Monday, February 17, 2020

ALL TUNA TREATS AT IKETERU, HILTON KUALA LUMPUR

Highly revered by the Japanese, maguro or tuna is the king of fish when it comes to savouring sashimi and sushi at any sushi-ya (sushi restaurant) worth its salt. The bidding for this deep-sea fish in Japan is fiercely competitive with record-breaking sums paid each year for the biggest tuna.
 
When invited to witness Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s Japanese Executive Chef Masami Okamoto perform a live tuna-cutting demonstration at Iketeru Japanese Restaurant, it was an opportunity no foodie can refuse.
 
Weighing in at 30kg, the tuna’s sleek, torpedo-shaped body was an awesome sight to behold. Chef Okamoto soon held us spellbound when he set about carving and filleting the huge fish with practiced finesse, his sharp knife cutting through the tuna as if it was butter.
 
 
 
Before long, he was deftly slicing up fresh, deep-red slices of chutoro for our sampling. Every slice tasted soft yet toothsomely succulent with an imperceptible flinty sweetness to it. The chef also hand-crafted dainty pieces of maguro sushi to tickle our tastebuds before we sat down to Iketeru’s All Tuna Course Menu.
 
 
 
 
The duo of curtain-raisers featured Tuna Sumiso Sauce and Tuna, Avocado, and Tomato with Wasabi Mayo Sauce. Both appetisers showcased how different preparation techniques resulted in palate-pleasing morsels to pique diners’ interest.
 
I enjoyed the latter for its simplicity as the diced tuna with little avocado and tomato wedges were lightly dressed in zingy wasabi sauce. However, the former proved interesting too as the cooked tuna paired with some kelp came anointed with sumiso sauce – a mixture of white miso, sugar and vinegar.
 
After these profusion of rich flavours, we sipped on Tuna Belly Soup. The clear, savoury broth was conceived to cleanse the palate yet its full-bodied nuance was unmistakable, thanks to the meaty tuna belly immersed in it. Tofu and negi (Japanese leek) lent textural contrast to the overall dish.
 
A generous serving of Tuna Sashimi then enlivened our dinner further. Some of the raw tuna I savoured au naturel whilst others I dipped in shoyu and wrapped in shiso (perilla leaf) with a dab of wasabi for added punch. Slivers of gari or Japanese pickled ginger came in handy to temper the fish’s inherent richness.
 
 
Teppanyaki-style Tuna with Truffle Teriyaki Sauce was the night’s stellar show-stopper. Although my serving of tuna was a tad overdone (a seared crust with a raw core would have done the fish greater justice), its sumptuousness was dialled up by the accompanying truffle-infused teriyaki sauce.
 
 
Reeling us in further was Deep-fried Tuna Tatsuta Age with Spicy Miso Dip. Marinated earlier in soya sauce, the deep-fried tuna with its nice crisp crust boasted distinct savouriness reminiscent of fu yue (Chinese fermented beancurd). It was a sublime treat when relished with the tangy-sweet-savoury red miso dip and grilled shishito pepper.
 
More of the fresh tuna returned to delight us; roughly chopped and sprinkled with sesame seeds then set atop white rice, we valiantly found tummy space to fit in the Oshokuji Tekka Don with Miso Soup. Again, this no-frills approach was an apt reminder that a prime quality fish such as tuna is best treated with respect and doesn’t need frills to shine.
Black Sesame Ice Cream with fine watermelon and dragonfruit dices wrapped up our exclusive tuna dining experience on a high.
 
 
 
 
 
The All Tuna Course Menu is priced at RM480 nett per person inclusive free flow of house red and white wine, juices and soft drinks, and at RM300 nett per adult for food only.

For reservations, please call Iketeru @Hilton Kuala Lumpur, tel: 03-2264 2264 or visit www.life.hiltonkl.com

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