Kampai KLCC

Kampai KLCC Japanese Omakase Restaurant

Kampai KLCC Japanese Omakase Restaurant

Words: Stephen Reid
Photos: Peter Tan

Underneath the glittering glory of architecture that is the world-famous Petronas Towers, an exclusive Japanese restaurant right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Centre, has opened its doors under the wing of the upmarket Isetan department store.

This exclusive restaurant offers a unique triple omakase experience that sets it apart from its competitors. It is indeed a one-of-a-kind dining destination in Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Kampai KLCC provides a well-rounded exploration of Japanese cuisine through its three distinct sections: Teppanyaki Omakase, Sushi Omakase, and Yakiniku Omakase. Each section boasts its own unique ambience and dining style, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the world of Japanese culinary artistry.

The Teppanyaki Omakase section invites guests to watch skilled chefs prepare delectable dishes on a sizzling teppanyaki grill right before their eyes. The Sashimi/Sushi Omakase section offers a wide selection of fish and seafood prepared as sashimi or sushi by seasoned sushi chefs. Finally, the Yakiniku Omakase section takes diners on a grilled meat journey with cuts of Wagyu beef cooked on a traditional Japanese grill.

You approach the restaurant from one of the verdant lungs of the city, KLCC Park, designed by the late Mr Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994), a renowned Brazilian landscape architect. It is said to be his final masterpiece. He was a versatile and gifted garden designer who excelled as a painter, printmaker, ecologist, naturalist, artist and musician. His works are known for their timeless and flawless quality.

It was fitting, then, that the restaurant’s interior design shares a similar timeless and flawless quality. The restaurant’s name was illuminated from behind, soft lighting spilling out over the elegant black and green marbled walls. You could take the elevator from the entrance to the first floor where the restaurant was located, or I recommend taking the breathtaking spiral staircase; it would have been such a pity to miss such a work of art. The stairs rose gently, echoing the wrought iron staircases of a bygone era, their risers resplendent in gold leaf, and illumination came from octagonal backlit panels. When we emerged into the reception area, there was a real sense of occasion, with further backlit geometric panels and the ceiling contrasting the sophisticated dark walls and corridors that beckoned us to the dining experience ahead.

The charcoal black walls and woodwork were reminiscent of ‘Shou sugi ban’, or yakisugi, which is a method of preserving and distressing wood by applying an open flame to it. The fire chars the wood, turning the top layer into black ash, but only lightly so. The practice originated in Japan and has been used for hundreds of years there and across the world.

Kampai KLCC
Private Room

We were warmly welcomed by Tariq, our host for the day; he and Monica have known each other for some time from his long history in hospitality, so it was a pleasant opportunity for them both to get reacquainted. When we walked down the dark-panelled hallway, Tariq pointed out the wide range of exclusive dining rooms, all accessed by automatic doors that glided open silently, revealing the private dining rooms within, each exuding a sense of quiet luxury.

One is the dramatic and elegantly designed room for Omakase Sashimi and Sushi. The room is adorned with a polished concrete backdrop, contrasted by charcoal wood panelling on the other walls. The room’s centrepiece is an L-shaped granite counter dramatically lit from above and underneath, creating a sophisticated and intimate ambience.

Kampai KLCC
Kampai KLCC

The six cream leather bar stools invite guests to indulge in a choice of two lunch and dinner menus prepared by an expert sushi chef. The counter sits in front of the concrete wall, providing an unobstructed view of the chef’s meticulous preparation of each dish.

Other private rooms, with breathtaking views over the park, are available for yakiniku dining. It’s exciting to see that Japanese yakiniku dining has found a thriving fanbase in Kuala Lumpur, as in other parts of Asia and Western countries. Yakiniku, which translates to “grilled meat” in Japanese, originated from Korean barbecue and has become a popular social dining experience. There is a larger public restaurant space in addition to the private dining rooms (several of which can be joined together for larger groups).

Kampai KLCC
Yakiniku Dining Area

Kampai KLCC Teppanyaki Menu

Teppanyaki, the vibrant and entertaining cooking style, has its roots in the Japanese word “teppan,” which translates to “metal plate.” When combined with “yaki,” which means grilled, fried, or pan-fried, the term “teppanyaki” emerges, describing the art of cooking on a metal plate. Teppanyaki has become a popular dining experience in Japan and various parts of the world, including Kuala Lumpur, offering patrons the chance to witness skilled chefs perform a theatrical cooking display right at their table.

Kampai KLCC offers a choice of three lunch and three dinner Teppanyaki options ranging in price to suit your hunger and pocket. We sampled the Yamanakako Dinner menu (RM 698++). Tariq guided us to another exquisite private dining room featuring a striking semi-circular granite counter adorned with a gleaming copper-effect panelled backdrop and elegant hand-blown glass lampshades by the renowned British designer Tom Dixon. This intimate space was the setting for a culinary experience helmed by Chef Saburu Nutsu.

Monica’s keen eye noticed the stunning ceramic place settings, platters, and bowls used to present many dishes. She remarked that some of these pieces were so beautiful they could easily double as decorative objects on a shelf.

Our meal began with the Yasai Yaki, a mix of fresh vegetables from Hokkaido, Japan’s second-largest island; well, almost all the vegetables. Chef Nutsu surprised us by saying that the yellow peppers came from Kuala Lumpur.

Next, we had three appetisers: Suimono, a soup served in a tea kettle, Wagyu Beef sushi, and Kaizen Yakimono, steamed lobster and Wagyu beef with foie gras. We also tried three different 50g slices of Wagyu Sirloin. While this did not outperform some of the incredible recent omakase experiences we’ve enjoyed, we see the promise of things on the rise once the new opening kinks are worked out.

Japanese omakase
Teppanyaki Omakase
Japanese omakase

Chef Arafin then stepped in to prepare our Gyutan Yakimono, which is garlic fried rice. This had an element of ‘Dinner and a show’ as Chef Arafin prepared the dish with a dazzling display of juggling cooking utensils, eggs and even a rubber duck at one stage.

Kampai KLCC
Chef Arafin
Japanese omakase
Teppanyaki Grill

We finished our meal with a Dezato, meaning dessert, which was a refreshing, palate-cleansing yuzu sorbet on the day of our visit.

Japanese omakase

Before leaving, Tariq gave us a quick demonstration of the Yakiniku dining experience available at Kampai, which is available both for lunch and dinner. (RM 398). It features five kinds of Japanese Miyazaki Wagyu, beef tongue, artisanal vegetables and a seasonal sorbet for dessert.

Japanese omakase
Yakiniku Dining Experience
Japanese omakase

You can also enjoy sushi and sashimi at Kampai KLCC, offering two different menus for lunch and dinner. The prices vary from RM 398 to RM 548 for lunch and RM 548 to RM 798 for dinner. Each course comes with appetisers and desserts.

Japanese omakase
Kampai KLCC


One of the standout features of Kampai KLCC is its diverse range of private dining rooms and dining experiences. Whether celebrating a special occasion or simply seeking an intimate meal, these private dining rooms provide a sophisticated setting for your gathering. Many private dining rooms overlook the park, which becomes a mesmerising spectacle in the evening as fountains dance to a soundtrack of classical and popular music. This stunning view enhances the dining experience, creating a sense of occasion and enchantment.

Kampai KLCC offers a stunning location, a range of private and public dining spaces, a classy atmosphere, design, and captivating park views.

Kampai KLCC
Lot 139, First floor (KLCC Park side), Kuala Lumpur City Centre,
50088, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia +6016 4257100 www.kampaiklcc.com

Kampai KLCC Opening Hours
Monday – Sunday: Lunch: 12 pm – 3 pm

Find more Japanese restaurants in KL here and stay up-to-date with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations for Malaysia here and here.

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