With the opening of Shin Nihon, there are now 4 yakiniku restaurants in Desa Sri Hartamas. It’s located directly opposite of Momotalo which also happens to be one of our top 3 favorite yakiniku joints in KL.
Shin Nihon’s sister restaurant, Toridoki (specializes in yakitori) is only a few shops away. I am pretty sure the owner picked this location so that both restaurants could be in the same vicinity, for easier management maybe, instead of trying to compete with Momotalo directly.
From what I understand, Shin Nihon originated in the Nihonbashi district in Tokyo and they have 16 branches in Japan. During our visit, we noticed most of the customers were Japanese, mostly businessmen and families. For us, I guess it’s like seeing Madam Kwan after living in Tokyo for a long time?
As soon as you enter the restaurant you are greeted by a large team of chefs working, creating a buzz of energy and liveliness. There are also slabs of Australian wagyu meat and marbled beef displayed in a chiller right next to the entrance. The vibe is generally bright and cheerful and not as dimmed as other yakiniku places.
Shin Nihon’s menu is dominated by different cuts of meat and meat platters for grilling purposes. The ingredients for yakiniku seem to be just beef and vegetables, as we hardly saw any other meat like pork, chicken, lamb and seafood.
Other ala carte items available include a variety of snacks, rice, noodle and even more beef related dishes. So suffice to say, if you don’t take beef, your choices here are severely limited.
First timers are recommended to try the chef’s daily selection of Special 4 Cuts, offered in normal and premium range at different weightage. We had the most affordable platter @ RM60 which comes with 200g of meat consisting of 16 slices of Australian beef. The more elaborate platters are served on a mini bridge and even a wooden boat! Those cost between RM180 and RM700 though.
The meat slices are tagged with the name and if you look carefully, a tiny white indicator shows where they are located on the cattle.
Salted upper tongue @ RM30.
While we were expecting to be blown away, the Special 4 Cuts was kind of.. normal. They taste exactly like any Australian beef you could get in the supermarket and not necessarily better too.
And since they are unseasoned, you need to dip them into the tsuke tare, lemon and salt for extra flavor. The upper tongue on the other hand, was flavorful on its own and delicious.
Both the sushi were great and worth trying. Shown above are the Premium Gyu Nigiri (raw wagyu sushi) @ RM9 and Premium Aburi Nigiri (roasted wagyu sushi) @ RM10. If you could only pick one, I recommmend getting the latter.
For main I picked the Beef Bone Broth Ramen @ RM24 out of curiosity, as most ramen shops in KL offer pork or chicken based. Personally, I did not like it – it’s hard to pinpoint why, but I guess ramen just tastes better when it’s prepared with pork.
SL’s Gyu no Tataki Don (roast beef rice bowl) @ RM28 was way more satisfying than my ramen. It features thick slices of lightly seared wagyu beef served over rice infused with soy, bound together by a raw egg yolk.
If I were to make a side-by-side comparison of this with the Special 4 Cuts, I think you’d agree with me that the tataki is actually a better value choice. Not to mention you get wagyu too.
With everything considered, the only let down in our meal was the beef bone ramen. And although the Special 4 Cuts did not impress, I do not wish to pass a blanket judgement on the other more premium platters until I have actually tried them.
I am positive we will return, but probably for weekend lunch only when they have better deals. If you are planning a meal here, I have attached their ala carte menu in the following gallery for your budget consideration.
SHIN NIHON 新日本焼肉党
26, Jalan 24/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, KL
Tel: 03-2856 7350
Business hours: Mon – Fri (5.30pm – 1am), Sat & Sun (12pm – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 1am)