Sometimes I wonder why in our hot weather here, we eat equally hot and heat inducing foods like steamboats and barbeques. Often, its a bunch of people sitting or standing around a hot soup pot, or around a grill, wiping away sweat and popping morsels of scalding hot food into our mouths. Yet we do, because its delicious and its fun.
Recently, I’d come across a little nondescript Japanese BBQ yakiniku stall in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur. Its located in a little courtyard in an alleyway between some old shops and is very rustic. If you are the sort to prefer somewhere cool, clean and air-conditioned, this is not the place for you. Here, be prepared to sit in the open air or in what might be called a shack on rickety chairs around a flimsy table, let your hair down (or better yet, tie it up), relax, ignore the rather glum surroundings for a moment and grill your own food on the charcoal brazier located just a few feet from your face. Yes ladies, we get a lovely facial at the same time
Whilst I personally find portions small and the whole experience can turn out rather pricey if you have a large appetite, its an interesting place, and concept simply because I haven’t come across another quite like it in KL!
The stall is called simply “Japanese BBQ” and that’s all you get here – meats that you grill yourself.
It was my first time there a couple of weeks ago, to see what the fuss was about. I must say I did rather enjoy the experience because it had rained earlier in the evening so it was cool when I got there.
After you place your order, a charcoal brazier is brought to your table with a grill laid over the top. When the meats arrive, its time to eat! Or rather, its time to do some cooking.
The meats cook fairly quickly over the hot coals and you can eat them on their own or dipped into the dipping sauce provided. We had pork and beef which were fresh and delicious. But portions were small so your wallet will definitely feel the pain if you are a big eater or happen to be very hungry.
I saw a few tables of Japanese businessmen relaxing after work as they enjoyed their meats with bottles of beer. I wonder if they did not feel a little nostalgic for home, sans the heat maybe?
A relatively light dinner for 2 came up to roughly RM30 each. We had 3 platters of meat, 1 garlic fried rice, 1 platter of vegetables and 1 foil wrapped squid. Next time, I’d skip everything and just have meat which would then ultimately be more filling and may work out a little cheaper. I do note that I’m not a very big eater especially at dinner so what was sufficient for me may not be sufficient for someone else.
Again, its not a place if you are so hungry you can eat a horse, nor is it a place to go if you want to stuff yourself with meats. Well, not unless you have deep pockets. But for a light-ish dinner or supper, and a rather surreal experience of having a barbeque right at your table in a quiet courtyard in an alleyway in a rather rustic sort of environment, I think its worth the experience.
See what I mean by rustic? Its nice to have a nice little barbeque meal without all the fuss of food preparation and then clearing up. So whilst I’d say its a little pricey, I’d go back now and again for a treat because ultimately, the convenience (and fun) outweighs the inconveniences of price
If you live in KL, have you been here? Do you like having hot foods like steamboat and barbeque grills in our generally warm weather?
I may be a masochist but I do I usually pick a cool rainy evening to go for a steamboat (hot pot) meal but I’ve been known to have it even if its hot anyway Some places are air-conditioned, but I’ve found that I prefer these things rustic. Its just more fun that way
Gerai Makan Japanese BBQ, Center Court, Plaza Faber, Jalan Desa Jaya, Taman Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur. Open Tue-Sun from 6pm till late.
Scrumptious Saturday: One day of the week where I indulge in my other love – Food! It will feature my cooking experiments or eating and travel adventures. Yes, I will travel for good food.