Friday, 27 June 2014

Jogoya @ Starhill Gallery

Touted as the largest buffet in Malaysia, Jogoya's flagship Japanese buffet restaurant, Jogoya @ Starhill Gallery, opened its doors in January 2006 and remains (till today) a favourite of many who are looking for a "wide-variety-good-value" buffet.  With a large space of nearly 30,000 sq ft, manouevring around the restaurant can be a bit challenging and time consuming.

The prices for their buffets are between RM82 - RM92++ (during weekdays) and RM88 - RM98++ (during weekends/public holidays).  Prices for children are based on their height measurements.  However, they do have year-round promotions for members and non-members (bringing prices to around RM55 - RM75), so do watch out for it!  The only drawback on promotional prices is that you're limited to 2 hours dining time as opposed to 4 - 5 hours if you pay full prices.

In Jogoya, there are different sections or food preparation counters dishing up all types of food for your eating pleasure like Japanese, Teppanyaki, Deep Fried, Barbeque, Chinese, Dim Sum, Steamboat/Claypot, Western/Pasta, Baked Goods, Pastries & Cakes, Drinks Bar and Ice Creams (including everyone's favourite premium brand Haagen-Dazs).

Once seated, you'll be given some metallic clips (you can ask for more at anytime) with your table no. on it (for ordering dishes that are not pre-prepared food on the buffet line).  You only need to drop these clips into the bowls found in front of the dish samples you wish to try.  They will prepare and bring the dishes to you.

First things first, I like to get my fresh Thai coconut drink from the cooler which is free-flow (they used to be free flow and then limited to one per pax and now it's free flow again).

Fresh Thai Coconut Drink....refreshing

Anyway, there are lots more other drink choices like Chinese tea, fruit juices, colourful cocktails, soft drinks, smoothies, coffee etc.

Pink Guava Juice/Soursop Juice/Grape Juice

With drinks in hand, let's attack the food...and there's a lot to attack!  Warning: Pics Overload!!  Due to the sheer variety, there are more pics of the food (from the counters) than the food I can actually eat.

I always start off with a hot steaming soup and there are a few types you can choose from the Chinese section.

I chose the Abalone Slices Chicken Soup which was piping hot.  There's a pc of chicken meat, red dates, "kei chi" (dried wolfberries) and abalone slices (not good quality ones, of course, but more like vegetarian chewy ones).  It was ok.

Next to the steaming soups, you'd find the Dim Sum selection.

Look at all those fried little morsels of delight!

We picked the Fried Prawn Roll which came with sizeable prawns and deep fried till crispy.  It was good.

Here are some starters to get me going.

Sauna Egg (it's simply a soft-boiled egg with a few tiny shreds of seaweed in Japanese soy...who doesn't like a gooey, runny egg, yes?
Shark's Fin Crunchy Salad Thingy (dressing a tad salty)
Ebi with Apple Sauce (which had chopped prawns and mango cubes)

The sashimi (and other raw food) counter (with some not looking very fresh).

My plate of Sashimi (Savori, Ika & Tako Sashimi), cooked prawns, Salmon Tataki & Spicy Snails.  The sashimi items were not as fresh as I would have liked and buffets are never the best places to have sashimi (as freshness and integrity of the raw food can be compromised if left out for too long).

My favourite was the Salmon Tataki which was lightly seared while the salmon flesh remained raw.

Went for a second helping of the Salmon Tataki and Spicy Snails and one Raw Oyster (which was not very fresh).

Grilled Shishamo

Grilled Saba Fish

Our plate of Grilled Shishamo, Saba Fish, Squid & Eel, my 'must-have' Quail Eggs and Takoyaki Balls (had way better ones than these) and something on a stick.  I liked the grilled shishamo the best.

The freshly fried Crispy Chicken Skin, Tempura Prawns & Fish, Crispy Seafood Tofu & Fried Chicken Dumpling at the Deep Fried Section.

My plate of Panko Shishamo, Fried Chicken Skin, Crispy Seafood Tofu & Tempura Fish...all were good.

Selection of various types of sushi.....

....from the Sushi Bar

This is the Steamboat Section that we did not try.

Two 'cook to order' was the Fried Eel Omelette which tasted a bit like unagi on a piece of omelette.  It was quite good though the sauce was a bit salty.

The other was the Grilled Alaskan Cod Fish (which certainly didn't taste like the cod fish I'm used to eating). It was a very small fish (and probably cheap) coz I saw them cooking some and it's cut into the head, body and tail.  I was unlucky enough to get the head.....T_T!

And if you happen to be a Jogoya VIP member, you have certain membership privileges and one of them is that you can enjoy certain VIP premium dishes that the non-members don't get to try.

These were some of the VIP premium dishes that I had the privilege of trying (in an earlier visit with my friends) - Grilled Whole Squid, Alaskan King Crab Legs, King Crabs, Tom Yam Prawns & Deep Fried Mantis Prawns.

Finally, we arrived at the desserts (are you ready?)......cakes, cookies, pastries, mochi, jellies, muffins, cream puffs, puddings and many more!

Cookies & Muffins

Various types of (Fruit) Puddings & Jellies

More Jellies & Tiramisu


.....and more cakes!

My desserts of Strawberry Jelly (with cubes of nata de coco), Mango Pudding & Tiramisu.

This is the Coconut Milk Pudding....such a cute wobbly ball of yumminess!

Other desserts you can choose from....the DIY Ice Kacang counter, Chocolate Fountain and a selection of Fresh Fruits.

No dessert bar is complete without ice cream and here you have Haagen-Dazs & New Zealand natural ice cream.

Of course, you can't leave without having some Haagen-Dazs ice cream and my choice was the Mango Raspberry flavour ( was a fresh tub).

To round off my meal or any other meal, for that matter, you need a cup of coffee and this is my cup of Cappuccino (not great though).

My Personal Opinion

I would say that Jogoya's buffet is indeed "wide-variety-good-value" if you're looking for variety and value-for-money but taste wise, just don't get your hopes up too high.  Having said that, it's still one of the better Japanese buffets around (still better than Shogun & Saisaki).  If it's your first visit, you'll probably go 'wow' but this 'wow' factor diminishes as you make more visits (much like the saying...familiarity breeds contempt).

Although I found the quality and freshness of their raw food and some seafood rather suspect, it's acceptable for the promotional prices we pay.  But, if I had to pay full prices, I'll have to think twice (coz then I'll expect fresher produce)!  In all my previous outings to Jogoya, I didn't take any sashimi or fresh oysters but decided to this time.  It was a mistake as I came off with a stomach upset.

Would I recommend this place?  Yes, I would, especially to big eaters who appreciate and value variety over taste but (with a word of caution)....just stay away from the raw stuff if you've a sensitive stomach (like me).  [#Note: Another Japanese buffet you should stay away from is Daidomon...downright horrible!]

Will I be back?  I'll have to think about it, especially after the last 'upset' visit.  And because they offer so much variety, there are no standout dishes that really make you want to come back's like they are a "Jack of all trades but the master of none"!  Anyway, buffets are not so much 'my thing' anymore purely for the reasons that we tend to eat less (or can't consume as much) as we grow older (and if I do go, it's more for the camaraderie and chit-chatting than anything else).  It's not easy (these days) to find a buffet that offers variety, quality, fresh food and, at the same time, tastes good.  I  much prefer quality over quantity these days.

Jogoya (Japanese Buffet Restaurant)
T3 Relish Floor Starhill Gallery
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2142 1268


  1. I used to eat here when it first opened for business but not anymore. I agree with you that the taste of the food is not great, especially the steamed fish.

    1. Though taste is not great, it's still great value for money....and for steam fish to taste great, it has to be super fresh (and it was not).


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