Oh, look! An Izakaya food review invite! 😀 Can’t imagine the happiness when gNOMe 2 received the good news. Ever since coming back from Tokyo, ahem, we have been craving for really good yakitori.
The yakitori we had in Tokyo was nothing short of AMAZING, and the feeling of being in an Izakaya, with a bunch of after office hours working adults chit chatting, clanking beer mugs and downing yakitori is just festive.
Located at Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Izakaya Kushi Raku might be new to many, and only a handful will know that the owner of Izakaya Kushi Raku is Mr Ken, who also, owns Pickle & Fig. We totally adore the food at Pickle & Fig (the PANINI!), go if you haven’t. Both are located side by side, so hunting down Izakaya Kushi Raku isn’t all that hard.
Mr Ken had in mind that he wanted a place for his friends to have a good time, with ample selection of drinks and as well as light bites. Therefore, the concept of an Izakaya came about.
Izakaya Kushi Raku offers a range of skewered meat, as well as signature meals such as udon, curry rice & tempura. Now, we are excited already!
Gekkeikan Sake [RM19.00]
We were served both warm and cold sake to pair with our skewers, however, we prefer to pair the skewers with good ol’ Kirin or Asahi Beer. Nonetheless, the sake was pretty interesting, slightly sweet and warms the belly once you down it.
Snail meat (Chukka Sazae Niku) [RM 9.00]
Now, this is a very interesting appetizer. Falling in between clams and jellyfish texture wise, this bowl of snail meat isn’t that bad as we first thought it is. Very lightly seasoned to retain the original flavour of the mollusc. Get it if you are feeling rather brave and adventurous though!
Skate Fish (Eihire) [RM 10.00]
Resembling closely to the well loved Grilled Squid Strips, this Skate Fish dish is actually part of the stingray family. Springy texture with a hint of smokey-ness, this dish is totally addictive and will definitely be a good pairing with Japanese beer.
Chicken Wing Salt (Teba Shio) [RM 7.00]
Chicken wings marinated with table salt, grilled to perfection. The skin was beautifully grilled, leaving it crispy and crunchy. And of course, the meat underneath it, was tender and juicy. Loved this grilled chicken wing, our only gripe was that the skin was a tad too salty for our liking.
Disclaimer! Our salt tolerance level is pretty low, we can almost hear our kidneys crying when we eat salty food. So, probably, you might think, meh, it ain’t salty at all.
Pork Belly Special (Bara Yaku to Age) [RM 7.00]
Pork belly coated with an outer layer crust, deep fried prior and then grilled. This unfortunately, didn’t sit very well with gNOMe 2. The crust was exceptionally thick and hard, and the pork belly on the inside was overcooked. Made it pretty difficult for her to munch on, texture wise. However, to give them the benefit of the doubt, gNOMe 1’s was pretty decent. Inconsistency, perhaps?
Chicken with Wasabi Mayo (Momo Wasabi Mayone-zu) [RM 5.00]
Chicken thigh meat grilled over fire then topped with Wasabi Mayo. The thigh chunks were succulent and juicy and nicely done, and the wasabi mayo emitted a pungent after taste that complemented this skewer well. 🙂
Beef Ribeye with Miso Sauce (Gyumiso) [RM 11.00]
This particular cut was served to us medium rare, grilled over fire and finished with a coat of Miso Sauce. You may request for this cut to be done as per your choice. Although the meat was tender and juicy, it lacks the necessary sweet and the subtle taste from the miso sauce. This combination unfortunately did not stand out, and was rather bland.
Cherry Tomatoes [RM 4.00]
Juicy cherry tomatoes grilled till the skin pops, and then served with table salt. The cherry tomatoes were delectable, huge, juicy tomatoes that bursts into flavours upon the first bite. Loved this!
Squid Stuffed Rice (Ikasaki Raisu Zume) [RM 27.00]
Fresh, succulent squid stuffed with rice from the chef’s recipe. Have to give credit to the squid for its’ freshness. Texture was firm and chewy, with a sweet aftertaste. Yums we say! Though we aren’t that big on the rice.
Grilled Riceball with Salmon (Salmon Yakionigiri) [RM 7.00]
Onigiri done the chef way, with salmon bits right in the middle. Onigiri is then grilled over fire, giving it a slight crunchy outer layer, before the sticky rice on the inside. A nice combination of shio (soy sauce) and vinegar making the onigiri fragrant. And of course, the salmon bits on the inside gave it extra points 🙂
Verdict : Overall the gNOMes weren’t too thrilled with the food here. A lot of room for improvement at the moment as they could do without a lot of saltiness. Some things were well done, but nonetheless not enough to salvage the whole experience. The search for yakitori continues…
How to get there :
Address : 28, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact Number : +603-2856 9200
Opening Hours : Weekdays 1200 hours till 0100 hours.
Saturdays. 1600 hours 0100 hours.
CLOSED ON SUNDAYS.