Showing posts with label food promotion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food promotion. Show all posts

Thursday, September 07, 2023


For the uninitiated, Japan's 
Oita prefecture is known for its hot springs (onsen) particularly in Beppu and Yufuin. A culinary haven with its own exceptional food culture, Oita boasts abundant local produce from the mountains and sea. Hence fresh catches of fish and seafood, kabosu (native lime), nashi pear and muscat grapes among others take pride of place at Kampachi restaurant's current Oita showcase.

At the recent media preview, a standee of Kabosu Nukumizu – the kawaii (cute) mascot of Oita prefecture caught our eye within the dining outpost in Plaza 33. Oita is out to entice more Malaysians to discover its plethora of food and drink delicacies until 24 September.
Risa Ito, Director General of Oita Foreign Trade Association (left) together with Takahiro Gokita, CEO of Fan Japan (M) Sdn Bhd and Manabu Fujimoto, Managing Director of Inspire Corporation, shared snippets of interesting information about Oita prefecture with us throughout the evening.

The specially composed Oita menu at Kampachi restaurants is akin to a sensorial feast of Oita delicacies. To toast the collaboration, specially concocted cocktails: Kabosu Tonic (mixture of shochu and kabosu, RM38) and Yuzu Honey Shochu High Ball (RM38) as well as mocktails: Matcha Ichigo Mirukusheku (bottom pix, RM28) and Matcha Yuzu (RM28) will be available to tickle your fancy.
Suffice to say the cocktails should leave you in high spirits whilst teetotalers will find ample delight in the mocktails: the first similar to a light milkshake, blending Oita green tea with fresh strawberry and the second (below pix), a mixture of matcha and Japanese citron evoking clean, fresh grassy-citrusy accents.
Making an indelible splash with us was the sumptuous Buri Sushi (RM150). Shaped into nigiri sushi, each one came dotted with different Oita condiments: Kabosu Kosho, Ougon-Yuzukoshou, Yuzu Kosho, Oba-Kosho and Red Pepper Yuzu Kosho.
Just like our sambal, the Japanese paste is made from fresh red/green chillies fermented with yuzu juice and zest, and salt. Kabosu, yuzu, oba leaf, and red pepper render the condiment with varying levels of spiciness and zingy nuances. The assorted condiments certainly heightened our enjoyment of the Buri Sushi.

We were also smitten with Ryukyu (RM98) in which slices of marinated raw salmon, tuna, amberjack, squid and scallop were draped atop mounds of rice.

Every mouthful of the irresistible fish and rice was aptly complemented by an exclusive Oita-brewed sake with a 50% rice polishing ratio (RPR). In sake-making, the level of RPR will determine the desired and resultant taste profile of each sake.

Served at room temperature, the delicate umami-sweetness of Saiki Hisho, an artisanal sake with a 65% RPR and the distinctive Bungo Meijyo no Umeshu left us game for more.

Sake enthusiasts will have a chance to meet Oita’s master sake brewers at Kampachi Plaza 33 on September 21 and Kampachi EQKL on 22 September at a special Oita food and sake pairing dinner. Limited to only 40 seats per venue, the dinner priced at RM742 nett per person featuring a selection of rare sake from Oita which have never been exported.

We also had a chance to taste a ‘gold’ soy sauce specially formulated to complement sushi and carpaccio. Served to accompany Hirame no Kobujime (RM145), thinly sliced hirame (Japanese flounder) cured with konbu seaweed, the gold soy sauce with hints of vinegar and fish sauce in it, enabled us to appreciate the hirame’s delicacy even more.
Coated in crisp, airy-light batter, Toriten (RM48) - delectable morsels of deep-fried chicken tempura with ponzu sauce - sparked joy at first bite. One could easily get addicted to them.
The offering of Dango Jiru (RM65) proved comforting and soul-satisfying. The flat, slippery noodles in addition to tofu puffs, spring onion, carrot, radish, cabbage, chicken and mushrooms cooked in a pale, creamy miso broth won us over with its savoury richness
Sweet ending options include refreshing Nashi (pear), Budou (muscat grapes) & dollops of tart yuzu Jelly (RM48), and Sorakita Mochi (RM22).
Unique to Oita, the slightly chewy, semi-flattened mochi was made using sweet potato stuffed with red bean and chestnut filling. Lightly dusted with kinako (roasted soybean) powder, the delightful treat tasted mildly sweet - a befitting way to conclude your Oita culinary adventure. 

For advance reservations and more information on the Oita prefecture showcase and sake pairing dinner at Kampachi, email: or log onto:



Tuesday, July 18, 2023


Ayu fish and Hida beef from Gifu Prefecture will take centre stage at Kampachi restaurant, EQ Kuala Lumpur from 17 – 23 July.

At a special dinner graced by Gifu Prefecture Governor, Hajime Furuta (2nd from left) and Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, His Excellency Katsuhiko Takahashi (2nd from right), we were treated to Gifu’s native produce: Kikurage mushroom, Shungiku (chrysanthemum greens), and Gohei-mochi complemented by a selection of sake such as Tamakashiwa (award-winning Junmai Daiginjo with well-balanced, muted melon sweetness and fresh acidity) and Hyakujuro Akazura (smooth, super dry Junmaisyu with rich aroma reminiscent of cooked rice)
Located between Tokyo and Kyoto, Gifu Prefecture is a haven of natural beauty, nestled amidst the breathtaking Japanese mountain range. Its pristine rivers and lush forests, fresh environment and sustainability practices make Gifu known for its exceptional agricultural produce.
Furuta said: "Gifu is blessed with abundant agricultural products, and we are thrilled to promote them beyond Japan. We are committed to sustainable farming practices and preserving the unique landscape of Gifu."

Furuta then presented Kampachi with the ‘Recommended Overseas Gifu Ayu Restaurant’ certification by the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) and ‘Ayu of the Nagara River System’ Promotion Association; making the restaurant the first in Malaysia and second in the world to receive the honour.

Guests were then treated to a sumptuous dinner of Ayu fish and Hida beef prepared by Kampachi Japanese chef Yusuke Ishigami. Also known as sweet fish, Ayu can only be found in the purest and cleanest waters especially in Gifu’s Nagara River.

Cherished by the local community for centuries, the river also helps to give rise to and nurtures traditional "Cormorant Fishing" with 1,300 years of history; and "Hon Mino washi paper", handmade Japanese paper registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Raised in several facilities in Gifu Prefecture using clean, natural spring water under strict hygiene and temperature control, sustainably farmed Ayu fish is now available year-long.
Fine, tender with beautiful marbling, Hida Beef’s melt-in-the-mouth texture, and rich aroma and taste gained widespread recognition when Hidagyu achieved top honours at the 8th All-Japan National Wagyu Cattle Expo in 2002, held in Gifu Prefecture. Its continued success at various Beef Cattle Expo in 2012, 2013 and 2015 has made Hida Beef highly sought-after by discerning food lovers.

Our Gifu dinner commenced with Ayu Kanroni, simmered sweet fish in sweet soy sauce. The surprisingly firm albeit boney fish had fine flesh; its stomach was roe-filled. I like how the caramel-like shoyu that enhanced the fish’s natural sweetness.

The raw slices of Hida Gyu Carpaccio gave my jaw quite a workout. Luckily, the pleasant meaty richness accompanied by fresh greens and baby tomatoes made sampling the beef a distinct experience.

Sweet memories of my sojourn to Takayama returned when I sampled Ayu Shioyaki, grilled sweet fish with salt. We learned how to debone the fish by flattening the curvy Ayu with our chopsticks then gently pulling the tail to dislodge the whole vertebrate. The flesh was delicious and sweet, accented by a hint of salt.
True to all the key characteristics preceding it, the Hida Gyu Misoyaki – Hida beef with homemade miso didn’t disappoint. Served medium rare, the thickish beef slices tasted almost buttery on the palate. We love how the savoury miso with an imperceptible tinge of heat added a tantalising dimension to the meat.

For the speciality of Ayu Gohan (rice with sweet fish), the chef grilled the fishes separately then deboned and filleted them. The fish bones are used to make fish stock to cook the rice. To serve, the fish fillets are placed atop the cooked rice for presentation before everything was mixed together. While the rice tasted acceptable, the fish was too broken up to make its presence felt.

We enjoyed every drop of the Nameko Misoshiru, a soulfully satisfying miso soup with nameko mushroom. These small, amber-brown mushroom with a slippery gelatinous coating along with kelp added textural interest to the yummy broth. 

Dinner wrapped up with Gohei Mochi, a speciality of Central Japan, the skewered flat rice cake with sweet miso apparently is shaped like waraji (a traditional sandal). The soft rice cake texture reminded me of our ketupat; the miso paste with a sprinkling of coloured sesame seeds on it was more salty than sweet. The generous coating was a tad overwhelming on our tastebuds but it slowly grew on us the more we nibbled on it.

For me, the dinner was a memorable throwback to my trip to Takayama. Should you wish to embark on the culinary tour of Gifu, the menu of Gifu's bounties starts from RM60.
Advance reservation is required – for reservations at Kampachi, email: or visit:


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