Taka by Sushi SaitoRestaurant, $$$$, Japanese, Kuala Lumpur Sentral
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Mon - Sun
- Mon - Sun 1200-1500
- +603 2727 6688
- Level 3A, The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur, No. 6, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
- Private RoomYes
- Accept Credit CardYes
- Dress CodeSmart Casual
- Bring Your Own BottleNo
- Car ValetYes
As one of the flagship marquee dining establishments of The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur and the maiden restaurant of renowned sushi master Saito outside of Japan, Taka by Sushi Saito has much to live up to. And live up to those expectations the restaurant does.
The restaurant is quintessentially Japanese, with beautiful bamboo walls, huge lacquered painted walls and wooden sushi counter tops using materials imported from Japan to create an authentic dining experience. Well-lit halls, private rooms that come with their own sushi countertops for the chef to serve freshly made nigiri sushi, and private lavatories make this restaurant feel truly luxurious. Sitting at the sushi counter is highly recommended, as watching sushi masters do what they’re best at is both a spectacle and a great way to whet the appetite.
The omakase sushi course gives an unadulterated experience of how good raw fish can be, premised on the freshest in-season ingredients. It comes with five appetisers, one grilled fish, 10 pieces of nigiri sushi, a sushi roll and one dessert.
First appetiser of ikura showcases deliciously salty, high-grade salmon roe. The Hokkaido hairy crab, abalone and octopus combo starter is another hit, its wealth of differing flavours, textures and temperatures working in perfect harmony to whet the appetite. On the other hand, the abalone is creamy, juicy and luscious when taken with a hint of salt. The octopus sitting beside it is well-seasoned and boasts of an umami-rich sauce covering it in salty and sweet flavours. Another delicious appetiser is the smoked bonito with its lovely smoky texture giving off a wonderful fragrance.
The sushi course of the meal is like a culinary crescendo that relentlessly builds up with nary a sign of tapering off. Perhaps the premium cuts of fish, having the same quality chef Saito uses in his 3 Michelin-starred Tokyo restaurant has to do with that. They are readily seasoned with shoyu and wasabi and come set on warm sushi rice, making for ambrosial mouthfuls that only a sushi master can really provide. Exquisite highlights include the Bluefin tuna trio of maguro, chutoro and otoro. The provided ginger and pickled daikon is a great way to refresh the palate and clear it of excessive oils from the delicious pieces of sushi.
Mackarel, another popular fish in Japanese cuisine, is delicious with its sweet aftertaste and rich oily mouthfeel that proves to be quite savoury. The bafuwa uni sushi is also amazing, with a creamy rich taste that plays incredibly well with the wrap of roasted seaweed.
Diners are encouraged to eat their sushi with the hands, of which a wet towel is provided to clean your fingers after each bite. This being omakase, guests are also given an explanation of each dish being served and can let the chef know if they would like additional pieces (chargeable of course) or if they didn’t like wasabi.
The arrival of a slice of tamago is the signal that the meal would be ending soon, as is custom of many sushi restaurants of high calibre. The tamagoyaki (pan fried tamago), is phenomenal for the fact that it looks solid but is custard-like when eaten. Miso soup arrives as a second last course to refresh the palate, followed by a slice of Japanese peach to end the meal on a sweet note.
The restaurant does have available a selection of wine, but we recommend pairing your sushi experience with a sweet tasting sake. As expected, a comprehensive selection of premium sake takes pride of place at Taka, with prices ranging from RM160 to RM4,000 for the more rare bottles.
Service is another hallmark of the restaurant, from the moment you enter to the moment you leave. Waiters are attentive, friendly and well spoken. They help you out of your chair when you want to go to the lavatory, they attentively refill your green tea cup, even wiping away any sauces that you may have spilled on the counter. Sushi chefs are also friendly and can be slightly chatty, in a good way, if you attempt to engage in conversation. Watching a sushi master perform is art in itself but speaking to them adds a rather nice human element behind an otherwise illustrious position. However special your requests may be, we’re fairly certain the restaurant would be able to accommodate them.
The bill for a party of two came to RM2,800 (tax excluded) for a grand meal that may be out of reach for the regular Malaysian diner. That being said, this is a dining experience worth trying at least once, given its illustrious heritage and amazing sushi experience that offers a slice of Japan like no other, right here in the heart of KL. If you’d like to sample the restaurant’s offerings in a more affordable manner, go during lunch and order the tsuki menu. For RM450, it comes with an appetiser, eight pieces of sushi and one sushi roll.
LUNCH: 12:00 PM-3:00 PM (LAST SEATING: 1:30PM); DINNER: 6:30 PM-12:00 AM (SEATING TIMES: 6:30PM, 7:30PM & 8:30PM)