Hajime fans, rejoice! The revered restaurant has been reincarnated in the form of Cocotei, which is run by the same folks who kept Hajime humming.
Since makis had always been our must-order at Hajime, we crossed our fingers that Cocotei's rolls would be similarly superb. This Avocado Lover Roll, brimming with bouncy baby octopus, velvety avocado & a garlicky sauce, lived up to its name. Love at first bite.
Our worst fears were laid to rest by the Miami Ink Maki, a masterful mix of raw fish with soft-shell crab & flying fish roe. Each mouthful of the sensuously smooth sashimi, the charred crab and savory roe supplied an intriguing interplay of tastes and textures.
A rice-free roll, comprising fresh salmon, ginger, crab meat, cucumber, avocado & tobiko. The crucial component here was the ginger, providing a pungent purity of flavor.
Golden Triangle Roll, with cooked salmon, crispy salmon skin, soft-shell crab & avocado sweet sauce. Tasty, but this suffered from the primary problem that plagues makis: after awhile, many of them might start to taste too similar.
Something sweet and simple: Kanpyo Roll, stuffed with Japanese melon skin.
Choya umeshu plum liquor, in lieu of dessert.
More sugary alcohol, bursting with fruity flavors.
Don't be deceived by the vacant seats: this was still early in the evening. Within an hour, most tables were taken, even though this was only the restaurant's first night. The moral: reservations recommended (really!).
No. 5, Jalan Delima, Kuala Lumpur.