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Yakiniku Sizzle to Momotalo: 7 yakiniku spots to try in KL and Selangor

You’re one stop away from the best yakiniku experience, and you can do all that by checking out our guide to the best yakiniku spots in KL and Selangor. If you’re craving the most authentic Japanese BBQ experience that serves various cuts of Japanese wagyu, you’re on the right track.

We live in an era where barbecue is not necessarily paired with American food. Sure, American BBQ remains to be the pinnacle of how barbecue should be, but don’t be fooled, Asian countries are no slouch when it comes to barbecues. When it comes to Japanese barbecue, no other country can come close due to the cuts of meats that are readily available.

Both Korea and Japan are experts in the field, with the latter specialising in yakiniku, which is essentially grilled meat in Japanese. It’s also common knowledge that Japan is a food mecca around Asia. The ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ has a clear advantage as the core component of barbecue is its meat. As many would know by now, Japan is home to the likes of wagyu and Kobe beef, which are considered to be the Rolls Royce of meats.

However, Japanese barbecue does work very differently as compared to an American barbecue. For instance, many yakiniku joints in Malaysia encourage you to cook your own meats. This allows you to determine how you would like your meat to be cooked rather than having someone else do it. American barbecue also focuses heavily on its side dishes and accompanying appetisers, which include collard greens, mashed potatoes, and chips. Japanese barbecue, however, emphasises its proteins while the accompanying sides are meant to complement the overall meal.

Over the past few years, Malaysia has seen a rise in yakiniku restaurants all around town. Its popularity is similar to the rise of various Japanese eateries, which include high-end omakase establishments and ramen noodle places. The latest to enter the yakiniku scene in Kuala Lumpur is Lalaport Bukit Bintang City Centre’s Yakiniku Sizzle by Singapore’s top-rated establishment Yakiniquest.

Be warned that prices do vary between establishments as some carry Kobe and A5 wagyu beef.

The ultimate guide to the best yakiniku spots in KL and Selangor:

You may have heard of Singapore’s Yakiniquest, but this time we’re here to introduce you to the newest must-visit Yakiniku spot in the city. Located in LaLaport Bukit Bintang City Centre, Yakiniku Sizzle is helmed by Suguru Ishida and his wife, Tomoko. Although it did take him nine years to expand his business from Singapore to Malaysia, it’s safe to say that Yakiniku Sizzle was definitely worth the wait.

The restaurant offers a quaint ambience with its calming hues and minimalistic interior. With a goal to indulge in the finest premium meats, we couldn’t help but notice the five private rooms marked with names based on meat cuts – Ichibo (thigh meat), Hiro (tenderloin) and more. On the menu, we kickstarted our night with the Assorted 6 Namul (seasoned vegetable dishes), which features bean sprouts, daikon radish, komatsuna, avocado, mushroom, eggplant and tomato namul as appetizers. As a palate cleanser, we recommend ordering the Crown Daisy Salad (chrysanthemum leaves). If you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and try the raw wagyu with egg yolk – you’ll love the sensation and taste of the melt-in-your-mouth wagyu with every bite.

Later, we ordered the Classic Yakiniku Trio Platter, where the Negi Tongue, Rosu and Karubi are presented to try. However, with every order, you can pick between 150g, 300g, and 450g. Be aware that it is recommended to cook your meat in medium rare by starting from lean beef to fatty. Apart from the glorious spread, another highlight of ours was the Wagyu Aburi Sushi, where Ishida perfectly seared the marbled wagyu – which was laced with black pepper, salt and truffle oil – for a few seconds before wrapping it with the sushi rice.

Other highlights from the menu include the Wagyu Kimchi Temaki (wagyu and kimchi hand-rolled sushi) and Simmered Wagyu Temaki (wagyu hand-rolled sushi) as the perfect finisher.

Lot G-92 (GF) ,Gourmet Street, Mitsui Shopping Park, 55100 Kuala Lumpur

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Hartamas is home to plenty of Japanese barbecue restaurants, and following up on our list is Kyomo KL (formerly Shin Nihon). Before heading there, it’s essential to know that the restaurant only serves wagyu beef. Highlights include its high premium Japanese Wagyu beef boat, which comes out to RM1,000 a serving, and the signature Kyomo Tongue.

26, Jalan 24/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

What makes Hartamas such a great location for yakiniku lovers is that you are spoiled for choices, as Gyukingu Japanese BBQ is also located around the same area. It is also one of the older locations in Hartamas. However, Gyukingu still offers a great selection of different meats while still maintaining its high standard of quality. Gyukingu is known to carry beef, chicken, lamb, and even seafood items, making it a great place for many to visit.

42, Jalan 28/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

If you’re looking for the OG yakiniku joint in Hartamas, Momotalo Yakiniku can be considered one of it as it has been around the block for a little under a decade. While Momotalo is a pork-free establishment, rest assured that it still puts out good cuts of meat on a daily basis. It is also one of the few places in Hartamas that carry Kobe beef.

20, Jalan 24/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

The last location on this list to be situated in Hartamas is Kannichikan Yakiniku, another OG for Japanese barbecue. You know it’s good when it brings in droves of actual Japanese customers. Much like the many counterparts in the area, Kannichikan has plenty of different meats on offer, some of which are available at a more affordable price during its busy lunch period. Be sure to order its ox tongue, as many have sworn by it.

(Image credit: Instagram/@kows.bite)

14, Jalan 27/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

While most yakiniku joints around town focus on keeping the traditional aesthetics alive, ROCKU Yakiniku goes for the more modern concept. Located on the 7th floor of Pavilion KL, ROCKU Yakiniku brings modern-day entertainment into the traditional yakiniku establishment. What’s great about this place is its wide variety of food, ranging from beef, pork, and seafood. It also has a buffet corner with plenty of salads and other sides readily available.

Pavilion, Lot 7.01.03, Dining Loft Level 7, 168, Bukit Bintang St, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

If you thought that yakiniku was meant to be fancy and expensive, Gerai Makan Japanese BBQ Taisyu Yakiniku in Taman Desa is one of the more underrated places to dine in. This low-key restaurant allows one to dine under the beautiful night sky while grilling on your favourite meat. As it is open air, you won’t have to worry about the smell of smoke and cooked meat.

(Image credit: Instagram/@jonathan_cheah)

16A, Jalan Desa Jaya, Taman Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Hero image credit: Unsplash/Jonathan Mark Bacolor; featured image credit: Momotalo Yakiniku

Yakiniku Sizzle to Momotalo: 7 yakiniku spots to try in KL and Selangor

Wi-Liam Teh & Amalina Anuar

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