Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) @ Pandan Indah

'Yakiniku' is a Japanese term for 'grilled meat' and when I feel like having some pretty cheap and affordable grilled meat, over a charcoal flame, I would head to Restoran Yakiniku @ Pandan Indah.
This place, predominantly, serves grilled meat although they also serve ramen, sushi, set meals and a lot of a la carte dishes as well.  However, if you choose to order grilled meat (as they are well known for), you'll get to grill your meats in a rather old-school way because you'll literally get an old-fashioned stove, filled with hot charcoals, with a wire mesh on top.
I don't know what it is but everyone seems to enjoy grilling their own food and I do that too (just for the fun of it, I guess), all the time, when I dine here until recently.  I finally took up their offer of grilling the food for us instead and what a good decision that was...the food tasted so much better (probably because they are more experienced at grilling it evenly).  [#Tip: Get them to grill the food for you!]
Here's a look at the grilled stuff we ordered.
First up, the Grilled Pork Bacon @ RM6.90 a plate (and one plate is definitely not enough) is a 'must-order' here as it is the best tasting dish.  It's the combination of fat and meat that imparts the smoky, charred taste that is so pleasing.
Next, we have the Grilled Chicken Fillet @ RM6.90.  This is good but not as good as the pork bacon.
The Grilled Squid @ RM6.90 is another dish we like to order here.  They definitely know how to grill this just right because, when I did it myself, it was not as tender or charred.  Squeeze some lime over it and eat it straight away!
The Grilled "Tofu Pok" (deep fried bean curd puff) @ RM2.90 is really cheap and good (the pic above is 2 portions).
As usual, you should always order a veggie with your meal and we ordered a plate of "yau mak" (Chinese lettuce) @ RM6.90 with oyster sauce and fried shallots.
You eat all their grilled stuff with their special dipping sauce (though I don't know what goes into their sauce) as they all have their own recipes.  But it's usually made from Japanese soy sauce mixed with a combo of either sake, mirin, dashi, sugar, garlic, sesame, lime juice or vinegar, etc.  [#Note: The sauce may be a bit salty for some.]
If you don't fancy grilled meat, you can opt for their value-for-money set meals.
This is the Salmon Wazen Set @ RM24.90.  It comes with grilled salmon in black pepper sauce, tempura ebi (prawn), some tempura veggies with rice, miso soup, pickles and mango pudding for dessert.  The grilled salmon in black pepper sauce with caramelised onions and carrot was so-so but the tempura was not crispy enough.
The Bacon Wazen Set @ RM14.90 fared better.  It comes with charcoal grilled pork bacon marinated in their specialty Yakiniku sauce, Agedashi tofu, rice, miso soup, pickles and mango pudding.  The bacon was grilled to perfection and I especially liked the Agedashi tofu, which had a find crisp texture on the outside and super soft on the inside, in a light dashi broth.
Another favourite of our family is the Unagi Don @ RM23.90.  "Unagi" is the Japanese word for freshwater eel and it is quite an expensive delicacy.  It is usually grilled with some kind of sweetish sauce which makes the eel slightly crisp on the outside but tender and succulent on the inside.  And if you love unagi, you'll love it on anything....on rice,....on sushi,......or simply just on its own...and you can eat lots of it if not for the price!
I also ordered the Lime & Sour Plum @ RM4.50 to add a tangy end to my meal.
My Personal Opinion
If you want good quality and equally tasty grilled meat, at affordable prices, you should give this place a try.
But remember to ask them to do the grilling for you because it tastes so much better when they do it.  Plus, you can also eat in comfort without having to watch over your food so that they don't good is that!
Likes:  The grilled pork bacon, squid and 'tofu pok' and the agedashi tofu too.....and the affordable prices, of course.
Dislikes:  The smell of "yakiniku" on you when you leave the place (because of the many diners who choose to grill the meat themselves) but you can't really blame them as it is a 'yakiniku' place after all!

Update:  02.05.2014 (They will be relocating to 76G Jalan Pandan Indah 4/6B, Pandan Indah, wef 14/06/2014, and renamed Tokyo Yakiniku)
Yakiniku Restaurant
No 20-G Jalan Pandan Indah 4/8
Pandan Indah
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-4295 4833

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