Craving some good Japanese food in Kuala Lumpur? You don’t have to go far to find it. Here are some Japanese restaurants in town that are known for their air-flown sashimi, springy ramen and perfectly grilled yakitori. So, kick back, grab your favourite Japanese whisky and enjoy your meal.
Aptly named the House of Happiness, you will definitely leave Fukuya with a big smile on your face after dining here. Set up to resemble the home of a wealthy Japanese family, you can dine in peace while enjoying views of the beautifully designed courtyard surrounded by mock houses and secret corridors. Known for its Kaiseki, a multi-course traditional Japanese dinner, Fukuya uses only fresh seasonal ingredients and dishes are prepared to abide to strict traditional methods. There are four options for the Kaiseki menu, including wa-fuku, sushi and omakase. Other items on the menu include lunch and dinner sets, sashimi platters, maki and desserts. The beautiful setting serves as the perfect backdrop to such a pleasurable dining experience.
Indulge yourself with a high-quality traditional meal at Sushi Hinata. Known among sushi connoisseurs for its fresh seasonal ingredients, Hinata’s chefs take pride in their culture and traditions. Each step of preparation is taken seriously, from checking the quality of the flown-in ingredients from Japan, to making their own pickles. The mirin and soy sauce used are sourced from Aichi prefecture in Japan. Hinata uses wasabi root grown at the base of Mount Fuji and hand-grinded fresh. The taste is completely different from the usual powdery wasabi that you sometimes find on the mass market. The menu offers lunch and dinner sets, sashimi and sushi platters, grilled dishes, tempura and dessert. To have a taste of what’s in season now, order omakase for the chef’s best selection.
Take a seat behind the sushi bar, where you can watch Chef Ori slickly slice through fresh fishes flown-in from Japan and deftly shape them into delectable bites. The elegant atmosphere, paired with exquisite flavours from the dishes, has attracted quite a crowd in Kuala Lumpur. Chef Ori is not one to sacrifice quality and tradition. No sugar is used for the sushi rice, and like many top Japanese restaurants in the area, pickled gingers are handmade and wasabi is freshly grinded. The menu is fairly simple at Oribe. Lunch and dinner menu each offers five multi-course options, including omakase. For beverage, you can choose from their selection of Japanese beer, sake and shochu as well as red wine, white wine and soft drinks.
Sometimes all we want is a simple, homey meal. Away from the city centre, Uokatsu is located at Sri Hartamas and has been a favourite among residents in the neighbourhood. With simple furnishing, this no-fuss restaurant serves delicious fresh food at reasonable prices. Some of their highlights include the mentai rice – mentai topped on egg on a bowl of rice; and homemade air-dry saba, which has a deeper flavour than normal grilled saba. The menu here boasts a number of don dishes, fresh sashimi, and grilled seafood.
Usually sought after for its extensive menu, you can find authentic Japanese dishes of fresh quality using seafood flown directly from Tsukiji fish market at Hanare. Located in the city centre, it is a popular choice for business gatherings as well as family events, with its classy and homey settings. Favourites here are definitely the fresh sashimi, wagyu beef and oysters. The icing on the cake? Hanare offers a Sunday buffet brunch where you can enjoy all their delicacies
The essence of a ramen lies in the soup. If you like your ramen soup thick and creamy with an intense flavour, Bari-Uma Ramen is the place to go. The delicious broth is made using high quality soy sauce as the base, with carefully selected ingredients like chicken feet and pork bones. The mixture is then boiled for more than 10 hours to bring out all the flavours. From the first slurp, the soup will maintain the same level of intensity and flavour to the very last drop. There are seven pork ramen options at Bari-Uma, including Nori (seaweed), Shoyo (light shoyu) and Kara (spicy).
Bocosan, located in Bangsar South, brings a refreshing take on izakaya with its contemporary Japanese food. The sophisticated interior is designed to bring friends, family and coworkers together over delicious food and drinks. Even with the modern design, the restaurant clearly practices the Japanese philosophy of attention to detail and minimalism. For lunch, you can find a variety of rice and noodle sets, appetisers, soups, salads, maki, sashimi, nigiri and desserts. Some of the highlights on the dinner menu include the Hamachi Carpaccio (thinly sliced yellowtail sashimi with truffle salt), Bocosan Wagyu Don and Bone-in Short Rib Ramen.
Hailing all the way from New York City’s Manhattan, Sushi Azabu is a cozy, fuss-free sushi restaurant at The Table, Isetan Lot 10. In NYC, this eight-seat sushi bar is a one-star Michelin gem. In KL, it exudes the same level of detail to ingredients and flavours. Seafood is imported from Japan two to three times a week for an authentic Japanese sushi experience. It is recommended that the seafood and fish dishes are eaten as served without any additional soy sauce or wasabi, as the chef has seasoned them before serving. Reservations are required and walk-ins will not be entertained.
If you are looking for a casual, informal Japanese meal, Toku Toku is the place to go. Located in the heart of KL, Toku Toku is well-hidden along the stretch of shops on Jalan Sultan Ismail. The shop has been around for more than two decades and has only relied on word-of-mouth all these years. Many Japanese expats in town frequent Toku Toku as it reminds them of having a meal at home. This traditional izakaya-like eatery offers the usual Japanese fare – sashimi platters, sushi platters, dinner sets, don, yakitori and noodles.
The best way to bond with friends is definitely with a great time together over shared food and drinks. At Tabe Tomo, they aim to do just that with juicy grilled meat and quality sake. The restaurant is tastefully designed with a minimalist touch – wooden furniture with gray concrete walls. Private booths are available for an uninterrupted good time with your friends and family. The highlight at Tabe Tomo is their yakitori. They have more than 20 types to choose from including pork belly, pork tongue, chicken liver, chicken neck, chicken skin, angus rib eye, homemade smoked cheese, and more. Feeling spoilt for choice? The Mega Moriawase has 15 chef selection skewers of the day.