What an honour to be invited by SOU Omakase Dining to try their special limited menu for this month, where fresh ingredients were imported from Azumino Ikeda, Nagano in Japan. It was really an interesting session and I did learn more about Japanese food, other than the usual sashimi and sushi I normally have. I also felt privileged that Tomoko-san was there to introduce all the dishes and explained the slightest details of the ingredients used.
For those who don’t know what “Omakase” is, it translates to “I’ll leave it to you” in Japanese. Hence, the name and concept of SOU Omakase Dining – where the Chef gets to constantly surprise customers with a series of dishes that will leave them in delight. Over here you will experience kaiseki culinary – which is a multi-course meal that’s more refined and sophisticated. Like I mentioned before, they had specially curated a menu to feature Azumino Ikeda, Nagano this month. We’ll get into the details later. Just in case you didn’t know, Ikeda town is also home to some famous sake (rice wine) breweries. Mmmm… sake… yummm. I would definitely order some if this was dinner. Hah!
The first course to the SOU X Azumino Ikeda Lunch Set (available starting today at RM88++ for a limited time only) was the Osechi plate. Osechi is a typical Japanese New Year food. I liked how Tomoko-san explained this dish was like a Chinese New Year yee sang (prosperity toss). Each and every item on this sakizuke (appetizer) had an auspicious meaning to it. It’s normally taken within the first few days of the new year. I find the herring roe (symbolize fertility) and black soybean (symbolizes longevity) very unusual and tasty.
The Special Azumino Lunch was the main course. It was a bit crowded since there were so many items. I actually had a hard time fitting everything in one photo, so I’d be splitting them into a few for a better view.
Clockwise from top right; sashimi & roe, pickles, tempura, yam and the centre was grilled cod fish. All the items here were prepared using different types of miso from Azumino Ikeda. They were all quite good but my favourite was the yam which they’ve garnished with some thinly sliced orange peel.
The cod fish was very silky but might be a bit too fatty for some. So I ate it alongside with some steamed rice which was from Nagano. By the way, Nagano is also a leading rice producer in Japan.
A duo of noodles; soba (buckwheat noodles) and udon (wheat flour noodles) from Azumino Ikeda were also served as part of the Special Azumino Lunch. I’ve always enjoyed a good soba, but I would never order udon because I felt they were too thick. This one here was not at all. They were chewy but soft at the same time. In fact, I actually preferred their udon over soba. Both served with cold mentsuyu (Japanese noodle dipping sauce).
Dessert was sake-kasu pudding with kuwanomi (a popular Japanese mulberry). Sake-kasu actually meant fermented rice, so this pudding didn’t contain alcohol but did leave a slight note of the rice wine kind of flavour. Right next to it was the apple sherbet made from Nagano apples. I enjoyed the sherbet. It was very fine and refreshing, but just a tad bit too light. It’d be perfect if it was slightly fruitier.
Last but not least, you will also walk away with a Mizuhiki (Japanese cord made from rice paper tied into knots) pin or key-chain by E&A Works with every SOU X Azumino Ikeda Lunch Set. Depends on the type of knot, they are normally gifted during special events like weddings, birthdays and even used as an accessory. There’s a beautiful Mizuhiki display of all sorts at the entrance counter done personally by Aya Nomura herself (E&A Works).
Thanks again SOU Omakase Dining and Tomoko-san for the wonderful lunch. It was a nice opportunity to be able to learn so much more about the Japanese cuisine and culture.
What was good about SOU Omakase Dining:
- High quality imported food ingredients used for food preparation
- Nice, quiet and relaxing ambiance with heavy wood elements
- Be surprised by what Chef decides to serve (no à la carte menu)
- Food presentation was appealing
- Osechi plate was an interesting and special dish
- A private room/section is available for groups
What was bad about SOU Omakase Dining:
- A bit tricky to find the restaurant if one is not familiar with The Gardens Mall
- Food needs more kick/ flavour – some items were quite dull
MISSGETABOUT SCORE: 7.5/10
SOU Omakase Dining’s Details:
Website: SOU Omakase Dining
Facebook: SOU Omakase Dining
Address: Lot G247 Ground Floor, The Gardens, Midvalley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603 2202 1133
Reservation: SOU Omakase Dining