Adorned With Vintage Portraits, This Newbie Serves Authentic Japanese Food
What Makes It Awesome?
Give me a new Japanese restaurant, and I'm a happy camper, mainly because it's usually a very thought out endeavour and people rarely go wrong with it. And this brings me to the newbie in town, Kampai, that means 'cheers' in Japanese, and let's say it gives me a reason to cheer up because it's pretty, and the food served is delicious. I don't use the term 'delicious' loosely, it's very easy to go wrong with a delicate cuisine like Japanese food, but when there's a Japanese chef involved and imported ingredients, it all comes together rather well. Kampai greets you with a bevvy of cherry blossoms that adorn the ceiling, there are beautiful portraits of vintage Japanese ladies on the wall, and two private dining rooms in case you plan to visit as a group. Two steps down, you enter the hall adorned with trending colours; taupe, burnt rose, olive, and a bar front with a dynamic screen for a backdrop, and that sets the stage for a meal I think you're going to love. The live sushi window is very comforting, you know it's all done fresh and fabulous, the chef's hand move deftly, and the produce on display is enough to make you salivate. The menu is extensive, from the usual sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki and tempura, there's a lot more going on. There's a selection of ramen and one with a base stock infused with tahini, and the surprising part is that this was one of my favourite dishes among everything we ate. I suggest you go in for a sushi boat, not only because it's absolutely stunning to look at, but because it's worth every penny. The salmon sashimi is so fresh and buttery, you're likely to devour frightening amounts of it as we did, but we had a bowl of perfect Miso soup to wash it down. If you wish to change up the sushi game, a Chirashi salad is a good way to do it, it's a deconstructed sushi platter served in a bowl, and the one at Kampai is worth going back for! For a lighter salad, I suggest you try the Goma-Ae one, a sesame overload with spinach that's blanched to perfection, stalks intact, colour intact. Their starters menu has all the standard favourites; Kaarage, Tartare, Tempura, Robata Grill, but it's the Gyoza that has our hearts, especially the Chicken and Cheese, Ginger Lamb, and Goat Cheese Waterchestnut, the fillings aside, it's the skin that has all the game. and these are spot on. Going back to the sushi and sashimi, let me emphasise that this is a great place for vegetarians, the selection for sushi is equally impressive, even if you don't eat meat. Coming to the main course, I suggest you try the Ma Bo Nasu, this eggplant cooked in ma bo sauce is excellent, rich, and meaty, but if it's meat that you're after, then don't miss the Sea Bass and Roasted Duck. This particular evening, however, we were all about the ramen, and they have a vegetarian ramen that has a pure vegetarian stock, the Shio Ramen with sweet corn and leeks, but I had my eyes on the Shoyo Ramen because that comes with Chashu Pork, and that's yet another reason to head back to this place. The stock in both the bowls of ramen are the real stars as is the case with good ramen, rich and wholesome, with the right balance of ingredients, so that all the add-ons can be tasted in their true flavours. Like I always suggest, keep space for dessert, the must-haves include the Baked Yuzu Cheesecake and the Green Tea Panna Cotta, all done in-house and all done very well. Kampai will have you going back often, with an elaborate menu, the place is cosy even for a 70 cover spread, and the staff is warm and welcoming just like Japanese hospitality ought to be.
What Could Be Better?
Can’t wait for them to get their bar license, this kind of meal needs sake to make it more perfect!
How Much Did It Cost?
INR 1,000 - INR 3,000
Best To Go With?
Family, Big Group, and Bae.