Beginning September, patrons of Nobu KL will be in for a treat every Tuesday and Wednesday evening. The special Sushi Bar Omakase menu — the brainchild of the new head sushi chef Micheole “Chico” Anung Dator — combines the vintage Nobu-style omakase with a touch of Chef Chico’s exuberant flair.
The Philippines-born chef has 11 years of Japanese culinary experience under his belt, including a stint at Nobu Hawaii. He recently traded a beach view at Nobu Malibu for, as he puts it, the highest Nobu restaurant in the world.
At each seating, 11 people will have the chance to interact with Chef Chico while savouring the tantalising 10-course dinner. Priced at RM388+, patrons can expect an impressive combination of premium ingredients such as sea urchin, o-toro, scallop and kinmedai. We recently caught up with chef Chico to get to know the man behind the special omakase menu.
Options: Throughout your career, what would you say is your best culinary memory?
Chef Chico: I feel like my culinary career has just begun. I think I still have so much to learn and gain. The best memory would be when I got the job here in Kuala Lumpur. It feels like every day is the best memory.
Why did you choose Japanese cuisine?
Growing up, I wanted to be an artist, a painter. I have always had a passion for art. And for me, sushi is a piece of art. I watched sushi chefs making sushi and it seemed like they were making a piece of artwork. From the moment I started my sushi career, I’ve never felt like I was working. It is fun every single day.
What cuisine is your favourite and do you cook a lot outside of your work?
I love Japanese food simply because I think it is amazing and tastes really good! I like its simplicity. I also like Korean food and kimchi is my favourite. As much as possible, I try not to cook at home and if I do, I always opt for my go-to meal — bacon and eggs.
What are you looking forward to the most about working at Nobu KL?
This is my first time being head sushi chef of the company. I’m very excited and looking forward to what both the company and I can offer. For now, the sky’s the limit. I feel like I have so much to accomplish and hope to inspire other chefs as well as upcoming ones. For me, it is a blessing to have this opportunity. And I’m looking forward to see what the future holds.
What can patrons of Nobu KL expect with the new Sushi Bar Omakase?
My main focus is to serve signature Nobu dishes and introduce what Nobu is all about. [There are] no secrets; I am going by the book with this one, combining all of the things I’ve learnt. As what Nobu San [Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa] has told me before, “just make everything fresh and amazing”.
This interview appeared on Aug 20, 2018 in The Edge Malaysia.