Omakase (pronounced as oh-ma-kah-seh) literally means “I’ll leave it to you” in Japanese. It is also the Japanese tradition of entrusting a chef to choose your meal for you.
Truth be told, an omakase meal doesn’t come cheap. A set is priced between RM450 to RM1500, depending on which restaurant and chef you go to. Though you don’t exactly know what you will be getting, expect to get the best of the best because these chefs know their stuff. However, your meal can be customised according to your dietary restrictions.
An omakase meal usually comes with an appetiser, several small-plated entrées (typically sushi and sashimi), and dessert. As most Japanese fine dining restaurants import ingredients directly from Japan, guests will be presented with the freshest seasonal items that they might have never seen or heard of.
Whether you’re a curious foodie or just have a taste for expensive food, here are 8 restaurants that serve critically-acclaimed omakase sets:
1. Sushi Hinata @ Jalan Raja Chulan
Established in 2013, Sushi Hinata (which means sunny place in Japanese) is quietly tucked away at the ground floor of St. Mary Residence along Jalan Tengah. The restaurant has 2 main chefs – Master Chef Yuki Iwai and Executive Chef Shigeo Akiba. While Yuki can be found working at the sushi counter, Akiba prepares delicious cooked meals at the back kitchen. If you’re looking to try something special, the restaurant also offers seasonal specials such as fugu (pufferfish).
- Address: A-0-1 , Ground Floor St.Mary Residence, No.1,
Jalan Tengah, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
- Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm (Closed on Sundays)
- Tel: 03-20221349
2. Iketeru @ Hilton KL
Headed by Japanese Executive Chef Ricky Kamiishi, Iketeru has built and maintained its reputation as one of the best authentic Japanese restaurants in the city. The restaurant emphasises a lot on freshness, quality, and creativity. One regular customer commented, “This is the best Japanese omakase that we had in Kuala Lumpur. You just need to let Assistant Chef Johnny know what you feel like eating and he will surprise you every single time.”
Furthermore, Iketeru boasts an variety of premium set lunches ranging from RM80 to RM320.
- Address: Level 8, Hilton KL, Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
- Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm
- Tel: 03-22642596
3. Sushi Oribe @ Jalan Kia Peng
Opened in 2014 by former Sushi Hinata Master Chef Hideaki Oritsuki (or Chef Ori for short), Sushi Oribe takes its name from the famed Oribe ceramic wares. Unlike their competitors, Chef Ori prefers to source his ingredients from Osaka and Kyushu Island instead of Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. Featuring an array of sublime sushi, the restaurant also offers seasonal items like monkfish liver, Hokkaido uni and king crab, Hiroshima oysters, as well as fish milt. However, don’t expect to find tempura at Sushi Oribe as Chef Ori prefers to focus on making traditional sushi.
- Address: Block C-1, Vipod Residences, No 6, Jalan Kia Peng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
- Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm -11pm (Closed on Sundays)
- Tel: 03-21814099
4. SOU Omakase @ The Gardens Mall
True to its name, SOU Omakase specialises in the art of omakase. Without an a la carte menu, guests have to leave it up to Chef Fukuchi from Yokohama and his team. But fret not, they won’t disappoint. Located near the entrance of the Gardens Hotel, Chef Fukuchi is unafraid to incorporate new ingredients into their meals. For example, he serves grilled abalone with a thick gooey cheese sauce.
As Tien Chew of Malaysian Tatler puts it, “SOU Omakase is an interesting modern Japanese restaurant that doesn’t stray too far from its roots but welcomed the addition of other ingredients to offer diners a new way to enjoy the popular cuisine.”
- Address: Lot G247, Ground Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City
- Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 9:30pm
- Tel: 03-22021133
- Website | Facebook
5. Sushi Azabu @ Lot 10
Sushi Azabu is a Michelin-starred sushi restaurant from New York that is located at The Table, Isetan The Japan Store. Headed by Chef Toshihide Terado, the restaurant serves traditional Edo-mae sushi that are made with freshest seafood. Moreover, Sushi Azabu uses Akitakomachi rice, which is sourced from the Akita prefecture in Northern Japan. Besides sushi, there is a small selection of cold and hot appetisers.
Note: The Table features 4 other different Japanese eateries: The Tokyo Restaurant, Yakiniku Toraji, Toriden, and Tonkatsu Anzu.
- Address: Level 4, Isetan The Japan Store, Lot 10, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
- Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm
- Tel: 03-21192624
6. Hanaya @ Grand Millennium
Hanaya will give you an authentic Japanese dining experience unlike any other. Managed by the same team behind Ten Japanese Fine Dining at Marc’s Residence, the restaurant uses only the finest ingredients from Japan. Aside from the omakase menu, they also have an extensive a la carte dishes including grilled teppanyaki and tempura. Hanaya is also famous for their trademark omotenashi (which is the art of selfless hospitality) spirit. You’ll definitely feel like a king here.
- Address: Lobby Floor, Grand Millennium Hotel, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
- Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm
- Tel: 03-21105499
- Website | Facebook
7. Taka by Sushi Saito @ The St. Regis KL
Located at the St. Regis Kuala Lumpur, Taka by Sushi Saito is founded by Chef Takashi Saito, who is the youngest sushi chef to be awarded with 3 Michelin stars. Decorated with woven mat walls and hand-painted doors, the restaurant’s 16-seat traditional sushi counter is made of 300-year-old Hinoki wood, which is said to have antimicrobial properties.
In terms of food quality, the restaurant’s ingredients are flown in from Japan 3 times a week. But be warned that you might not get what you want in this prestigious restaurant. Taka only offers omakase dishes and there is no a la carte menu.
- Address: Level 3A, The St. Regis KL, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
- Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 11:30pm
- Tel: 012-3303600
8. Ginza Sushimasa @ Le Meridien
From appetiser to dessert, Ginza Sushimasa’s exquisite omakase menu is like a symphony of flavours for your mouth. Owned by Amino Co Ltd, the franchise has a string of outlets in Tokyo’s Ginza area and Sendai. The restaurant takes pride in using fresh wild fishes brought in from Tokyo and Fukuoka about 3 times a week. According to Time Out KL, they even have a special license that allows them direct access into the world-famous tuna auction, giving them the right to pick the best.
- Address: Level 7, Le Meridien, Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470, Kuala Lumpur
- Opening Hours: 12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 10:30pm; Saturday, 6:30pm – 10:30pm
- Tel: 03-35415882