Having heard so much about the interesting items (with eye-popping price tags!) you can find at Isetan The Japan Store, not much buzz was on the food there. So when I discovered we were invited to dine at Yakiniku Toraji, I jumped at the chance to be on the premium restaurant floor called The Table.
'Yakiniku' is a Japanese term for grilled meat and as its name suggest, Yakiniku Toraji serves grilled meat in generous thick cuts. It is a Korean-Japanese fusion restaurant that inspires to provide a balanced diet of food that is beautiful to hold, delicious to eat and benefits the body in health, just like balloon flowers (known as Toraji in Korean).
Assorted Namul (RM20)
This bunch of seasoned vegetables consisting of crunchy bean sprouts, green leafy spinach, vinegar radish, and springy fern was the first of many tasty dishes to greet us at The Table (literally!). The variety was perfect to build our appetite before we indulge in the main course.
Assorted Kimchi (RM30)
What is Korean food without kimchi? This traditional side dish packs a punch with healthy ingredients like Toraji flower root, nagaimo yam, cabbage, radish and cucumber. It made a wonderful starter that was mildly spicy, not too sour and slightly bitter in a good way.
Wasabi Salad (RM27)
Being one who does not fancy nor will ever learn to appreciate the pungent and mustard hot taste of wasabi, I personally found their wasabi salad to be really tolerable. The bowl of fresh lettuces tossed in a sesame wasabi sauce had a very mild wasabi flavour that did not overpower the greens at all. I think this is the first time I've enjoyed a wasabi dish.
Lunch Set: Special Kalbi Ishiyaki Bibimbap (RM38)
We moved on to taste the new lunch sets that are only made available during their lunch hour. First up was this hot stone bowl of bibimbap that was filled with fried rice topped with kalbi (or barbecued beef short ribs), bean sprouts, radish, seaweed garnish and an egg yolk waiting to run free. Mixed together, the flavours combined well making it a fairly tasty meal.
Lunch Set: Spicy Tofu Chige Soup (RM35)
Yakiniku Toraji also introduces the spicy tofu chige soup on their lunch menu. The incredibly spicy but tasty broth, with soft cubes of tofu in it will be sure to burn your lips if you are not careful. This fiery dish in my opinion would certainly compliment a cold rainy day or perhaps even combat a flu away. I, for one absolutely loved it!
Lunch Set: Kalbi and Prime Fillet Set (RM30)
If you are craving for some meat, you must try this exclusive lunch set that plates premium quality beef. Be quick to order because this dish is limited to 10 servings per day on weekdays only. We drooled at the delicious sight of that glistening polish on those marinated pieces. Needless to say, it was more delicious in our mouths.
Diamond Cut Kalbi (RM63)
Crowned with a rice cake on top, this red gem of marinated beef short ribs features Yakiniku Toraji's signature diamond cut that makes it so easy to grill. You can definitely expect a burst of juicy flavours from this kalbi.
Toraji's Beef Tongue (RM46)
Thinly sliced and well-seasoned, the beef tongue made it to our list of favourites. The grilled marks were our approval stamps of meat-melting moments. Speaking of grill, the restaurant uses a special grill and ventilation system to eliminate excessive smoke. You can be rest assured that your clothes won't absorb any grilled smell as you dine.
A spanking new taste experience for me was with the yukke. This is a surprisingly tasty raw dish. The spices in the marinade sauce really brought out a delicious flavour when the yellow yolk is mixed together with the red raw Australian wagyu meat.
Sirloin Sushi (RM31 for 2 pieces)
One of the dishes that didn’t impress quite as much as I thought it would was the sirloin sushi. The Australian wagyu was a bit too tough for my liking. It was unfortunate that I found myself chewing it down at it endlessly. Nevertheless, the next dish was a superstar and totally made up for everything.
Promotion price: Japan Wagyu (RM550 for 250g)
Now let me be the first to tell you that you have not tasted top-notch quality beef until you have tasted this – A5 Japanese wagyu beef. When the chef decided to plate us this beautiful piece of marbling art worth the highest grade of wagyu beef, I must say that the tenderness of this wagyu blew us out of this world and left us speechless. The creamy and buttery texture is unlike any ordinary meat we have tasted before.
The good news is Yakiniku Toraji is currently offering a promotion price for this gorgeous slab until further notice. The original price is RM800 for 200g so seize this opportunity while it lasts!
Green Tea Ice-Cream with Sweet Potato (RM18)
Yuzu Sorbet (RM12)
We knocked ourselves out of our A5 wagyu dreams and came back to the reality that all good things must come to an end. Our dining experience draw to a close with some delectable ice-cream in the flavours of green tea, wasabi, pistachio and yuzu. The ice-cream cost RM12 and it is served with fresh cream and mixed berries. You can opt to add a Japanese sweet potato for an additional RM6 with it too. Delicately dusted with soy bean flour, my personal favourite was the yuzu sorbet that had a nice citrus flavour.
All in all, Yakiniku Toraji makes a great place to dine for good grilled meat. Though it is on the steep side for most dishes, there are reasonably priced ones too. Furthermore these days, public transportation makes it so easy to travel from one place to another. Lot 10 is just by the doorstep of Bukit Bintang MRT station (Exit D). With such convenience, there are absolutely no excuses to pay this restaurant a visit!