Eat Drink KL: Yakitori Syokudo Yae, Jaya One

Monday, April 26, 2021

Yakitori Syokudo Yae, Jaya One

Step into Yakitori Syokudo Yae and be transported to its founder's home city of Daisen in Akita Prefecture, with sights, sounds and scents that bring an authentic Japanese allure to this restaurant that has been open for barely six months in Jaya One.

Yakitori Syokudo Yae channels the casual charm of a syokudo, a cafeteria that's commonly run as a mom-and-pop business, serving a variety of reasonably priced Japanese dishes. Yakitori Syokudo Yae lives up to that philosophy, featuring many familiar favourites as well as harder-to-find specialities (kiritanpo and duck wing kushiyaki, anyone?).

Yakitori Syokudo Yae is a labour of love for its founder, Sasaki Yaeko, who has lived in Malaysia for 13 years with her husband. She sought to create a space where Japanese and Malaysian customers can feel similarly comfortable, hanging out for a fuss-free lunch or a fun dinner after work. Sasaki's Malaysian husband, a chef, resided in Japan for 20 years, so he's equally adept in Japanese cuisine.

You'll find many intriguing touches in Yakitori Syokudo Yae's setting, including illustrations that Sasaki brought from Japan and even an elaborate samurai helmet that hangs over the tables. Sasaki hand-wrote the menu on the wall, adding her personal touch to this venue.

Customers will note a prominent poster promising Kiritanpo, one of Akita's best-known delicacies, showcasing pounded rice skewers, toasted and served with meat and vegetables in soup. Yakitori Syokudo Yae plans to introduce Kiritanpo to the Klang Valley later this year. 

True to the restaurant's name, yakitori and kushiyaki are highlights. 

The selection is sweeping, from chicken-based staples like juicy Bonjiri (RM4) to pork pleasures like Buta Bara (RM6; succulent belly) to beefy bites such as Gyuniku Saikoro (RM12). Munch on the sweet-savoury rolls of Pineapple Bacon (RM6) and Banana Bacon (RM6), then balance out your meal with Ginnan (RM4; ginkgo), Shiitake (RM3; mushrooms) and Okura (RM3, ladies' fingers). 

Prices are notably affordable compared to many other kushiyaki joints, so it's easier to order to your heart's content.

Yakitori Syokudo Yae takes pride in its Tsukune (RM10; chicken meat ball, complete with egg yolk for luscious dipping), made by the kitchen for an extra-fresh, fleshy texture that's more satisfying than commercialised, mass-produced tsukune.

Many of these grilled skewers are flavoured with Yakitori Syokudo Yae's own tare mother sauce, with a richness that rounds out the protein robustly.

Winged wonders: You'll find not only Teba (RM7; chicken wings) but Kamo (RM8; duck wings) too, a treat for wing lovers.

Our favourite skewer is Yakitori Syokudo Yae's interpretation of Foie Gras (RM6), featuring indulgent duck liver at a price that can't be beaten.

Don't skip the seafood - the Jumbo Scallop (RM15) is irresistible, while the Ika Geso (RM6; squid) will have many fans for its full-bodied tentacles. 

The Shiro Maguro (RM8; white tuna) is relatively unusual, since most other kushiyaki eateries seldom serve this fish - Yakitori Syokudo Yae does it well enough that we wish it were more widely available.

For a hearty meal that's remarkably wallet-friendly, you can have the yakitori in the Sumibi Yakitori Don Set (RM15.90), combining chicken meat skewers with a rice bowl and pickles, soft-boiled egg and miso soup for beautifully balanced sustenance.

We also recommend the Buta Sumibi Yaki Don Set (RM16.90), which highlights exceptionally tender and tasty pork belly meat, lightly smoky.

Fish fans can munch on Saba Syioyaki (RM16.90) for moist, meaty mackerel and snack on Tatami Iwashi (RM15.90), addictively umami-rich baby sardine sheets that partner perfectly with plenty of beer.

Yakitori Syokudo Yae merits multiple visits to explore its encyclopaedic repertoire.

You can make a full meal out of Yaki Soba (RM17) and Yaki Gyoza (RM12), with Dashi Kyuu (RM4.90) and Age Dashi Tofu (RM7) to bring beloved Japanese comfort food to your table.

Yakitori Syokudo Yae whips up lots of fun refreshments too, from mocktails like Yuzu Soda (RM8.90) to full-fledged alcoholic temptations like the Wow Beer, striking with a bottle of beer in the glass (RM19), and the Syokudo Yae Sour (RM45), blending elements like shochu with yuzu or chuhai with lime.

Ice-cold drinks include the Kirin Yuki Beer (RM19) and Guinness Yuki Beer (RM16), frosty and snowy for thrilling thirst-quenchers.

Yakitori Syokudo Yae has a Japanese-built sake warmer dispenser that helps sake to be served precisely and efficiently warmed at the right temperature, excellent for sake enthusiasts who care about the perfect sake experience. 

All in all, Yakitori Syokudo Yae is a worthwhile destination for fans of Japanese fare seeking a taste of time-honoured flavours, served with passion and heart. Many thanks to Yakitori Syokudo Yae for having us here.

Yakitori Syokudo Yae
72A, Jaya One, Jalan Universiti, Seksyen 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Open Monday-Thursday, 12pm-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Friday-Sunday, 12am-11pm. Tel: 03-7660-9486

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