Some Japanese soul food to warm the stomach at Kushiyaki Kuni and Okomen, two eateries well worth visiting in the Hartamas neighborhood.
First up, Kushiyaki Kuni at Plaza Damas, where customers can launch snack attacks with grilled skewers of everything from chicken liver and mentaiko-stuffed pork ...
... to ox tongue and chicken skin. Can't pretend these are nutritious, but they're very nice.
Other izakaya-style offerings here include soups such as a miso salmon bone one and another brimming with pork and konjac.
Rice with raw salmon, tuna and salmon roe makes for a super supper ...
... or have it topped with kampung egg. Kushiyaki Kuni's location might be familiar to some folks; it takes over the location formerly occupied by Izakaya Tamako.
KK's house-pouring sake is an intriguing variant with powerful notes of banana (!).
Next up, Okomen, a hideout on the backstreets of Desa Sri Hartamas.
Okomen's range of ramen is staggering. The "tontoro ramen" features slurp-worthy noodles in a pork bone broth that's not as fantastically flavor-rich as renditions elsewhere, but we like the simmered pork cheeks for their firmer bite compared to regular cha-siu.
A pleasant change from porky ramen: shio kaisen ramen, with a salty soup enriched with a whopping prawn, Japanese scallops and squid.
Okonomiyaki, topped with egg and bonito flakes and stuffed with chicken, seafood and cabbage. Tastes as delightfully addictive as it looks.
Yakisoba and seafood in an okonomiyaki crepe. A noodle version of "nasi pattaya."
Unagi hot stone rice. Generously portioned eel, warm and soft, makes this a genuine pleasure.
And of course, everything here partners perfectly with hot sake.
Kuni Kushiyaki @ Plaza Damas
Okomen @ Desa Sri Hartamas
E-1-10, Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.
Okomen Japanese Restaurant,
7G, Jalan 22/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.