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Friday, 8 December 2017

Kannichikan Yakiniku @ Old Klang Road

After enjoying our dining experience at Momotalo Yakiniku in Desa Sri Hartamas recently, we wanted to try the other Japanese barbecue in the same area.

But that was before we realised that the same Japanese barbecue place has another outlet nearer to us, Kannichikan Yakiniku @ Old Klang Road, which took over from Gyutaro Yakiniku that was previously managed by them as well.

Taking the stairs to the first floor, the place looked spanking new.  Besides the main dining area, there are also some partitioned spaces for a more private dining environment (which we chose to sit).  The place was pretty quiet when we were there on a weekend and, glancing around, I noticed that the place is mostly patronised by Japanese and foreigners (I think we were the only locals that evening).  If it's good enough for the Japanese, it should be good enough for us, right? ;)

Looks like Christmas came early at KNK (this visit was in early November!) seeing that they're all decked up already for the coming holidays.  It's beginning to look like Christmas....everywhere we go! ;)

Right after our orders were made, the first things to arrive were a plate of raw cabbagegarlic and the sauces.

On one side was a salty dark sauce that looked like a combination of soy with sesame seeds and spring onions and a wedge of lemon on the other side.  On the table were two small containers filled with chopped garlic and a chilli paste.

Unlike Momotalo, the server did not offer to mix the dipping sauce for us, neither did he mention how it should be mixed.  We were on our own.  Luckily, from my experience at Momotalo, I knew roughly what to do and proceeded to mix the sauce ourselves.  So, I spooned some chilli paste and fresh garlic into the sauce and added a squeeze lemon.

Mixing everything together, I did a taste test.  OMG, it was too spicy...I must have spooned too much chilli paste into it.  I think it would have been better if the server mixed it for us (like how it was done at Momotalo).

Realising my 'mistake', I asked the server for more soy so that I could add that to my dip to reduce the heat. She brought me a big plate of soy and I poured some over into my dip.  It was much better.  The balance I used as a dip (which I ended up liking more) as it had that zesty tang of lemon juice in it.

After liking our first experience with beef tongue, that became our very first order here...a combination of Beef Tongue + Under Tongue Meat + Pillar Tripe @ RM37 (marinated in just salt and pepper).  But they ran out of tripe (not that I minded), so we were given more of the other two meats instead.

First impression when I saw the beef tongue was that it didn't look anything like the ham-like round discs of meat we had at Momotalo before.

Taste wise, the beef tongue (on the left) was also not as flavourful and tender as the one I remembered eating at Momotalo.  I ended up liking their under tongue meat (on the right) more as it was (at least) a bit more marbled.

I saw Australian Wagyu Ribeye @ RM52 on the menu and I wanted that.  I think this was one of the cheapest wagyu beef on the menu.  Needless to say there were other more premium Japanese wagyu offered...but those were also at premium prices! :'(

There were six fairly thick slices of wagyu ribeye together with some slices of pumpkin and eggplant.  You can also see that the beef wasn't that well marbled either.

Trying my darndest not to overcook my ribeye...I think I did a pretty good job! :P

Maybe because the slices were cut a bit bigger and thicker, I found it more chewy than I thought it would be. Maybe if I had a knife to cut it into smaller pieces (instead of having to chew it apart with my teeth), it probably would have felt more tender.  The flavour was alright but, in the end, I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped.

Of course, Pork Belly @ RM24, marinated in their in-house sauce, is a must-order if it's on the menu.

This fatty cut of meat grills really well....coz once the fatty bits get into contact with the coals...it's sizzle, smoke, the more sizzle and smoke, the better! ;D

Just look at the well caramelised edges of the pork belly slices...yum!

We enjoyed this so much, we immediately ordered a second helping....but, as you can see, we got a leaner cut than the first plate.

Less fat, less caramelisation happening! >:(

End result....still good but not as good as the first plate.

With enough orders of meat, we went with the Seafood Moriawase @ RM71 featuring a mixed seafood of marinated salmon, prawns, scallop and squid.

All four types of seafood were really fresh.

Of the four, my ultimate favourite was the prawns.  I liked that the body was deshelled which allowed for more of the lovely smoked flavour to penetrate the prawns...and ultimately more caramelisation as well.  Ridiculously good! ^o^

Besides the prawns, I absolutely loved the salmon.   It was so fresh you don't even have to cook it all the way through.  The extremely soft and tender texture of the salmon made it difficult to lift them off the grill without breaking bits of the flesh.  So tasty :)

The squid and scallops were decent too.

We didn't need to order any vegetables since we got some pumpkin, eggplant, corn, onions and cabbage with the dishes we ordered.

Rice is RM4 a bowl.

Refillable Green Tea @ RM6 per person.

Complimentary juicy and sweet Watermelon Slices at the end of the meal.

The produce was certainly fresh...but the salmon, prawns and pork belly stood out against the rest.

Since there was no offer from the servers to grill the meat for us, I had to assume that this was a GIY...'Grill It Yourself' kind of place (unlike Momotalo where they'll ask if you want them to do it for you).  They use "binchotan" or what is known as white charcoal here which has a much higher temperature than black charcoal, so grilling time is minimal.  We did overcook our first round of grilling but we learned quickly not to leave it on the mesh for too long.

Though service was attentive, it wasn't very proactive.  I noticed the servers peeking into our 'cubicle' ever so often (which was kind of awkward at times) but they offered no assistance whatsoever (in the grilling) except to clear the empty plates.  They also failed to notice our half empty glasses and didn't offer to refill our green tea.

Throughout our meal, the servers gave us only one small plate each (to place our cooked meat) which I felt wasn't the most ideal since we had to distribute the meat immediately once they were taken off the grill.  I would have preferred to have different plates to place the different proteins and we can each take what we want and eat at our own pace.  So, I asked for more small plates.  Well, guess how many they gave us?  Just two more! O_o  I didn't know that plates were such a 'precious' item here.  So, even though overall service was alright, it fell short of my expectations.

My Personal Opinion

Service aside, the food was still good though prices are notably higher than Momotalo.  Since the beef didn't shine, I'll probably skip that and just concentrate on the seafood and pork.

Your opinion will probably be swayed by the mostly Japanese clientele you see frequenting this place but I actually prefer Momotalo for the beef and service.

The one thing I did like over Momotalo is the brightness, cleanliness and availability of partitioned spaces for a more private dining.

The place does deserve a revisit if I want a mainly seafood (and pork) BBQ though I'd rather give the one in Desa Sri Hartamas a try instead of this one...just to see if there is any notable difference.  In the end, did it endear me as much as Momotalo did?  Probably not! ^_~

Restoran KNK (Kannichikan Yakiniku)
23-1 First Floor 3rd Mile Square
151 Jalan Kelang Lama (Batu 3 1/2)
58100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-7972 4011


10 comments:

  1. Wow!! You did a great job to grill all the meat to perfection. Honestly I love to eat these roasted & grilled meat but someone needs to feed me as this grilling need skills too. I think most places would not have servers helping to grill except for some Korean Restaurants. Having lived with Japanese & Korean friends under the same roof, I find the hospitality of Korean hosts and restaurants are very good & warmer.

    You have grouped all the photos in neat boxes and made me drool with its appetizing colours & descriptions in detail. I could see that the salmon was very fresh and of superior quality. That's my most favourite fish too that needs little or no seasoning.

    The main reason that would capture my interest to visit this place is the presence of the Japanese clients. We won't see their shadows if the place is not even close to their standard. Each time I walked past the Sooshi-King, my Nippon clients would shake their heads with grimace looks and repeat that they are embarrassed to see such restaurants here! Muahahaha I told them the founder is a Japanese & it has the largest chain here. So what? I have briefly worked for this founder once and understand why he had to modify the taste terribly but it worked!

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    1. I've not stepped into a Sooshi-King for years. I don't think any of your Japanese clients would approve any of our conveyor belt sushi! But those are cheap, so I understand why it has its clientele too.

      Yeah, when you see their countrymen in a Japanese place, we feel at least assured though it's not always 100% correct...hihi! ;) There are many grilled meat lovers in my family, so this is a common option for us :)

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  2. I think you'll soon have enough content for a list of Japanese restaurants for us too (please) ;-)

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    1. Slowly.....but surely getting there! ^_~

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  3. Judging from the photos, all that you had looked very enticing. In fact I thought the wagyu was well marbled but apparently it is not! I reckon it is better to do the grilling ourselves (not that difficult, eh?) because it can be quite intrusive having the server poking around at the table. Service is by and large quite lacking I find in most restaurants (perhaps not at those higher end ones) with servers not taking the initiative to ensure that guests are properly taken care of. For example making sure that orders are complete or arrive at a decent time.

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    1. I think we can't expect the same level of service at lower end places coz of the 'price' and quality they pay for their servers. Initially, I thought it would be quite intrusive too but, from my experience at Momotalo, I quite liked the idea of my own personal butler grilling the meat for us...kikiki! ;D

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  4. You really have talent on meat grilling, hehe :P But I will not choose to dine in at such GIY restaurant as I always the one who need to do the grilling and end up lost my appetite after all the "work" >_<

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    1. I know of some people who specifically go to these GIY restaurants so that they can have fun grilling their own food! ^_^ This "work" of grilling I don't mind, it sure beats cooking at home with even more "work" to do afterwards. I know you and your family likes to eat Korean BBQ a lot, aren't those usually GIY too? ;)

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    2. Haha, the Korean BBQ restaurants that I frequented are not GIY type LOL

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    3. Ooo, lucky you...9 out of 10 of the Korean BBQs I go to usually are those GIY! :D I must check out your blog and go to the ones you went which don't have to grill it ourselves...hihihi! ;)

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