Talk about a sushi specialist: Sushi Hinata opened this month on a well-hidden corner of St Mary Residences' retail level, offering a menu that's probably 80 percent sushi, with no obvious sight of soupy noodles, teppanyaki or tempura.
The amiable Oritsuki Hideaki, a sushi chef for three decades, helms the counter that's the restaurant's main seating space. The native Nagoyan says this KL branch is the first foreign offshoot of a Sushi Hinata in Nagoya City, but language barriers foiled further elaboration.
Hinata's sushi selection is presented in thematic sets. The top bet: Tuna.
For RM78+, a customer gets three pieces of fatty tuna sushi, as well as fatty tuna maki sushi.
Watch Chef Oritsuki work his magic, meticulously slicing fish & pressing rice in his palms. Hinata's rice is warm, evoking bygone customs when women were barred from making sushi partly because their body temperature was thought to be too low for rice-handling.
Definitely ranks among the Klang Valley's top 10 for sushi. We think Sri Hartamas' Kame Sushi is still No. 1, but there might be a point to consider: we weren't here at Hinata on a Tuesday or Friday, when the restaurant receives its fresh shipments of seafood.
Vegetable sushi? Hinata's RM38+ fish-free sushi set comprises crisp white radish sprouts ...
... shiitake mushroom ...
... asparagus ...
... & torch ginger.
The eel's excellent here, both this yuzu-sprinkled saltwater anago ...
... & the lake-locked unagi. Caveat: These two certifiably chunky pieces total RM50+.
Prices here are high, but standards are too. Hinata serves freshly grated Mazuma wasabi ...
... as well as freshly shaved bonito flakes (yep, that's a slab of the fish right there).
The extraordinary attention to detail even extends to the ginger, painstakingly marinated for hours for a mellow flavor.
Sake & shochu are available at prices far less agonizing than those for the food.
Hinata also offers RM300 omakase meals that comprise a fuller spectrum of Japanese cuisine, with the sushi course remaining the inevitable highlight.
Sushi Hinata (behind The Weld shopping mall),
A-0-1, St Mary Residences, Jalan Tengah, Off Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur.
Open for lunch & dinner, except Sundays.