Munakata Unlimited Ala Carte Japanese Buffet – RM60+ @ Jalan Sultan Ismail

**Nov 2001 update: Life Centre is undergoing major renovations but Munakata is still open for business as usual.

***Munakata has updated their menu, click here for the latest update***

A few weeks ago a friend, Exkay (who happens to be a reader of my blog, as well as a junior in my high school) sent me an email suggesting that I review Munakata‘s Japanese buffet. This is an excerpt of the email:

The restaurant is called Munakata, not sure whether you’ve heard about it but it had been around for quite awhile and it’s popular among Japanese.
They used to be in Menara Promet ( opposite Menara Genting ) then moved to a bungalow in Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, and currently moved to Life Center in Jalan Sultan Ismail.
They serve fabulous buffet @ RM 49.90 when they were in Menara Promet. The atmosphere was great as well since the captain himself is a Jap and all the waitress dressed in Kimono. Buffet varieties are huge too back then.
Munakata’s Buffet was never about the varieties. It was always about the Quality rather than the Quantity. They serve arguably the best Unagi Kabayaki and Sake Sashimi.
Their cooked items taste so much better than the norm. Oh yes. they have a sushibar manned by a Jap chef. and yes all your sushi in the buffet are hand made.
So I hope you could give the restaurant a shot, cause after the first time being there about 5 years back. I was hooked with it till now.

I knew Munakata because I have been traveling along Jalan Sultan Ismail quite often. It is just located above TGI Fridays in Life Centre building, which is situated just opposite Wisma KFC.
I did harbor some curiosity about Munakata and have been planning to give it a try. But Exkay’s email just expedited things, and I made a booking for three the following weekend. FYI it’s RM60+ for an adult, and RM35+ for child from 4-10 years old.


Here, all the food has to be ordered ala carte via a order chit. There is an ala carte menu (with description and photo of the food) provided at each table that can be referred to place your orders. Just write down the food’s code and quantity desired. The downside of this system is the waiting time. But you are guaranteed of freshly prepared food, which will have a considerable impact on the taste. Plus, you don’t have to queue or fight for any food.
There are many things we tried that night, and most of them are good. So I won’t be giving detailed description about each and every food. Just note that the way the food is cooked is very traditional in Japanese style, which could be a little saltier or sweeter than what we usually take. If you are concerned about this, do let the waitress know and let the chef make the necessary adjustments while seasoning.


Green tea, unilimited supply and it had a fresh, light flavor as you can see from the color itself.


Chawan Mushi – Savoury Egg Custard


Fresh sliced Salmon Sashimi


Nigiri Sushi (Salmon) – Vinegared rice ball topped with fresh sliced salmon


Unagi Kabayaki – Grilled eel coated with sweet soya sauce


Shown here is the Unagi’s portion for 3 pax. Huge isn’t it?


Soft Shell Crab Tempura


Hourensou Butter – Grilled spinach with butter


Shira Ebi Karaage – Deep fried Japanese Glass Shrimp


Saba Shioyaki – Grilled Mackerel with salt


Yakitori – Barbecued skewered chicken


Seafood Tofu Isobe Age – Deep fried seafood bean-curd with seaweed


Shishamo – Grilled smelt fish


Hotate Butter Yaki – Grilled scallops with butter


I felt the scallops was a little overcooked hence the slightly mushy texture. Luckily the sweet taste was still nicely retained and the butter sauce complimented it well. The scallops were full of roes (the orangy part) too.


Tempura Moriawase – Assorted seafood and vegetables in batter. Comes with fresh, big and succulent prawns.


Teppan-yaki Chicken – Fried chicken on hot iron plate


Sashimi again, it was presented differently though.


Furai Ika Ring – Deep fried squid rings


Eringi Butter Yaki – Pan fry King Oyster Mushroom with butter


Age Shu-Mai, something like a deep fried chicken Siu Mai with very crispy skin.


Tori Tsukune Yaki – Skewered chicken meat ball coated with savoury sauce. It tasted very similarly to those we had in Sango, just the meat balls were smaller and the sauce wasn’t so thick.


Teppan-yaki Seafood had a large prawn, some fish and squid.



Umagi Tamago – Grilled eel wrapped in cooked egg. The Tamago was quite sweet so I couldn’t really taste the eel, it was good nonetheless.


Sake Teriyaki – Grilled salmon coated with sweet soya sauce


A single portion of Hotate Butter Yaki (Scallops with butter sauce) with two pieces of scallops.


Gyuniku Shoga Yaki – Sliced beef fried with ginger sauce. Although the beef was good, the ginger sauce was a little too salty.


Gyu Saikoro Steak – Japanese style beef steak, recommended because it’s very tender and flavorful.


For dessert only fresh cut fruits and ice-cream (vanilla or green tea) were available. The red bean topping on the green tea ice-cream is actually optional but recommended for its sweetness.


The waitresses in Munakata dress in traditional Kimono, making the restaurant feeling more Japanese.


Munakata’s Unlimited Ala Carte Buffet Dinner Promotion’s menu consists of 40 types of food. I did not try all 40 dishes because some of them were from the salad, rice or noodle categories, which I feel won’t be feasible to order in a buffet. But I will list them out:

  • Ankake Age Dofu (Deep fried bean curd with thick starchy sauce)
  • Edamame (Boiled green peas)
  • Mix-Yaki Yasai (Fried mixed vegetables)
  • Enoki No Butter Yaki (Pan-fry fresh straw mushroom with butter)
  • Kaki Furai (Deep fried oyster)
  • Mini Korroke (Mini croquette)
  • Furai Moriawase (Mixed seafood tempura)
  • Tori No Karaage (Deep fried chicken)
  • Yaki Soba (Fried house noodles)
  • Yaki Udon (Fried wheat noodles)
  • Garlic Fried Rice
  • Gohan & Misoshiru (Steamed rice and miso soup)
  • Seafood salad
  • Yasai Salad (Fresh garden salad)
  • Wakame Salad (Seaweed salad)
  • Fresh cut fruits


The private sushi bar.


Some interesting looking Japanese wines displayed in the restaurant.


If you are looking for a Japanese restaurant serving authentic Japanese buffet (purely Japanese food only) in a nice environment and most importantly won’t burn a hole in your pocket, Munakata is worth a try. Making a reservation should not be a problem, as I noticed not many people know that this restaurant actually offers buffet, yet.

Japanese Restaurant Munakata
Mezzanine Floor, Life Centre,
No. 20, Jalan Sultain Ismail,
Kuala Lumpur 50250, Kuala Lumpur
GPS Coordinates: N3 09.215 E101 42.518

Promotion Date : 1 Aug to 31 Dec 2010 ( Dinner only)
Mon to Wed : RM60++(Adult) RM35++ (4 to 10 years old)
Thu to Sat : RM70++(Adult) RM45++ (4 to 10 years old)
37 Dishes to choose…………..
( One of the New dish Gindara Teriyaki~Grilled cod fish coated with sweet soya sauce)
RM10 Munakata Gift Voucher for you…….
for every RM100 you spend in a single receipt for the above promotion

Business Hours: Lunch: 12.00noon ~3.00pm
Dinner: 6.30pm ~11.00pm
Closed for Lunch on Public Holidays (SUNDAY CLOSED)
Tel: 03-21667441 Fax: 03-21667825

(Visited 225 times, 1 visits today)

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Comments 66

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  1. Apple Foodees

    One important thing here is that you must get your orders out as soon as possible as the wait can be quite long as some of it are prepared on the spot.

    VK, your pictures looks great! So much better than mine.

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  2. Anonymous

    wow, thanks VK the photos really nice taken. After reading this i soon decide this is the place tat i want to celebrate my bf’s Bday. Thanks.

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  3. JD

    Lots and lots of Japanese restaurant are going with the buffet theme. Munakata is one of the nicest that I had ate before, apart from Kura. Hmm, need to start making plans….

  4. M@Y

    Simply delicious. My parents been there 10 years ago, so i’ve heard from them. The buffet/promotion only available during dinner time? Applicable on weekend or weekdays? :hmm:

  5. cariso

    Ya! I saw this one when I was in KL a few months back, stuck in the traffic light long queue there. Argh! I should have turned into this restaurant straightaway! :)

  6. Jo

    Thanks for reviewing!! Shall try one of these days hoping the promo still last.

    btw, the restaurant let u take photos? With flash somemore? Some buffet restaurant like Shogun and Jogoya don’t allow photo taking.

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  7. maggie

    just went there last 2 weeks. d food really nice.
    service excellent.
    we repeatedly order sashimi salmon & nigiri sushi & grilled scallop.
    but after few dishes..felt abit bored ..cos everything mostly grill & fry.
    only one sushi dish. …

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      Hi maggie, you’re the first to give a comment, good to know it’s a good one :)
      Yeah the choices are quite limited isn’t it? but the good thing is they all taste good

  8. John


    I went there yesterday night to celebrate my fiance’s birthday only to be disappointed. They ran out items (12 to be precise) and thus they dun have buffet only ala carte which is kinda the same price 45-65 range.

    We ordered beef shabu shabu buffet with free refill of beef fillets.

    I really love the service and would have given them 5 stars but I would have to give 3 instead. reason is because they did not tell us that they don’t have buffet when we walk in and sit down. Knowing well that people come in for their buffet. They only tell us after taking our drinks. They did not immediately recommend something else and we were kinda stuck for a bit. Their menu is so confusing. They have the beef shabu shabu for the price of RM55 (Ala Carte) and I ordered that and the waitress then point to the other menu and say you can order buffet and share 2 person. I was like. Wait… what buffet.

    All in all, I am still let down by it. hopefully get to taste it next time.

  9. jean

    I went yesterday.
    Most dishes are tasty but I found that some of the dishes are kinda salty (tot Japanese dun eat much salty food?). The service was great anyway..
    The beef wasn’t that great but I love the salmon sashimi!!

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  10. Jason

    May i know where is it located in KL? Im heading down there this Christmas. At first i’m planning to have Jogoya at Starhill but i read some reviews that the quality has gone down the drain. So i might give Munakata a try :)

    Is the restaurant near any prominent landmark in KL?

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  11. Pingback: Food Blog Malaysia | Kuala Lumpur and Selangor | Dish With Vivien » Munakata Japanese Restaurant Daily Dinner Buffet, Life Centre, Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL

  12. bla bla bla

    My favourite are:

    Enoki No Butter Yaki (Pan-fry fresh straw mushroom with butter) and Hotate Butter Yaki – Grilled scallops with butter.

    Really limited choice of raw fish sashimi. Either “yes” or “no” as only 1 type of raw fish sashimi is served, sake sashimi

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  13. jeff

    Hi vkeong, overall the foods me and my gf so love it. Thanks for your recommendation. But the foods so limited choices and i love miso soup sop much even salty. haha. and i had tried kinpaku coffee. tks will visit for 2nd times tried ala carte and japanese beer.

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  14. Jessica

    Munakata, my favourite…Hurray is back to town. Is a very famous japanese restaurant in year 1995. They served good buffet with good food. The most I like is sukiyaki. Then they have moved to Jalan Yap Kwan Seng. And luckily just got vkeong post up such info. Will try it out soon.

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    1. Lynn

      the price per pax is now RM 77 net..the food is ok, but very very limited choices. you will repeat order the same food again & again..the portion is small & per dish we order for 5 to 10 pax otherwise not enough for sharing & avoid waiting time (by the time food arrived u pon sudah kenyang). for sushi, only Nigiri Sushi available in the buffet menu & the color of the Sashimi is totally different from the picture above. if u looking for good jap buffet with RM 77 try to survey other options.

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  15. Pingback: Free Munakata Japanese Dinner Buffet – Submit Comment And Win | Malaysia Food Blog, Malaysia Travel Blog

  16. Pingback: 日本料理宗像 @ 丽风中心 « 只是一些东东

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      I feel dinner is the best time, and for the reservation, like any buffets in town, you need to keep trying in order to get through

      as for the food quality, I think they are still maintaining it – at least that’s the latest news I am getting

  17. Pingback: Munakata Unlimited Ala Carte Buffet Dinner @ Life Centre, Jalan Sultan Ismail « Malaysia Food Blog, Malaysia Travel Blog

  18. Jacelyn

    Hi, vkeong,

    My comment for Munakata is not appear yet in ur post, some bad comments actually.. Im wondering, r u the owner of Munakata..

    Sorry, but im just wanted to share my bad experience with ur readers.. Thank u…

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  19. KP

    Went last weekend. 1st Life Center is under renovation, a bit tricky to locate the restaurant if you are not familiar with the area. Second, the food tasted quite salty. Quality is a disappointment too.

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