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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / yakitori

Last Friday we braved the traffic and traveled to Solaris Mont Kiara for a lovely dinner at Shuraku thanks to the invitation from Mei.

The quaint Japanese restaurant is located just above Maybank on level 2, with the ambiance that is only made possible by the inclusion of Japanese diners in addition to Japanese magazines, old clocks, hanging ropes, and the sound and smell of a yakitori bar.

Shuraku at Solaris Mont Kiara
Shuraku at Solaris Mont Kiara

The dishes for the night were already chosen for us so the six of us just sat back and relax. We started the night with some Asahi beer and a couple glasses of Japanese cocktails that were served from this portable carbonated dispenser, we had a pear flavored cocktail, it was lovely.

salmon tamago, beef steak salad, unagi
salmon tamago, beef steak salad, unagi

Appetizer, if you would, were seared salmon on tamago (sweet egg omelet), the sweet and savory unagi on tofu, and some tasty beef steak salad.

pork belly, chicken wings, chicken gizzards, chicken thigh and leek yakitori
pork belly, chicken wings, chicken gizzards, chicken thigh and leek yakitori

What we really came here for though, were the yakitori. While yakitori literally meant grilled fowl, at Shuraku, they also serve it with yummy pork belly too.

Of course, we also had  chicken thigh with leek, chicken wings (I must say the way Japanese grill their chicken wings is a lot better than our Malaysian style, much easier to eat and much less messy), and my favorite – chicken gizzards.

soba, roast eggplants
soba salad, roast eggplants

Soba salad was refreshing but slightly awkward, I still prefer the good old cha soba, this is a bit too fusion for me.

The roast eggplants however, was super awesome. There’s a type of sweet (peanut/mayo?) sauce they add to it that made it so rich and really made my taste buds happy. Kim and I devoured the whole thing, including skin!

salmon maki
salmon and tuna  maki

We shared a salmon and tuna maki too, so yah, they do have raw fish and do a very fine job preparing the maki. Great in both presentation and taste, I must say.

kimchi, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake/pizza), mushroom
kimchi, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake/pizza), mushroom

Curiously, Shuraku also serve up a pretty good kimchi dish, and with pork belly in it of course.

Okonomiyaki was rich and quite filling with all the mayo and sweet sauce, I just realised last I had this was in 2005, documented in this post, at Lowyat plaza.

sake, teriyaki, ciki!
sake, teriyaki, ciki!

Ah, there’s also this meatball skewer that was served with half boiled egg. Interesting combination that somehow worked.

the girls and the guys
Haze, Kim, Ciki, Cumi, Gareth, KY

We ordered several more yakitori of various flavored and had an awesome night. Prices at Shuraku are reasonable and doesn’t vary much from other similar Japanese outfit. Do check the place out if you love authentic Japanese food that isn’t just confined to sushi and sashimi

map to Solaris Mont Kiara

Address:
Shuraku
13-2, Jalan Solaris Mont Kiara 1,
Solaris Mont Kiara, off Jalan Duta
50480 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.174049,101.660037
Tel: 03-6203 0561

Non-halal Japanese Ramen used to be a bit of a novelty in this country. For a long time, Wisma Central’s Tenka Daiichi and Ton Chan at Wisma Cosway were two of the few places that serves it.

Mai Ramen at Jaya One
Mai Ramen at Jaya One

But with the seemingly rapid maturity that Japanese cuisine enjoys in this country over the last decade or so, I’m glad that there are now more ramen shops that don’t feel like they have to make compromises to capture a wider demographic.

Mai Ramen is one of such places, a relatively new comer to the scene that serves ramen as intended – with pork!

chasiu ramen, always my go-to ramen of choice
chasiu ramen, always my go-to ramen of choice

I ordered basically the measuring stick of any ramen place – chasiu ramen. If you ask for a set, it comes with 3 pretty tasty gyoza, a somewhat forgettable salad, and some interesting salty+spicy vegetable on the side that goes pretty well with the ramen.

As for the bowl of ramen itself, it was certainly not a disappointment. The broth was pretty thick and flavorful, the noodle palatable, and the chasiu were commendable too. It was actually, quite good.

I think we might have over ordered..
I think we might have over ordered..

Yuki had ramen that comes with unagi. The unagi sauce certainly made the eel tasted as good as any. The 3/4 boil egg in the ramen too were perfectly done. Good stuff.

The yakitori (grilled stuff) at Mai Ramen, on the other hand, were a pretty disappointing affair. They somehow tasted a little old and you don’t get the flavor and punch you’d expect from good yakitori such as those you can get from the excellent Sumi Ka or Hyotan at SS15.

Horng, Yuki, Kerol
Horng, Yuki, Kerol at Mai Ramen

A dinner at Mai Ramen would come to about RM 20-30 inclusive of drinks. The best ramen I’ve had in the region is still Santouka in Singapore, but Mai Ramen is certainly not a place to be dismissed if you’ve got that pork ramen craving coming. Now I just wish they don’t take nearly as long to serve…

map to Jaya One

Address:
Mai Ramen
D-13-G, Block D
Jaya One,
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti,
Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.117537, 101.635680
Tel: 03-7957-6689

Hyotan was discovered accidentally during a fateful night. It was drizzling, and I had Japanese food in mind. I wanted to go to either Rakuzen or Jyu Raku at SS15.

As usual, there were no parking spot along S15/5A where those two restaurants are located. We were steered further and further away from where we wanted to be, and came up to an empty parking space right outside Hyotan that happens to be on the same road, another Japanese restaurant at SS15 that I somehow failed to notice all these while.

Hyotan at Subang SS15
Hyotan Japanese Restaurant

Since we were already facing Hyotan and that the exterior looks pretty good, I thought we should just give it a try, judging book by the cover might not work, but judging restaurant by the exterior usually has a slightly higher hit rate.

My confidence level went up a notch when an old Japanese chef greeted us on the way in, always a good sign.

Chirashi Sushi
chirashi sushi, always one of my favorites

I ordered Chirashi sushi (RM28), basically a collection of seafood items sitting on top of a bed of sushi rice in a friendly bowl. Hyotan’s version includes butter fish, sake (salmon), unagi (eel), maguro (tuna), hamachi (yellow tail), tamago (sweet egg), and ebi (shrimp), and crab sticks. There’s also a bowl of miso soup despite this not being a set.

It was good, the fish was fresh and I particularly like the unagi here. That said, I still think rakuzen’s chirashi sushi with it’s excellent ika  (squid ) edges out this one slightly.

yakitori and bento set at Hyotan
yakitori and bento set at Hyotan

Haze ordered some set of which name I couldn’t remember. It came with sake, unagi, salad, tempura, chawanmushi, saba, bamboo shoots, and some other smaller dishes to go with rice. It was a pretty big set and judging by the look on her face while she was noming in, she was definitely happy with it.

Haze and KY at Hyotan
Haze and KY at Hyotan

On top of that, we ordered 10 sticks of assorted yakitori to share (RM 48), while this isn’t Sumi Ka, the yakitori were still plenty awesome!

We had chicken liver, genko nuts, okra, quail’s eggs, chicken skin, chicken, mushroom, gizzard, some spring onion look alike thingy, and a hot dog thingy. Most items were at least on par with some of the bests I had, and for RM 48 it was a very good value too.

map to Hyotan japanese restaurant

Hyotan is definitely a place worth revisiting. The ambiance is nice, the dishes I tried were good, and well, it’s easier to find parking compared to the other 2 outlets mentioned too. Just about the only complain I have for Hyotan was the fact that yakitori took a bit longer to served compared to the other dishes. Perhaps that’s just a one time thing.

One more places for Japanese food at SS15 for you!

Address:
Hyotan
63 Jalan SS15/5A,
47500 Subang Jaya,
Selangor

GPS: 3.081059, 101.592636
Tel: 03-5636 0326

Hyotan Japanese Restaurant at Subang Jaya

Last week I went to Japan… or a restaurant in Subang that felt like it belongs somewhere in a Tokyo suburb.

Together with Haze, Cheesie, and Taka, we went to Sumi Ka at SS 15, a yakitori place swore by Taka, who is actually a Japanese and not some Malaysia with a foreign name (such as Gareth, for example).

Sumi Ka Yakiniku Japanese Restaurant
Sumi Ka Yakitori, with more Japanese than Malaysian customers

It was a Wednesday evening, so we did not bother to call up for a reservation. After all, how many people could possibly go to a restaurant that’s located on 1st floor in the middle of SS 15 on a weekday?

Big mistake, the place was packed, and all but a couple tables were occupied by Japanese. The place is filled with smokes not only from the grill but from the tobacco loving people, it had the smell of a proper Japanese restaurant, the cacophony of chatters in Japanese completes the foreign ambiance. I loved it.

We waited at the stairs for a good 20 minutes before getting a table by the corner. It was the correct decision despite the look of protest in cheesie’s eyes.

quail egg, chicken cartilage, gizzard, chicken butt
uzura tamago (quail eggs), sunazuri (gizzard),
nankotu (cartilage), bonhiri (chicken butt)

Since the language on the menu wasn’t very agreeable with me, I left the task of ordering to the pro. Taka got  us 7 different types of yakitori, 3 rice bowls, potato salad, and the customary cabbage salad too.

The yakitori were insanely good. We started out with uzura tamago (quail eggs, RM 3 each) and some sunazuri (chicken gizzard, RM 6). They were really good, but not exactly the type of ingredients that are difficult to grill well.

Then came nankotu (chicken cartilage, RM 4), which is actually the piece of “soft bone” from the center of chicken breast. The texture was superb, slightly crunchy and mixed perfectly with the little bit of meat on it.

Then there’s the bonhiri (chicken butt/bisho’s nose RM 3) that was just out of this world. There wasn’t any gross splashing of liquid fat in your mouth, it was just a mixture of fat, salt, skin, and meat that came together like an awesome symphony. You gotta try this one even if you aren’t particularly a big bishop nose’s fan.

chicken skin, grilled lamb, gyutan (ox tongue)
kawa (chicken skin), lamb yakitori, gyutan (ox tongue)

Kawa (chicken skin, RM 3) was up next, again I failed to understand how massive amount of salt on grilled chicken skin could taste so good, but it was exactly the case. Baffling. I need more!

We also had beef and mutton yakitori (RM 4) that Haze described as the most awesome yakitori she has ever tasted. The gyutan (ox tongue, RM 6) was also one of my favorites. Just the right texture and that ox tongue flavor that carries the taste not particularly related with french kissing a cow.

potato salad, rice bowls
potato salad, oyakodon (chicken & egg), yakitori don, tea rice thingy

Other than the yakitori, we had some yummy potato salad (RM 12) and a few rice bowls to help fill up the stomach. These tasted rather good too, authentic and true to the taste.

I learned that the chicken and egg rice bowl is called oyakodon (RM 14), which directly translate to “parents and children”. Chicken and egg, whole family murdered, just for our consumption, ahh, I love being a human.

Yakitori don (RM 14) proved slightly redundant, it was good but I think on hindsight we should have tried something else. The tea rice bowl thingy that Cheesie ordered was perfect to sorta wash off the greasy taste after all those grilled food though.

cabbage salad, cheesie, taka, KY, haze
Cheesie, Taka, KY, Haze at Sumi Ka Yakitori

The meal was excellent, and I am going to get the list of restaurants to go to from Taka. This dudes really has good taste. By the way, don’t go to this restaurant, it is already packed as is, and Cheesie won’t be happy if she has to wait again, she’ll blame me. FML

You can instead go to Yakiniku at Cheras which is quite a lot cheaper to get your fix, they serve pork there. Go there instead, the food tastes decent, don’t go to Sumi Ka, leave the empty seats for me instead :D

sumi ka yakitori map

Address:
Sumi-Ka Restaurant
No. 19, Jalan SS 15/4
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.075327, 101.588677
Tel: 03-5632 9312/016-224 9312

Since I blogged about a cheap Western food restaurant in Kitchen Creatures on the previous post, I shall provide equal opportunity to another decent cheap eatery, this time a Japanese outfit – Restaurant Yakiniku at Pandan Indah, Cheras.

Restaurant Yakiniku at Cheras
Restaurant Yakiniku 烧烤馆

To be honest, I seldom venture into Cheras for food. This has nothing to do with the food quality or prices there, but everything to do with the traffic situation in that part of KL during rush hour. An exception was made in this case because it was an invitation from Cheesie (her review here), and they serve pork.

Yakiniku is this smallish restaurant with simple wooden chairs and chimney like concoction not unlike many Korean restaurants. You get to grill your own food with charcoal in little stoves, no complicated gas or electric stoves though.

bacon, shishamo, mussels
bacon, shishamo, mussels

As I mentioned earlier, this place is cheap, and by cheap I mean Cheras pricing. In fact, they haven’t increased their price in 6 years of their operation.

The plate of bacon is RM 5.90, a serving of five shishamo, err. I forgot, and the New Zealand mussels at RM 12.90 only.

enoki mushroom, shitake mushroom, tofu, cuttle fish
enoki mushroom, shitake mushroom, tofu, cuttle fish

Cuttle fish at RM 6.90, and generally every other dishes we had were priced really cheap. I should have jotted down the menu but I guess I was too busy eating.

We basically put everything on the grill, the bacon was of course the favorite, and I really liked the chicken gizzards (RM 3.90).  Enoki and Shitake mushroom were great with some butter and grilled over the tin foil.

chicken gizzard, grilled meat
chicken gizzard, grilled meat

I remember we had some beef slices too but that was only alright, and the tofu pok wasn’t exactly my favorite either. That said, the grilled food did turn out pretty good, and you seriously can’t beat the price.

chicken katsudon, kimchi fried rice
chicken katsudon, kimchi fried rice

Other than yakiniku (Japanese for grilled meat), this little eatery also serves other dishes such as the chicken katsudon, kimchi soup and kimchi fried rice that we tried.

These dishes priced at below RM 10 and though I wouldn’t want to compare them to some of the more “atas” places, they are decent, and definitely provide value for money. (kimchi fried rice & miso soup at RM 7.90)

porkgang
ze #porkgang, mostly :D

We had a great time over the session, everyone got to eat quite a lot except for Haze who stayed the closest but managed to get the the latest. Oh, by the way Yakiniku Restaurant is dog friendly too.

Ah, before I forget, if you go there and mention kyspeaks you’ll get an additonal 10% discount on the already cheap bill. (if that doesn’t work, mention cheeserland instead cos I don’t know if the owner still remembers me. hahaha)

Happy eating!

restaurant yakiniku map

Address:
Restaurant Yakiniku
20G, Jalan Pandan Indah 4/8,
Pandan Indah, 55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.131116,101.753392
Tel: 03-4295 4833