Monday, July 21, 2014

Robata Monkey @ Jaya One

Firing up our F&B scene, this white-hot new restaurant transports the unique art of rustic Japanese slow-grilling into Jaya One, serving a smorgasbord of succulent seafood with smoky, savoury subtleties.

Robata Monkey focuses on 'robatayaki,' cooking with 'bincho-tan' traditional oak charcoal that burns cleanly to ensure the restaurant's assortment of fish, flown in from the Land of Rising Sun, retains as much moisture & purity of flavour as possible.

Robata Monkey is starting this week with a selection of fish; we heartily recommend the Pacific saury (sanma), beautifully juicy & persuasively tasty. It's a terrific representative of the best of robatayaki, a centuries-old heritage of Japanese fishermen. RM15.

Bigger, meatier fish is available too; choose from Robata Monkey's Instagram-worthy counter where rows of fish dangle above, wet-market-style. The mackerel (saba, RM45), which features a ravishingly caramelised exterior, is sufficient for two to share.

Hokke mackerel, marinated & air-dried right here, another treat for fans of fish prepared in an authentically Japanese fashion. Robata Monkey expects to expand its seafood selection in the weeks ahead; expect prawns & even octopus to surface soon.

Robata Monkey offers more than barbecued seafood. We absolutely adore the oysters; the Irish Nugget & Canadian oysters (RM25 & RM18 for three respectively) are both brilliant. Pleasurably creamy & perfectly briny. 

Also delicious: Miso-braised saba (RM25), umami-rich comfort food that might prove perfect for rainy evenings.

Robata Monkey is part of the family of restaurants that includes BangoyaKissaten & Lammeeya, but this is the first member that serves no pork. But like Bangoya, it serves 'kushiyaki' skewer-grilled fare too, including monkey-approved bananas wrapped in smoked duck (RM10).

There's a sushi bar as well, so customers can indulge in bowls of rice crowned with the likes of salmon sashimi & roe ...

... or with tuna, or the classic 'chirashi' mixed fish variety. Cha-soba is offered too for carb-craving customers.

Sashimi? Worth ordering; the raw fish tastes fresh & is elegantly presented, meeting the benchmark for Japanese eateries.

Or have it fried: the Japanese whiting (kisu) tempura, delicate & flaky, does justice to this fish.

Vegetable-lovers can have their fill of nourishment here, with everything from bonito-&-seaweed-topped bitter gourd salad (RM8) ...

... to tempura eggplant & 'kakiage' mixed fare. Robata Monkey might specialise in robata, but it's actually a fully well-rounded Japanese restaurant.

Snacking is encouraged at Robata Monkey: try the fried gingko nuts, ideal for rousing the appetite.

Dessert is also satisfying, a refreshing ensemble of green tea ice cream, mochi, azuki beans & gula melaka.

The food alone makes Robata Monkey worth recommending, but the beverages are also noteworthy. The restaurant offers 'Curious Monkey' tasting flights for liquor, including ranges of wine, sake & beer. For the latter, the 'Paulaner brothers' selection (Robata Monkey specialises in Paulaner varieties) showcases a trilogy of three delectably distinctive types.

A Perfect Pair flight, featuring Sayuri & Junmai Ginjo sake, both very different from run-of-the-mill sake, with intriguing notes that persist on the palate. RM16 for two cups.

Half Moon Yuzu, Ginger & Ume-Shu Shochu, also excellent for a night out drinking with friends.

We like the Hopf ice-conditioned wheat beer too, crisp & complex, easy to consume. RM18.

Canned 'cocktails' (Sawa-Sawa & Highball), for comforting convenience.

Calpis soda to wrap up a very enjoyable evening here; four hours can fly by swiftly & smoothly at Robata Monkey.

Robata Monkey is a spacious, colourful restaurant with a lot of personal touches, including a wall full of its co-owner's photographs, taken at the Tsukiji fish market.

Wondering why there's a monkey in the outlet's name? It's basically meant to be a reference to the playfulness of this place.

Robata Monkey
L-12A-G, Palm Square, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Currently daily for dinner. Will open for lunch probably after Raya.

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  1. Holy smokes and bara chirashi...aredi in my neverending list of Jap restos to visit...thanx for d heads up oh reliable one! :D

    1. Ulric: hope you enjoy Robata Monkey ... it's a festival of fish here :D

  2. wow, this looks delicious, thanks for sharing again~ =D

    1. Happy walker: thanks for the positive feedback :)

  3. AnonymousJuly 21, 2014

    What's that? Smoked fish? Oooo...I love that! It's a regular feature in Sarawak's ethnic cuisine. Yum! Yum!

    1. Suituapui: it's a fine feast of fish to be had here :)

  4. I love smoked salmon, and although I do love salads, I am not sure about the seaweed, though. :)

    1. Linda: heheh, the seaweed strips do bring an interesting flavour to the salad :)

  5. wow, i like the setting for this place. Feels like you are in Japan! But i wonder why the name "Monkey" though

    1. Ken: it's a beautiful setting, very nicely furnished :D oh, the monkey is meant to denote a 'playful' sentiment :)

  6. Wow, nice! I would like to order saba, one of my favourite fish, hehe.
    Banana wrapped with smoked duck, I want to try that too, sound interesting, how it tasted?

    1. CK: heheh, i usually don't order saba, but the one here was very satisfying :D we think the banana would be even better wrapped with pork bacon, but this outlet doesn't carry pork on the menu :D

  7. The cooking style is definitely very cool to see. I like how the fish are displayed for all to see too :)

    1. Baby Sumo: ya, it was fun photographing the 'bonfire' of fish :D and yeah, the way the fish is hung at this restaurant is very eye-catching :)

  8. Wow! I actually like every dish u featured here! Yay! Another worthy jap outlet to visit :)

    1. Rebecca: my favourites are definitely the grilled fish! :D