Tatler Dining Guide 2022: What To Order at Sushi Hara
Here's a guide to one of the top restaurants in Kuala Lumpur
At a sushi counter, merely having good cooking skills is never enough; the art of presentation is also key, as all eyes are on you as you make each dish. Thankfully, executive chef Usami Yasuro is a master of his craft. For the Yokohama native, cutting fish is not just a job—he is continuing in the fine tradition of all the great sushi chefs before him. What he serves is more than just food; it’s a representation of his culture as well.
Together with deputy chef Kelvin Wan, he crafts outstandingly unique takes on beloved Japanese dishes. Each of their creations is carefully placed on an exquisite plate from premium tableware supplier Artelia, and the aesthetics are nothing short of stunning.
Below are the dishes to order for the ultimate culinary experience.
The right aesthetic is a top consideration at Sushi Hara. For this sashimi platter, Chef Usami brightens up a serving of Akagai (red clams), Chutoro (medium fatty tuna) and Fugu (pufferfish) with purple Hanaho flowers and bright oba leaves. Everything is elevated on a large mound of ice with a small infusion of Benitate (pepper flowers) for a tinge of spiciness.
A good sushi chef must be familiar with a wide variety of fish. True to form, Chef Usami starts naming some of his favourites. “Our Kuruma Ebi or Japanese tiger prawns have a nice sweetness and texture. We fly them in live from Japan. Or you might like the Nodoguro (rosy seabass). Since we serve it at a premium omakase, we just do some touch up on the skin to let some of the oil come out. It will just melt in your mouth,” he says.
Deep-sea prawns, grilled to orange-gold perfection, are served with specially made sea urchin paste (uni) in one of Sushi Hara’s most beloved signature dishes. The result is an aromatic and crunchy entrée brimming with briny undertones. Sea urchins are abundant in most of the world’s oceans but are considered difficult to harvest, in part due to their spiny exteriors. Yet they are always in high demand as their flesh is associated with major health benefits.
This milky tasting delicacy often provokes colourful reactions from those who try it. Also known as milt, Tara Shirako is cod sperm sacs, served with radish, chili and homemade ponzu sauce.
“It’s a popular dish but not everyone can accept it. Some hear the word ‘sperm’ and get turned off. Sometimes I ask the customer to try it first before telling them what it is,” Chef Usami says with a laugh.
See also: 6 Dishes and Drinks with Unique Names
What may at first glance look like a scaly dragon’s tail is actually rows of ruby-red salmon roe encased within a protective sac. This exquisite delicacy is only available in autumn and winter. Chef Usami procures whole salmon from Hokkaido and cleans them of their roe, which he then marinades in soy sauce. He recommends eating with yuzu to get the best out of their flavours.
- PhotographyKhairul Imran
- Art DirectionLiew Chiaw Ching
- Prop StylingTrisha Toh