**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