He's back! Chef Hideaki Oritsuki mysteriously vanished from Sushi Hinata several months ago, but thankfully, he never left KL - the sushi maestro's legion of fans can now find him at Oribe, which opened this week at the ViPod Residences near Pavilion.
It's been nearly two years since we first encountered Chef Ori, back when Sushi Hinata was still entirely unknown, on a Saturday evening on a lonely corner of St Mary Residences. The affable & gracious Oritsuki soon turned Sushi Hinata into one of the city's most deservedly respected names in Japanese dining - Kuala Lumpur's go-to place for top-drawer sushi.
Introducing Oribe now - the evolution of what Chef Ori wants to do in KL, a partnership between him & two other Japanese men who've created a spacious street-level restaurant with a beautiful sushi counter & several private rooms, bathed in a polished sheen & fair share of natural light. Limited parking lots are available in ViPod's compound.
Oritsuki has assembled a terrific team - his right-hand man is Akira, who's less than half Oritsuki's age but is eager to uphold his mentor's standards. The rest of the staff is sterling too - this is a place with immensely positive vibes, a feel-good restaurant where customers are welcomed as honoured guests & enjoy the most satisfying meal possible.
Oribe is kicking off with lunch & dinner multi-course sets - make sure you have at least 90 minutes; this meal can't be rushed.
Oritsuki has maintained every ounce of what made Sushi Hinata fantastic - expect luscious cuts of seafood that burst with freshness & flavour. Extra care is taken in even how the ginger & wasabi are sourced & served. A few bites of these & it becomes clear that Oribe Sushi instantly merits a berth in the highest echelons of Japanese restaurants in KL.
From roe-flooded Seiko snow crabs to briny-juicy Hiroshima oysters, Oribe reaches deeply into the bounty of Japan's waters & brings out the best for patrons, with lots of seasonal highlights to ensure that repeat visits over time are fruitfully rewarded.
Buttery shirako (cod sperm sacs), succulent braised abalone, flaky grilled flounder - if any of these interest you, check out this week's omakase set (RM350 for lunch & RM480 for dinner).
From tuna belly to mackerel, Oribe's sushi shines - secure a seat at the counter & admire Oritsuki's way around his work, slicing the fish with an elegant precision that seems to come effortlessly to him (the result of years of experience), then patting the rice & toppings together before presenting the sushi to you, piece by piece. The photos in this post show him looking serious & intent in his tasks, but he'll also take time to chat with you, explain the sushi & smile a lot.
Request the scallop sushi topped with Hokkaido uni if it isn't served to you. Also love the sweet prawns & tamago.
Gorgeous dinnerware, thoughtfully chosen, helps to ensure that even the chawanmushi & miso soup look incredibly alluring.
By the time dessert emerges (creamy azuki beans with mochi, alongside a plate of Japanese melon), you might discover yourself plotting your next visit to Oribe. Bravo to chef Ori & his collaborators for producing one of 2014's best new restaurants.
Ground Floor, ViPod Residences, Jalan Kia Peng, Off KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
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