’s gorgeous sushi counter made from the owner’s selection of imported Japanese Inoki wood as she personally took me on a tour of the restaurant.




The dining area is cleverly sectioned to offer diners an intimate and private dining affair. Each area features elegant and clean lines of Zen theme utilizing wood, stone and paper along with modern furniture. The restaurant also has a view of the city through the glass walls and is wonderfully filled with natural lights through the day for a warm appeal of comfort.


Kampachi is renowned for their Sunday Buffet ever since it was first offered. I am also an ardent fan of the buffet myself after several dining experiences at their Kampachi Plaza 33 outlet. The anticipation of the return of this Sunday Buffet was definitely a positive one. Kampachi Plaza 33 also offers the Sunday Buffet with slight variation of the menu.


From the Sushi and Sashimi counter, tuck into gorgeous thick cut slices of sublime salmon, yellowtail, tuna, snapper, squid and octopus. The freshness of the sashimi is amazing and accentuated further with house made soy sauce.


Kampachi offers three versions of soy sauce – low sodium, medium sodium and Tosa. Tosa is cured with bonito flakes for 2 weeks to elevate the umami note in the soy sauce. My personal favorite is the Tosa of course. The balance of umami note is just so perfect with the sashimi and sushi.



Rows of perfectly shaped Nigiri Sushi and cut Maki Rolls are deliciously satisfying. From Japanese seasonal Kohada or Gizzard Shad to luscious Salmon, Tuna, Snapper and Prawn, it’s all classics that never fails to please Japanese gourmands. Even the large Maki Rolls is wondrously filled with crispy soft-shell crab and assorted sashimi along with the usual condiments.





Snack on nutritious Edamame along with colourful Japanese Pickles or savor your choice of Salad Selections to whet your appetite for more to come. There are also tiny portions of lovely Salmon Carpaccio.



Kampachi’s Crab Chawan Mushi is divine! Perfect wobbly egg custard steamed with gingko nuts and fish cake, crowned with sweet crab flesh is simply a must on the list of dishes to savor…



The hot counters feature a list of Japanese all-time-favorites. Start with a tummy warmer of Hamaguri Clam Miso Soup. Sweet and succulent clams in earthy and nutty miso broth. Follow up the next course with Seafood Yosenabe where large oceanic scallops and beautiful prawns bathe in dashi and konbu broth along with creamy leeks, napa cabbage, assorted mushrooms and more.



Let’s tuck into juicy pink slices of Roast Beef too…



Not to be missed, another highlight of the buffet at this outlet is the Beef Sukiyaki. The chef will cook the beef to your liking. Mine was simply sublime with glorious medium rare beef slices lightly flavoured with the sweet and savory Sukiyaki broth. Enjoy the sidekicks of bamboo shoots, konnyaku, mushrooms and more vegetables but don’t forget to complete this Sukiyaki with an egg yolk for extra lusciousness.




Oden, a hodgepodge of ingredients cooked in soy and dashi broth, never fails to please the palate of many when in seek of familiar comfort food…




Hot warmers filled with golden crispy Seafood & Vegetable Tempura, Chicken Teriyaki, Grilled Eel, Vegetable Croquette, Grilled Salmon, Mackerel, Prawns, Salmon Collar and Karaage are definitely crowd pleasers in any Japanese meal. The tempura is delightful perfect with its thin and crispy batter enveloping prawns, fish, squid and assorted vegetables. Grill salmon, prawn and mackerel are simply faultless too.





The combination of smoked and sweet Grilled Unagi on Japanese Garlic Fried Rice is simply a match made in heaven!


There may not be many options of desserts, but the ones served is truly authentic Japanese favorites. Fresh cut fruits along with a huge bowl of grapes are ideal after an indulgence. There are pretty glasses of Matcha Pannacotta where every spoonful of the beautifully set cream tinged with aromatic matcha evoked such lusciousness on the palate.


Dorayaki, and not just any dorayaki for that matter, is freshly made on the live station. Every single Dorayaki is handmade, cooked and carefully filled, pinch-sealed and finish with a special hot seal. Savor traditional sweet creamy red bean or nutty peanut butter. The staff was so friendly and took the effort to make a Mickey shaped Dorayaki for my little one! Kudos for the service and smile…


No Japanese meal is complete without Matcha, Black Sesame or Yuzu Ice Cream.


A personal favorite, the Abekawa Mochi is perhaps a dessert that many would go for a second helping. I know I did. Mochi is first grilled and then boiled before finished in a coating of kinako or soy bean powder. It has a very subtle hint of sweetness and has great nutty aroma. The mochi is sublime as it has a soft and chewy texture. Simply not to be missed!


The legendary Kampachi EQ Sunday Buffet did not disappoint. Retaining solid quality and freshness, all dishes are prepared with classic spot-on techniques of Japanese cuisine. Gourmands are already seen flocking to the new Kampachi EQ on the Sunday that I was there. It’s truly a delicious Sunday experience for ardent Japanese foodies!



The Kampachi EQ Sunday Buffet is available every Sunday from 12.00pm to 2.30pm, priced at RM168 nett per adult and RM78 nett per child (age 5 to 10). Reservations can be made via TableApp or by calling +603 2789 7723.


KAMPACHI EQ
Ground Floor, Equatorial Kuala Lumpur
Equatorial Plaza,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur


Business Hours:
Lunch – 12.00pm to 3.00pm
Dinner – 6.00pm to 10.30pm


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The League of Kitchens Spirit to Serve CRS Initiative


Marriott International APAC’s Culinary Workshop by Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur



When 40 International and local chefs get together, there’s nothing short but a big bang of culinary escapades hosted by Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. A yearly event, Marriott International sets out to host The League of Kitchens on all their hotel locations all over the world. Gathering their culinary teams from all Marriott properties, these chefs are set for 3-day workshop focusing on trends and culinary innovations in the F&B industry.


The 5th edition of the annual Marriott International’s APAC Culinary workshop was held recently in June 2019 at Le Meridien with 40 chefs from Marriott properties in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The Philippines and The Maldives together with 12 top culinary students from Taylor’s University School of Culinary Arts & Food Studies, Sunway’s Le Cordon Bleu Institute Malaysia, and KDU University College.

Lead by Toine Hoeksel, Senior Culinary Director of APAC, the 3-day workshop took everyone through a high-level and immersive experiential training, networking, learning new trends of the trade, ‘Black Box’ challenge and ended with a fun and insightful outdoor cooking session for charity.


The finale of the Marriott International’s APAC Culinary workshop was held at Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) where everyone takes on an outdoor challenge of cooking up a storm for 100 stateless children from Sekolah Bimbingan Jalinan Kasih, a stateless children school by Ministry of Education. Part of Marriott International’s ‘Spirit to Serve’ CSR initiative, Chef Hoeksel together with Le Meridien KL Executive Chef Antoine Rodriguez along with Regional Culinary Director of APEC, Marriott International Raheel Ahmed and Area Director of Operations Nicolas Kassab together with the culinary team were all on-site in making the event a fruitful and fun event for the children.





Despite an early morning shower, the team work hard to setup all the cooking stations in preparation for the big cookout. With 6 teams set together with culinary students, members of the media and bloggers, the morning took flight as the weather cleared up to a bright and sunny day. The menu of the day consisted of Chicken and Beef Satay, Ulam Kerabu, Butter Chicken with Vegetable Dalcha and Rice, Grilled Fish and Squid with Tamarind Sauce, Wok-Fried Vegetables, Stir-Fried Egg Noodles, Assorted Malay Kuih, Roti Jala, Banana Porridge and Durian Porridge.


A quick speech by Chef Hoeksel boosted the spirit of the team and the atmosphere of the day of certainly vibrating with much energy, joy and laughter from everyone.


Chef Hoeksel has been with Marriott International for 7 years and has been leading the APAC Culinary workshop since the beginning. The APAC Culinary workshop host 13 workshops through a year internationally with the purpose to bring Marriott chefs together and how to continuously improve the food quality of the international hotel group.

‘Marriott International continues to grow with 850 hotels in the pipeline over 5-year timeline. Therefore, it is crucial that everyone grows with the group. The goal is to focus on food quality, building reputation, storytelling, driving revenue, food authenticity with locally source as well as sustainable ingredients. Besides this, Marriott International hopes to work with local schools to bring in new talents through their apprenticeship program and allow them to grow globally with the group’, says Chef Hoeksel.









The day concluded with much success and laughter as everyone made sure the children were well-fed with the delicious menu along with singing activities and even a dance performance by Chef Hoeksel and all his team.





The 12 top culinary students from the local culinary schools were also presented with certificate of recognition from Marriott International. The certification is said to serve as a strong entry point for the young graduates to seek employment opportunities with any Marriott property internationally.



More tokens of appreciation were also presented to the culinary team from Sekolah Bimbingan Jalinan Kasih management team.



Perhaps the most priceless moment of the day was the group photo of the smiles on the children with the team that day…



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