When I was growing up, Japanese food is synonymous with sushi & sashimi, with older folks often said “aiyoh eat raw stuff meh?”.
Well, those older folks (like my mom) does not need to complain anymore, authentic Japanese cuisine now offers a lot more than just raw food. There’s ramen, tonkatsu, yakitori, and especially for beef lovers – yakiniku.
Several weeks ago, we had the opportunity to sample one of the newer yakiniku restaurants in KL – Yakiniku Sizzle by Yakiniquest at Lalaport. This is how it went.
Note: Yakiniku Sizzle uses only halal certified beef.
This was also our first visit to Lalaport, the brand new mall in the heart of Bukit Bintang. Accessible directly from Hang Tuah train station, right at the cross-section of Pudu & Imbi. For those who remember, yes, this was previously the site of KL prison.
Yakiniku Sizzle is founded by husband-and-wife duo Suguru Ishida and Tomoko, the couple operates the highly rated Yakiniquest in Singapore.
This is their first expansion to KL, aiming to bring authentic and high quality Japanese grilled meat to the masses at a price point that’s more palatable than most omakase offerings.
We had the great fortune of Suguru-san and Tomoko hosting us for the night, and dinner started with Assorted 6 Namul (RM 48) – a collection of seasoned vegetable, mostly with soy sauce, salt, and sesame oil, retaining the freshness of the produce, a good way to open up our appetite.
Next was the Egg Omelet with Waygu (RM 48), perfectly simmered fluffy Japanese egg omelet with Wagyu meat inside, giving the egg a unique aroma that’s unmistakably luxury.
We also had two different temaki (RM 18 each), or hand rolled sushi, but instead of raw fish, it was shigureni (simmer beef) & Wagyu torotaku (raw beef). I did enjoy the raw beef version more, those almost melt-in-your-mouth fatty Wagyu reminds me of fatty tuna belly, which is why they name it torotaku – toro for tuna belly, and taku for pickled radish.
The Classic Yakiniku Trio Platter (RM 138, 150 gram) is pretty much a must-order, consisting of Australian Wagyu tongue, a slightly leaner cut of meat referred to as “rosu“, and the fatty cut called “karubi“. We were recommended to grill and eat in that order as going from leaner to fatty is usually the preferred way. I also can’t stress that one must never overcook your yakiniku, just like beef, medium rare is the way to go.
We also had their rather rich beef tail soup (RM 22) to go along with the grilled meat, a fitting pairing.
Other than the normal “grill it yourself” type of dishes, we also had their slightly more special offering in the following two dishes – Wagyu Aburi Sushi (RM 32) & Yakisuki (RM 58).
Both of these dishes are handled by the staff as grilling them requires quite a bit of finesse lest you ruin those perfectly marbled Wagyu. In our case, Ms Tomoko herself did it for us.
I can’t pick a favorite between the two, both Wagyu Aburi Sushi & the Yakisuki were done so perfectly and tasted superb in their own way. The sushi explodes in umaminess with perfect meat plus addition of truffle, while the silkiness of yakisuki with those raw egg was entirely something else. Excellent.
Yakiniku Sizzle does offer a small selection of Japanese ice cream for dessert, but a combination of full stomach and wanting to have the taste of those Wagyu beef lingers in my mouth just a bit longer meant that we called it a night.