Sushi Ten Omakase, Empire City

October 18, 2020

Celebrate the birth of the Klang Valley's latest omakase specialist: Sushi Ten Omakase offers luscious lunches and enchanting evenings for fans of multi-course Japanese meals. This is the fantasy-fulfilling omakase for patrons who love to see sea urchin all across their sushi, accompanied by everything from ebi to engawa, foie gras to wagyu beef, caviar to truffles.

Secure a seat at the counter, presided by chef Jack, a Malaysian maestro of sushi with more than a decade of professional experience in the Japanese culinary arts, honed in restaurants throughout the country. Chef Jack's careful, considered handling of treasures from sea and land speaks to his passion for precious high-end produce.

Sushi Ten Omakase officially launches today, 18 October. It shares part of an open kitchen with its sister restaurant, Senso Izakaya in Empire City, but Sushi Ten Omakase is its own outstanding entity.

Our preview dinner (the Ten Omakase Menu, available for lunch and dinner at RM350 per person) started with soft, creamy uni-blended tofu, mellow with briny-sweet notes of sea urchin, sitting in a pool of clear vegetable soup, topped with shimeji mushrooms and a double dose of decadent roe - butter-smooth Kaluga caviar and salmon ikura - for a well-harmonised medley of mouthwatering flavours that burst brilliantly on the palate.

Chef Jack's sharp blade seizes the spotlight and slices cleanly through sashimi for the next course, a delightful duet of ama ebi (sweet shrimp) and hamachi (yellow tail). With seafood flown in from Japan twice a week, freshness is assured, accentuated on this irresistibly composed sashimi platter by ohba leaves, white radish, lemon and wasabi.

True to the philosophy of omakase, which empowers the chef to determine what to serve from fine seasonal fare, Sushi Ten Omakase's specific selection should evolve from month to month, but customers can expect eight courses of speciality sushi.

The seasoned sushi rice (shari) is served at room temperature, with the fish and seafood (neta) scarcely cooler per tradition. Our experience kicks off with melt-in-the-mouth uni, generously layered over firm rice, showered with Kaluga caviar, diligently and delicately prepared by hand, with chef Jack precisely proportioning out each ingredient.

Next comes a no-holds-barred knockout of top-flight ingredients: Otoro - the fattiest, most coveted part of the tuna belly - topped not only with more sea urchin and caviar but with shavings of black autumn truffles, for seafood-rich sushi with an earthy whiff of truffle's aromatic allure.

The next two courses establish themselves with simpler but no less satisfying elegance. The akami announces itself as a little more special than typical tuna, with sea urchin and edible gold flakes on top, plus a smidgen of wasabi for readily apparent heat. The soy-brushed renkodai surfaces next, crimson sea bream with a bit of the skin left on for a pleasurable contrast of texture with the lighter flesh.

Everyone's always excited when engawa emerges - the halibut fin is torched with a yellow flame for about 10 seconds to help release its natural oils, bringing even more flavour and texture to this exquisite cut, with some ikura for extra umami.

Cuttlefish also takes on the heat, this time for five seconds, sufficient nonetheless for an enhanced smokiness that nonetheless leaves the essential purity of the cuttlefish intact, complemented by a light stroke of sweet soy sauce.

Naturally, hotate is on our omakase - succulent scallop, crowned with sea urchin, flying fish roe and a dash of wasabi, a surefire smash that hits the spot for what makes sushi so addictive.

The sushi finale is the palm-sized botan ebi, sliced up in front of you, needing no garnish but a sprinkle of ikura to work its juicy crustacean magic.

As a bonus course, chef Jack took it upon himself to deep-fry the head of the sweet prawn for a compellingly crunchy beauty of a snack. This marks the handover of his responsibilities to chef Karen, who takes over the teppanyaki portion of the omakase next.

After almost half a decade in teppan eateries, chef Karen wields her spatulas with all the ease and comfort of a veteran. She does justice to the Wagyu A4, cooked with little strips of wagyu fat, seasoned with Japanese sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. The result: Buttery beef with a gentle chew, elevated with shaved truffles, shimeji mushrooms and onions.

This is fast followed up with duck foie gras, sourced from France's Vendee region, so supple that it splits at the merest touch of the teeth but sublime enough that it lingers sensually on the taste buds. Also appealingly accompanied by shaved truffles, shimeji mushrooms and onion.

The final three courses bring classic comfort with contemporary flourishes. 

The chawanmushi’s custardy egginess is made extra tantalising with truffle oil and ikura, while the restorative miso soup is unveiled to reveal a chunk of pumpkin over white radish for nourishingly wholesome nuances. By this point, our stomachs are fully satiated.

Dessert is as dynamic as everything else here, showcasing two styles of mochi. The first is matcha mochi with a candy-like chew, potent in its green tea glory, while its sibling is the sakura matcha, its cherry blossom-inspired floral fragrance buoyed by basil-like herbaceousness from a perilla leaf.

Sushi Ten Omakase recommends the Ryugin Junmaishu to pair throughout the meal, a dry and refreshing sake (RM60 for 400ml, RM235 for 1.8 litres). Sharing a drink with the chef is appreciated if you favour their skills.

We visited Sushi Ten earlier this month before the restaurant's renovations were completed. The omakase space is ultimately designed to be cosy and to convey more privacy, with only eight seats exclusively available per session.

Customers are encouraged to book two days in advance because of limited seating, and to inform the restaurant of dietary restrictions. As with all omakase meals, the starters and sushi are subject to the chef's discretion of what's best to serve for each season.

A lower-priced Hokkaido Omakase Menu is available for RM220 per person, also comprising an appetiser, sashimi, eight pieces of speciality sushi, two kinds of teppanyaki, soup and dessert. The Hokkaido menu mainly swaps out the foie gras and wagyu beef in the teppanyaki with scallops and tiger prawns instead, and skips the chawanmushi.

Many thanks to Sushi Ten Omakase for this preview.

Sushi Ten Omakase

G-89I, Ground Floor, Tower H, Empire City, Jalan Damansara, PJU 8, 47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Daily, 1130am-230pm, 530pm-10pm. Tel: 011-3337-6881

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