Colombo has its fair share of Japanese restaurants. If you don't already know, Kami Maki happens to be one of the OG's of the sushi scene in town.
Uniquely Sri Lankan in a rather befuddling way, Kami Maki has been around for quite some time. When we heard that they had opened up a new branch in Ward Place, our slightly sushi gluttoned selves decided to pay a visit.
Comfortable seating, golden bamboo, a medley of the most random things (i.e: a poster of Batman, a gong and background music comprising of covers of English pop songs), we liked it. While it isn't necessarily "Japanese", it provided to be a comfortable space where you can sit and eat to your heart's content whilst singing songs from SlowFlow Sunday completely off key. Plus, the combination of the mix between the East Asian and Western gave us strong Mister Miyagi vibes, which is always a good thing.
Like most Japanese restaurants in Colombo, Kami Maki also has a wonderfully large menu with a whole bunch of dishes. Aside from the generic sushi and donburi, this menu included some specials – like sushi doughnuts and tempura fried chocolate cakes.
We decided to go with the YellowFin Tuna Sashimi (RS. 860), Mexican Crab Roll (Rs. 1010) and a Chicken Karaage (Rs. 990).
The Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi was 5 beautifully cut pieces of tuna served on a crispy bed of super fresh radish. The meat felt wonderfully fresh and paired with the presentation of it, we found it to be quite good.
Next up we have the Chicken Karaage. Served alongside a pile of mayo-drenched cabbage, the chicken felt like a mix between something you'd make at home and something you'd buy at a restaurant. Not boasting too much salt, it was crispy on the outside and a bit tough on the inside, and we liked it that way. The batter coating the chicken was kinda thick so you could taste the flour a bit more than usual. Especially considering the fact that there wasn't much of a spice race going on. While we're not overjoyed with it, we really enjoyed it.
Here's where things get a tad fishy. Quite literally. The Mexican Crab Roll was a beautiful plate of 6 giant sushi rolls, almost stuffed to the brim with the filling. Paired with the soya sauce and wasabi, this was absolutely good.
Nonetheless, we did notice how the roll smelt strangely like salmon. You can't really tell unless you look really closely because the sauce plays a big role in terms of flavour. Again, we can't be entirely sure if they had salmon in it or not. But, it wouldn't be fair to just leave it out. So, there you go.
The dessert menu at Kami Maki isn't huge – but, they did have a few options that tweak your curiosity. We went with the Tempura Fried Chocolate Cake (Rs. 520) and the Panko Fried Banana Fritters served with honey, Wasabi powder and Ice Cream (Rs. 490).
The Tempura Fried Chocolate Cake was one of the strangest things we could possibly think of. Strangely, it works. Two thick slices of Chocolate cake (with icing) drenched in batter and deep fried to a crispy texture, accompanied with ice cream – even thinking about it sounds bizarre. But, the crispy, almost savoury batter with chocolate and cake at that, proved to be a not-too-sweet dish which you can totally pig out on. Plus, the dish was quite big, so we suggest getting one to share.
The Panko Fried Banana Fritters were a bit of a disappointment. While the banana fritters itself were lovely with a crunchy outer shell and a deliciously caramelised inside, the promised ice cream failed to show, as did the Wasabi Powder. We found traces of honey at the very last dregs of the dish. Not impressed.
We tried their Ambarella Juice (Rs. 300 for R) and their Lime and Ginger Soda (Rs. 300 for L). Both of them were quite good. They've used riped amberella, which produced a wonderfully sour and sweet flavour, and had a deliciously thick texture.
The Lime and Ginger was a fizzed up jam jar filled with strong hints of ginger and lime. Very refreshing, and delicious. We recommend it.