Sky35 Sets A New High In The Kuala Lumpur Omakase Scene

Kuala Lumpur’s love affair with omakase-styled restaurants shows no sign of abatement. The latest entry into the scene is one where its sister restaurants has been enjoying alpha status in Johor Bahru, namely; Sushi Shin, JB and Binchotan, JB. Sky35, so named for its occupancy on the topmost floor of Pavilion Embassy on Jalan Ampang, is the result of a tour de force by gastronome Ben Yeoh, who personally worked on the many facets of the restaurant, going on incalculable sourcing trips in Japan, and specifying the Sky35 experience right down to its Hermes plateware and Zalto stemware. 

The omakase counter of Sky35 which seats up to 10 pax.

Yeoh’s level of attention also led to the commissioning of French artist Arnaud Nazare-Aga to produce sumo sculptures that add contemporary chic and orientalism to the space. Upon entry, diners arrive at a scene flooded with elements of a swish Tokyo restaurant. Senses are uplifted by effervescent upbeat music, opulent floral arrangements and tactile Italian granite table tops with a ‘Black Cherry’ leather finish. The piece de resistance takes the form of the omakase counter – a ‘Venus Dior’ quartzite from Brazil with semi translucent finishes emanating with a sun-like glow of natural crystal veins. Beyond the counter, guests are transported on the wings of a bird with sweeping views of Kuala Lumpur city and the mountain ranges beyond. 

French artist Arnaud Nazare-Aga’s sumo sculptures for Sky35 KL adds contemporary chic and whimsy to the dining room.
An oyster opener sees a mingling of raspberry jam and ikura on a silky oyster.
Charcoal-toasted sando layered with tuna, uni and caviar specially packed for Sky35 by Parisian supplier Kaviari.

At the counter, the show belongs to Sky35’s Chef John Chang who is also the maestro behind Sushi Shin and Binchotan in Johor Bahru. Since then, Chang’s continual journey in the art of Japanese cuisine has led him to develop further appreciation for purity of an ingredient-led menus as well as boldly incorporating culinary riffs to enhance natural flavours. Case in point: the eight-day aged otoro is chilled between one and four degrees to remove redundant moisture and enhance its taste, resulting in deeper and richer dimensions. 

From left: A flavour medley of chive sauce, sardine and marinated daikon, and Alba truffles on a bed of shima aji (stripjack).
A veritable trove of sakes await connoisseurs.

As is its claim, the entire journey of Sky35 promises to break new ground in terms of the omakase experience and really, you only need to be guided by the sushi chefs who will take you through the selection of ingredients and season’s offerings, from summer Alba truffles to premium Murasaki uni. Starting with the very first course, a giant oyster from the Chiba prefecture, those seeking that next-level omakase hit will have their senses reignited in two parts. Chang recommends eating a first portion of the oyster topped with a raspberry and onion sauce, before tackling the second part of ikura and liver, seguing from fruity sweetness to a rich umami. 

Some of the most prized uni in the market makes it way to Sky35.

That same philosophy of eclecticism extends to the culinary parade that follows; leading to deeper, smokier and long-lasting flavours. Uni and caviar sit atop chopped tuna and a charcoal-toasted sando for textural delight, while the fugu negi (chives) sauce serve as accompaniment to a marinated daikon and sardine roll. In between of these sensations, you would be amply rewarded perusing the amazing wine list curated by Sky35, a list which includes bottles from every top champagne house (what shortage?) and a resplendent line up of sakes and wines.

Lobster tempura and edible flowers add a pleasant diversion to the sushi courses.

For its current Kaito Omakase “soaring sea” (RM588++), and Daichi Omakase “The Earth” (RM988++) signature menus, Sky35 offers an odyssey through three variants of vinegar. The stronger white lends its taste to the flounder, allied with finely sliced wasabi stem. The moderate red vinegar adds an unique smoothness to the akami, while black vinegar is harmonised with the tako (octopus) for a succulent chew. Those familiar with Chang’s oeuvre would also have enjoyed his growing mastery in innovating dishes and, at Sky35, you may expect to encounter conger eel-derived noodles, lobster tempura with a side of jalapeno sauce, and the highly sought-after kinki rock fish in a tingling Peruvian chilli-miso blended sauce. 

Left: Nearly 30 per cent of the aged otoro is trimmed due to the ageing process, leaving only the choicest cut to be apportioned into sashimi and sushi. Right: Hermes plateware add an additional decadent touch to the art of omakase at Sky35

Showmanship also comes in waves from the charring of the otoro with binchotan, to the reassuring display of trays of uni, down to the inspection of the aged otoro where guests observe first-hand the effect of ageing and marbling conditions to heighten the eventual sensation of taste. 

Left: Light seasoning for big taste, Right: Binchotan is used to sear and render the otoro for an extra flavour of smoke and caremelisation.

Following dessert – a coffee panna cotta, salted caramel and macadamia – guests will be able to enjoy post-dinner chats with the kitchen team, as Sky35 is only rolling out single seatings for now. Diners may also decamp to the adjacent dining space and avail themselves to rarefied sakes, such as Dassai, Juyondai andan evocatively named Born Dream Come True junmai daiginjo by the Katoukichibee Shoten brewery – aged for a full five years at -8 degrees to attain a silky mouthfeel of cotton candy, peach and pear on the palate. 

Left: Abalone is stewed and served with conger eel noodles. Right: The Miyazaki beef is served with a Peruvian chilli sauce with a spice level above the habanero.
Expect Laguiole tableware to accompany you throughout the meal.

*Sky35 opens from 6pm to 10.30pm and is closed on Sundays.


Photos: Marcus Wong/ MV Pespective

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