Sushi Oribe, is a unique Japanese restaurant that serves true authentic Japanese sushi – the way it’s meant to be created and consumed. Located on the ground floor of ViPod Residences in Kuala Lumpur, Oribe offers an omakase-style dining experience to all of its diners.
There are 12 counter seats and a small dining room area. All the sushi are made by only two key men, Master Chef Hideaki Oritsuki (a.k.a Chef Ori) himself and his right hand man, Naoya – depending on which section of the sushi counter you are seating at. Upon making the reservation, I made a special request to be seated right in front of Chef Ori in order to get the best view!
On a lovely Monday afternoon, Miss M and I arrived slightly early for our 12pm seating. We were fortunate to watch a truck unloading fresh ingredients all the way from Japan. Oribe’s ingredients are flown in directly from Japan three times a week in order to maintain the best freshness and the highest quality of ingredients.
For their lunch menu, Oribe offers 5 different dining experiences – Seto, Iga, Mino, Oribe and Omakase. Their lunch sets get progressively expensive down the menu but it also comes with more expensive and exclusive ingredients.
For our experience, we opted for their Mino Set. It is comprised of an appetizer, steamed egg custard, 13 “chef’s speciality” nigiri, sushi roll, miso soup and a dessert. The reason why we chose this menu was because it focuses on nigiri.
However, the menu doesn’t specify what the nigiris will be. The chef will simply serve from the range of fresh ingredients they currently have and whatever he thinks is best for the diner – omakase!
To start, we were served with crab meat placed on a bed of vegetables and topped with bonito flakes. A simple and refreshing start to our meal.
Next, the waiter brought us a little red cup containing delicate steamed egg custard with bits and pieces of sakura shrimp and mushroom. Delicious!
Now comes the part we’ve been waiting for. Freshly created nigiri right from the chef’s hands and onto your plate! The chef kindly explained the wasabi and soy sauce in front of us are only an additional option as he have already incorporated them (if necessary) while making the sushi. Throughout the whole meal, I ate every piece as served and did not use any wasabi or soy sauce.
For the first piece of nigiri, we watched the chef work meticulously as he grabs the right amount of warm sushi rice, giving it a gentle squeeze and palms it together along with a piece of horse mackerel. He then places the piece of nigiri onto our plate and describes what we will be eating.
I’ve never had horse mackerel before so I was so pleased to try out new types of Japanese fish during this meal. The balance in the quantity of the sushi rice and the cut of the fish was absolutely spot on. Along with its freshness, I savoured my first bite and entered a whole new realm of Japanese dining.
After having our first piece of nigiri, our chef then proceeded to put together the next piece – the chef will only serve one sushi at a time. This time he presented us a beautiful piece of flounder with a touch of lime. Its sweet delicate texture was really delectable.
To our surprise, the chef served us a piece of Otoro nigiri! Otoro is the most expensive cut of a tuna and is probably one of the most prized cut of fish anywhere in the world. I was extremely thrilled when I saw that magnificent piece of tuna belly being served on our plate. The fatty texture the Otoro simply melted in my mouth and the savoury taste of the tuna was out of this world. I can now understand why Otoro has become such a popular ingredient.
Throughout the whole meal, Chef Ori was very friendly and was always smiling. I had a chat with him and asked why did he decide to move to Malaysia. He said he wanted to close the gap for sushi dining between Japan and Malaysia. What a great man.
Next, the chef prepared for us a lovely torched scallop. The chef also grated some yuzu onto the scallop for that extra sour kick. Following the scallop, the chef served a torched barracuda. One thing to note here is that their sushi rice is warm all the time. In order to achieve this, they bring a tub of warm rice out from the kitchen to the sushi counter every 30 minutes or so to replace the cold rice. That’s how much their care about their sushi!
Every single piece of nigiri served was amazing. Each sushi has its own distinct character. This experience is as close as it gets to how they serve authentic sushi in Japan.
I think so far I’ve posted about 8 nigiris. I might have missed out taking photos of one nigiri or two, but the menu says 13 nigiris – where’s the rest?
The chef decided instead to serve us his famed ‘Cholesterol Bowl’!
I was so delighted that we had the opportunity to experience his ‘cholesterol bowl’. When I saw him making additional bowls of this dish, I went ‘Oh my god is that for us?’ and prayed hard that it was. I’ve seen other food blog reviews and it seemed that most of the time he will serve this bowl only for his more expensive lunch sets. Lucky us!
There isn’t much to be said about this dish except that it is incredible. You just can’t go wrong with a rice bowl filled with exquisite & luscious ingredients – chopped fatty tuna, delicate sea urchin, sweet white shrimp and salmon roe. I savoured every single bite with my eyes closed. Best. Bowl. Ever.
After the cholesterol bowl, the chef prepared for us a simple sushi roll to end the savoury part of the meal.
At the end of the course, we were very satisfied and left as happy customers. Sushi Oribe really is one of a kind. With the abundant amount of Japanese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur – with most serving sub-par Japanese food, this establishment stands out and excels beyond the dining scene with it’s authentic Japanese dining experience.
Dining at Oribe changed my perception of Japanese sushi entirely. To watch a passionate sushi master work with so much care and precision really opened my eyes. I think my taste buds have been spoilt and I’m not sure if I can turn back.
Some might feel that their price is on the expensive side, but considering the superior quality of their fresh ingredients, along with their omakase dining style and sushi bar concept, every dime spent here is absolutely worth it. If you plan to visit Oribe, remember to try and snag a seat in front of Chef Ori for the best experience!
I can’t wait to return for more.