Sango Japanese Restaurant @ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

**NOTE: MANY complaints received about Sango’s bad customer service. Please note this review might not be accurate anymore.

If you are looking for a Japanese restaurant that specializes in Yakitori, look no further than Sango @ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ. The restaurant recently changed owner (previous owner was Japanese himself too) but the talented staff was retained, with an improved menu to make its appearance soon.
Sango’s kitchen is headed by Executive Chef Kazuhiro Inose, an all-round chef who can pretty much prepare any Japanese dish from appetizers to desserts.


You can expect pure traditional Japanese food and ambiance here at Sango, there’s even Japanese newspaper and magazine available near the counter. Shown here is Chef Inose who was busy cooking the skewers, as seen from the Yakitori Bar.


Let me just say that I was never a huge Yakitori fan. I go to Japanese restaurants looking for sushi, unagi and sashimi. And to me, Yakitori to me has always been something like a Japanese version of satay, which I never really fancied. My oh my how Sango changed my perception towards the dish. Now I know how a GOOD Yakitori should taste like.
My favorite Yakitori of the entire meal has gotta be the Chicken Wing Yakitori (RM7.80) It’s amazing how crispy the chicken wing can get by barbecuing them, it’s even crispier than those being deep fried! Only sprinkles of sea salt was used to season the chicken wings but it was enough to provide the flavor.


The chicken wings had the joints conveniently cut so you can enjoy it without having to use your hands.


Sashimi Salada @ RM16, a nice appetizer consisting of salmon and tuna sashimi slices with a touch of spiciness, interesting and delicious.


Gobo Karaage (Deep-fried burdock) is said to taste best while it’s still hot. If left cold, the burdock would get hard and lose some of its tastiness. Since we were busy trying out the other dishes the burdock got sidelined for a while.
Despite being cold and a little hard, I still found it to be quite enjoyable for the crunchiness. Mayonnaise was provided for extra flavor because the burdock was much tasteless. Anyway this was a new dish to me and honestly I didn’t really like it at first. But the more I tasted it the more I liked it lol.


Salmon Family Maki is a new maki created by Chef Inose that will appear in the new menu. The interesting name comes from the fact that a combination of different salmon parts like deep-fried salmon skin, salmon roe and salmon slices were used to prepare it. And this creates a combination of different texture in your mouth – from the crispiness of deep-fried salmon skin to the explosiveness created by salmon roe when it pops.


It’s hard not to love Chawanmushi, we just had to have this in every of our Japanese meal. So if you are like us, you should try Sango’s Chawanmushi @ RM9 because it’s quite different from the ones you normally see. It’s bigger, better, and had more ingredients. Under the steamed egg is a chunk of meat, ginkgo and a big, fresh prawn.


Another Yakitori I liked was the Aspara Maki (Asparagus rolled with Prime Australian Beef) Besides sea salt, it was also seasoned with some black pepper too – just wonderfully flavorful, tender and juicy.


Kaki Cheese Yaki – baked oysters with cheese.


Cooked oysters have a stronger smell compared to the raw ones but it was nicely balanced by the cheesy sauce and garlic. Highly recommended.


I found that almost every part of a chicken can be used for Yakitori, nothing goes wasted even the chicken tails (you will see later) This is a Yakitori Chicken Skin with Garlic @ RM6.40.
The name itself is pretty explanatory.. basically some skewered garlics wrapped with chicken skin. It was just ok for me because I am not a huge garlic fan. For price, I think it would be better to choose chicken wings instead.


Here are some Yakitori that made use of Chicken Tails @ RM6.40. Now I think most people are a bit scared about eating chicken tails for hygienic and health reasons. Me too. After all, it’s the chicken’s butt we’re talking about here and it contains a lot of fat too.
But putting all the concerns aside, you can’t deny that Bonjiri (Yakitori Chicken Tail) is delicious for its muscular and tender texture – crunchy and chewy at the same time.


Sango’s Special Meat Balls are available in chicken, beef or a mix of chicken and beef. According to Chef Inose, Japanese usually have their meat balls mixed so we had it that way too.
Before being served, the meat balls were coated with what I assume was Tare, a type of sweetened and thickened soy sauce widely used as dipping sauce in Japan. RM6.50 for each skewer, yummy and meaty!


Yakitori is not all about barbecuing meat, even vegetable can be used. After barbecued, Japanese cucumber has a squishy and moist texture that melts in your mouth, nice.


Another maki that we tried that day was Avocado Unagi Maki.


It looked great and all but I was kinda disappointed with the bland taste, which I think was due to the small quantity of Unagi.


The last Yakitori we had was Nankotsu (chicken cartilage) or also called the soft bones. What we usually discard is actually used commonly as a food ingredient in Japan. And it doesn’t come cheap too @ RM6.40.
To be honest, I think first timers like me would find it weird to chew on these excessively crunchy yet tasteless soft bones – I could only taste the salt.


One thing I experienced after eating so much Yakitori was having a salty taste in my mouth due to the amount of sea salt used to season the skewers. So sweet desserts were most welcomed to ‘balance’ things up a bit lol.
We had a choice of Black Goma, Charcoal (the edible one), Green Tea and Sakura (Cherry Blossom) flavored ice creams, all home made by Chef Inose. We picked the latter two and that Sakura ice cream turned out to be the best for its milky and refreshing taste. Please do try this.



Now for a brief tour of the restaurant.. this is the Yakitori Bar. If you want to see Chef Inose cooking, this would be the perfect place.


Sushi bar


And the non-smoking area

sango japanese buffet

If you are tempted to try Sango, I urge you to try their eat-all-you-can Japanese Buffet going for RM48++ per pax. It started from the 3rd Aug and will end on 30th Sep. Great for buka puasa too.
There are 70 dishes to choose from the buffet and it’s all ordered ala carte to ensure the food’s freshness, the only thing is that there’s no sashimi included in the buffet. It’s still a quite a deal considering the good food and I am surprised not many people know about this! Despite that, reservation is highly recommended.


Sango is truly a gem that will definitely go into my personal list of the top Japanese restaurants. It deserves all the attention that have been garnered by the other Japanese restaurants like Tenji, Jogoya, Saisaki, Shogun, Umai-ya, Rakuzen etc.

**NOTE: MANY complaints received about Sango’s bad customer service. Please note this review might not be accurate anymore.

Sango Japanese Restaurant (PORK FREE)
2nd Floor, Crystal Crown Hotel,
12 Lorong Utara A,
Off Jalan Utara,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: 03-7958 5228

(Visited 261 times, 3 visits today)

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Comments 43

  1. Skol

    Wow Wee!!!! I really like it la, I am going for the eat all you can, but maybe end of Sept. Really like the Yakitori. I am personally a big fan of soft bones, even when eating KFC, I will eat off the soft bones. Hehe

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  2. JD

    Have been wanting to try Tenji but their phone line is just not connecting. So this would also be a great choice for Japanese buffet?

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  3. James

    BAD EXPERIENCE!! After reading this blog, I brought my family for our dinner there. Checked-in at 7.00pm. We opted for the ‘Eat All You Can’ package which basically means buffet, the charge is RM48++. We were expecting a buffet kind of serving for the customers, but it was nowhere to be found. So, fine, we placed the order for the food instead.

    7.15pm. There were like 4-5 group of customers inside the restaurant. It was pretty much empty. A family came to sit next to our table. They opted for the ala carte menu. At this time, we were only served our drink, and even our sushis weren’t even there yet!! So, ok, fine, we waited.

    7.40pm. The family sitting next to us already received their orders – a combination of rice with beef and miso soup and a number of things. The uncle who happened to be the head of the family started making noise. The japanese waiter kept getting the wrong message and had trouble communicating with the customer. He sent the wrong dish to that uncle. At this time, I too was making queries to the waiter and waitress as to why is it our food is taking so long to be prepared – pretty much a complete meal like our neighbor next table, though I don’t exactly remember what it was. Luckily we weren’t in the mood to curse people that day. So, we asked the waiter and then the waitress (because the japanese waiter’s english is so horrible!!) to change our package to ala carte instead. And we ordered miso soup for a start, expecting things could improve.

    7.50pm. How hard does it take to pour miso soup into a bowl? I went to find out was going on with the cashier (who seems to be like the owner – a local lady). The same waitress was there at the counter. The lady seem not to be interested in what I said to her. So I end up talking to that waitress again. She agreed to send us the list of meal I reordered (I couldn’t remember what they were, but they were just easy to prepare sushis like the one you can get in Sushi King), not the fancy type that you could see in the menu and insisted to her to put us as priority.

    7.52pm. The miso soup came. The japanese waiter said the miso soup is on the house. No need to pay. Apologies from the restaurant.

    8.00pm. Only Spider maki arrived. We decided enough is enough. We then finished the maki and headed for exit.

    Exiting. We settled our bill only to find out that the miso soup was still charged at RM9.00 per bowl. We confronted the cashier and found out no such arrangement (the free miso soup) was made for us. We went to Mid-Valley and eat out at Tony Roma’s. Much better.

    Conclusion: If there’s any consolation, my wife complimented the spider maki (the soft-shell crab wrapped in rice roll). But I tasted it no better than the one I could buy from Jusco or Carrefour. Out of 5 star, I give them 2 thumbs down. Ok, fine, they may have a good cook/chef, but the service is as lousy as it gets. There are many good japanese restaurants out there, but this one is definitely OUT OF MY LIST!!

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      hi James, I have forwarded your complaint to Sango’s management. They told me they were aware of this situation, which happened last night. Sorry to hear about your bad experiences.

  4. Jo Lim

    seems to be a very cozy place n price reasonable too… but Vkeong… is there any Japanese Restaurant with nice non-halal food that u highly recommend??

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      1. Anonymous

        Hi Vkeong, sorry for the late reply…. :p now finally i gonna try Munakata tomorrow… for my fren birthday party …. Thank you so much for the info and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

  5. Pingback: 2009 Christmas & New Year Promotion @ Restaurants | Malaysia Food Blog, Malaysia Travel Blog

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  6. AL

    My experience was very similar with James. I was there last night and had a similar situation. The food was good but extremely slow and the service was way below acceptable.

    If you intend to visit the restaurant, make sure you’re not in a hurry and have the patience of a saint.

    For Yakitori, I understand. It takes time to prepare. Just like what James said, how long does it takes to pour some ready made Miso soup into a bowl and serve it? Took 40 minutes. That’s how long.

    BUT the ice creams are the best! Make sure you try the Sakura, Sesame Seed and Charcoal ice cream. They are my only consolation of the visit.

    Yakitori wise, the chicken wing is highly recommended. As I said, the food is good, but the service – sux. Will I return? I doubt so. I don’t have the patience. But thanks to vkeong for the recommendation though.

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      I think they are aware of the bad service.. I just hope they sort this out as soon as possible. Else no point I promote for them and in the end complaints are coming in like this…

  7. Michelle

    I have go to try on 12 Feb 2010, not much choice, only special in yakitori . . . I dnt thk i wil visit for 2nd times.

  8. Don

    Let me share my bad experience with Sango Japanese Restaurant on Saturday, 27 March 2010. Me and my wife both are Japanese food lover and frequently visit Japanese Restaurant throughout the year to find some fine Japanese restaurant around KL. We search around internet, food blogger and come to know about Sango Japanese Restaurant located at 2nd floor of Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ. We do so because in the past, many food blogger exemplify Sango Japanese Restaurant with great food and outstanding customer service. As requested by Sango Japanese Restaurant, reservation is needed to confirm your attendant. Hence, my wife made a phone call to Sango restaurant on Wednesday, 24 March 2010 at 1:30pm and made reservation for 2 on Saturday afternoon, 27 March 2010. Name and non smoking seat had been provided to Sango’s representative.

    Early travel plan from house to Sango Japanese Restaurant was made to avoid messy traffic jam. However, that last time I visited at the Sango Japanese Restaurant, I was highly disappointed and for sure I will never stay at Sango Japanese Restaurant, again.

    During our arrived on Saturday, 27 March 2010 at Sango Japanese Restaurant, nobody at the reception to acknowledge we were even there. When we were finally assisted by the restaurant’s waiter and told him we had made the reservation under my wife’s name. He mentions that there is no such name recorded in their book and only 2 others customers name had been recorded. More frustrated and surprised to us was that the Buffet Lunch booking was full with just only 2 names in their record. This waiter then walks away like nobody business and seems like this is not their fault. The blame is fall under me and my wife. We were wondering with kind of “ALL U CAN EAT” Weekend Buffet Lunch that Sango Japanese Restaurant is promoting?

    When we tried to complain to the Hotel Front Desk, we were told that there was nothing that they could do about it. Sango Japanese Restaurant was not under hotel management control. As usual in this country, whenever you make a compliant. There would either not manager on duty so you can’t directly complaint to management (nobody responsibility) or this is not under their jurisdiction (none of my business).

    This in itself is intolerable and it is unacceptable to be treated in this manner. We hope that this is a one-time experience that we will never have to endure again. However, I feel compelled to make my complaint known if for no other reason than I do not wish to see anyone else go through an experience such as this. I hope Sango Japanese Restaurant would know how to handle this issue and how other customers can be sure this will never happen to me again.

  9. Jojo

    Celebrated my daughter’s birthday there last month. We opted for the buffet package.

    When we entered, we looked around and just one table with a couple dining. We were quite skeptical at first, but we just give it a try as we’ve drove all the way there.

    Eight of us sat down looking around at the quiet quiet.
    WE ordered our food, and the orders came quite fast. Service was good and the food taste great.

    But as when customers started to fill in the empty tables, their service starts to deteriorate. Orders got mixed up and some orders were not serve to us even after several times of reminders.

    At norm, we would sound them, but this time we just let it go since it’s our daughter’s birthday, as we do not want to ruin the happy occasion.

    I might visit the place again, and if I do, it definitely got to be early.

  10. Eliza

    Hi, my parents and I are very regular customers of Sango since 2006. The quality of the food have remained consistent and new additions to the menu were always amazing as well. Do try the grilled chicken liver, it has the most wonderful texture. Chef Inose takes the effort to remove the tough bits in the liver and also slicing them into perfect little cubes, ensuring that they cook evenly on the skewer (liver gets tough and crumbly if overcooked). It is also dipped in that scrumptious sauce he uses for the meatballs. It may seem ridiculous to sing such high praises for mere chicken livers. However, I do find that it takes exceptional culinary skills to bring out the flavours in such a simple ingredient.

    Service is indeed slow at times. I don’t mind it that much since it is actually quite enjoyable to savour a dish and having some time to clear the palette with hot ocha before enjoying the next dish, without overlapping the flavours of the different yakitori’s.

    Just my two cents worth.

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  11. adurian

    Went there just now for yakitori. Not much ppl but the yakitori is not bad. My Fav is the candied sweet potato with butter. I think due to not much crowd and we sat infront of the yakitori bar, we have a quite decent service.

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