Thursday, December 1, 2011

Food Review: Kampachi Sunday Brunch Buffet, Hotel Equatorial KL

Since I'm exhausted after spending a whole day with our London-based acquaintances, I shall blog about our recent trip. Since our birthdays had been around the corner, I had made a reservation for two and swung by Hotel Equatorial for their popular and pricey Sunday brunch buffet.

Now, I know that I should have surprised Mama Carrie with a gift, but she doesn't believe in birthday celebrations and gifts unless there is an unlimited amount of money to splash everywhere.

Ask any Kuala Lumpur-based folk about Kampachi Restaurant and chances are that they're familiar with it. In all my years as an infrequent diner, I have not gone for the Saturday buffet dinner and I've heard that it's cheaper and you order your dishes from a menu. Or something like that.

Our table

Although the agreed time was at noon, I was more than fifteen minutes late as Mama Carrie and I were finalizing something in The Star. When I saw the manager and the waitress standing at the menu stand, I had the suspicion that they might have phoned my cell to confirm my reservation but I pushed it aside.

He led me to the designated table and I nodded my thanks. Since Mama Carrie was swiping her credit card for the bread loaves downstairs at the Bistro, I went for the first dish that I could think of, which was sukiyaki.

[Sukiyaki]consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef) which is slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar and mirin. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs. - Wikipedia

The Malay lady manning the booth has seen me growing from a toddler in a baby chair to a woman of a tender age. While I waited for my portion, I overheard the person next to me asking her young assistant for the buckwheat noodles instead of vermicelli. Since the buckwheat noodles were at the corner, he could have added it to the sukiyaki himself when he's back at his table without anyone knowing.

Top: raw slices of tuna and salmon; middle: soft-shell crab roll; below: part of the many types of sashimi

A big lover of raw fish like Papa Carrie, I satiated my stomach with the sukiyaki before I slithered unnoticed to the sushi bar to pick up some of my favorite items. What you see above in the picture are my favorites.

The soft-shell crab rolls were tasty and unique, and I don't think you can find it in any other Japanese restaurants here. Psst, let me know if there is a second restaurant selling this.

Top: Edamame, cooked immature soy beans; middle: prawn tempura; bottom: vegetable tempura

The edamame was perfect; it was not salty as compared to the frozen ones Mama Carrie has bought from Jusco Mid Valley. I love the texture that if I could buy it from the restaurant, I seriously would.

As with all deep-fried dishes, the prawn tempura was especially tasty when complimented with a bowl of shoyu and a couple of tablespoons of grated radish (which you can find at the grilled fish section).

Warm green tea

Man, this was the best green tea that I ever had. It tasted so fresh like the tea leaves were plucked and brewed just before the buffet.

Grilled Fish - Salmon and Mackerel

Grilled fishes have no seasonings included, but the oil that you see is the Omega-3. It's of no offense to anyone, but those who appreciate raw fish will know that it will taste best on its own.

I'm a fish lover but when Mama Carrie brought a plate back to our table, I wasn't excited about it as I'm so used to filleted fishes that I'm not used to removing the bones.

Mochi (rice cake made from glutinous rice, coated with crushed peanuts)

To me, it was a tad too sweet for my palate but I'm sure other diners would be comfortable with the taste.

I wouldn't mind making this at home, but I've heard from Japanese acquaintances that you need a special machine for it. Sigh.

Dorayaki (Japanese pancakes)

Like the mochi, it was a tad too sweet for my palate. Yes, I could have asked for the peanut butter filling, but I've a fear towards peanut butter as I'm not sure if I'm allergic to it.

If I had eaten only the pastry, it'd have been lovely. Perhaps I could attempt to make this dish one fine day? =D

A bird carved on ice?

One angle of the restaurant

Another angle of the restaurant

Sigh, I suddenly remembered that I forgot to take a picture of the dessert area and more pictures of the restaurant and the buffet lunch. I hope I'll have another chance to take more beautiful pictures if I ever find myself there again.

The rate is at RM 92++ per pax, but I suggest that you give Kampachi a call to find out about the current rates a week before your intended week as it is packed to the brim every week with diners.

Kampachi by Equatorial
Mezzanine Floor,
Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur,
50250 Kuala Lumpur,
Direct Line: 03 - 2101 7777

The restaurant will be closed on 1st April 2012 for three years as Hotel Equatorial will be undergoing an extensive revamp works. The operation of other branches will still be in business.

Mama Carrie had let it slip that we were there for some special occasion to the Malay waitress and it brought us a complimentary cake instead.

Chocolate Truffle Cake
RM 95.00 ++, sold by Étoile Bistro by Equatorial

Never in our lives did we expect it! =)

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