Kamo

I first read about Kamo just recently at tasting and living, and shortly thereafter they received their first Michelin star. They were also named Best Asian Restaurant in Benelux. That may be justified, but I think it’s a bit strange to lump all asian countries into one category, as if you could say that this Japanese restaurant is better than another Indian, or Indonesian one.

Anyway, we arrived at the compact and bijou eatery and took our seats; I’d made sure to book the table right in front of the chef, so that we could watch them at work. It’s amazing how hypnotic it is to watch someone slice fish into tiny little pieces all evening. The only downside is that you watch all these dishes coming together and being plated up and you think “Ooh, that looks good!” and then you watch as the waiter takes it to another table. In fact we never knew what was coming to us next as we had ordered the six course tasting menu which didn’t specify exactly what we would receive. Then again, as we were sat directly in front of the chefs they were able to hand the plates over directly to us themselves and explain what it was.

We started with a house prune-based aperitif and an amuse-bouche (or however you say that in Japanese) of egg and chicken. I wonder which came first?

Next up was a selection of starters. The scallop tartare (far left) and the deep-fried lotus fruit (to the right of the scallops) were my favourites.

Aperitif over, we switched to the only Japanese beer brewed in Belgium: Owa.

Then our sashimi plate arrived. From left to right: squid, tuna, okra, mackerel, salmon, on a strip of cucumber.

Next up was a selection of seafood and jelly covered in vinaigrette and served inside a crab shell. Surprisingly cold, but delicate and fresh-tasting.

Then a selection of fried sweetbreads; I must admit I’ve never been too keen on the idea of sweetbreads, or any kind of offal for that matter, but they were beautifully soft and pretty tasty.

Some of the best sushi I’ve had; amazingly tender fish, and I’m a big fan of the ginger shavings they always put on the side.

And finally, for dessert, a cube of sesame mousse. Very interesting, and the flavour stayed with me all the way home.

On the whole a very enjoyable evening’s dining which made us keen to return to Japan one day. The service slowed down considerably during the second half of the meal, but the quality of the food more than made up for it.