There are plenty of Japanese restaurants in KL but there are only a handful that specialize in Yakitori. For those uninitiated, Yakitro is a type of grilled skewered food – either meat or vegetables often served in izakayas as snacks. Think of it as Japanese satay if you will.
Ri-Yakitori Bar is one of the most well-established Yakitori restaurant in town, having won numerous awards and was selected as one of the top 5 Yakitori Bar in KL by Time Out KL.
Besides the main dining area where you could enjoy live sports on big screen, a small terrace area overlooking the city is located outside for a more private dining experience.
Currently, the view is not perfect due to heavy construction work that is still on-going on the other side of the Klang river. But once the construction is completed, I bet the view would be great.
Chicken dominates the menu here and every part imaginable is used such as the heart, liver, tail, gizzard, gizzard skin and soft bones. If you are not feeling too adventurous, there’s an assorted grilled chicken set @ RM42 which comes with the more commonly eaten parts like skin, breast, meatball, wings and thigh. Most of the chicken Yakitori is seasoned simply with salt and grilled to a crisp golden brown.
My personal favorite among the five items was the sausage-shaped chicken meatball (Tsukune) doused in a sweet soy-based sauce. The delicious meatball was firm and boucy on the outside, and tender and juicy inside. Each bite was just satisfying.
For a more indulgent treat, the Wagyu Beef on Skewer @ RM41 is sure to please the most discerning taste. Expertly grilled with the right amount of seasoning, it had a perfect mix of meat and fat for that succulent, melt in your mouth experience. The golden brown crust that formed on the beef had the most wonderful flavour.
This was my first time having beef tongue (Gyutan @ RM41). While it sounds kind of unusual and even exotic, it is one of the most common type of Yakitori in Japan.
The Wagyu beef tongue also has a nice marbling to it and when grilled in thin slices, they had a crunchy bacon-like texture. I have to say they are kind of addictive that you just can’t stop at one.
There are also a dozen of seafood options on the menu with the Unagi being the most expensive clocking in at a price tag of RM70.
A pair of Grilled Tiger Prawn @ RM41. They were fresh, fleshy and easy to peel so there’s nothing we could ask for more.
Grilled Scallop @ RM52 – they were beautifully grilled with a light sear, just enough to lock in the juices of the flaky sweet flesh.
The Grilled Mentaiko (marinated roe) @ RM47 might be a bit of an acquired taste but if you happen to be able to enjoy it, you’d love this for the intense burst of umami it offers.
From the chef’s specialty menu, the Seafood Kebab @ RM14 is brushed with their zesty home-made tonkatsu sauce. I felt the sauce was too dense and hence overpowered the delicate flavour of the other ingredients on the skewer.
One of the pages in the menu is dedicated to grilled vegetables and they cost between RM5 and RM12 each. Although they are pretty good, I’d suggest sticking to the meat options. But then again, I might be biased because I am such a meat lover.
As for desserts, you have three choices: dorayaki, green tea ice cream and Yuzu sherbet. We had the latter two and loved both of them, especially the Yuzu sherbet which was simply sublime. If you only could choose one, go for the sherbet because the other two desserts are quite common.
All in all, Ri-Yakitori Bar is indeed a great place to have tasty and fun Yakitori in a relaxed environment. Although the restaurant is located in a classy hotel, the setting is casual so you feel right at home immediately. Also not to mention the service was warm and friendly too. With everything considered, price might be the only deterrent for repeated visits.
So if you are looking forward to dine at Ri-Yakitori Bar, don’t forget to head to Offpeak first to enjoy 20% discount for meals between 5pm to 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday. Smartphone users should also consider downloading Offpeak’s mobile app (available in Android and iOS) to discover the latest dining offers in town.
Level 7, St Giles The Gardens
Grand Hotel & Residences
Mid Valley City