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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Ri-Yakitori Bar @ St Giles The Gardens Hotel Kuala Lumpur – Grand Hotel & Residences Mid Valley Kuala Lumpur


At a recent food review at Ri-Yakitori Bar @ St Giles The Gardens Mid Valley Kuala Lumpur, I had a BIG tasting of an array of kushiyaki items, which the restaurant takes pride in. An establishment specialising in kushiyaki or skewer grilled claims to serve perfectly cooked meats that are worth making a beeline for.  

The secret to a good  Kushiyaki (skewer grilled) lies in the quality of the charcoal and the skill of the chef, according to Ri-Yakitori assistant restaurant manager Encik Shahren.

Yakitori, as it is known among the Japanese community, is grilled skewered chicken, but it also refers to skewered food in general and typically enjoyed with a glass of cold beer or shochu. 

"We use a kind of high-grade special charcoal that are specifically for grilling, as it is able to allow heat to penetrate the meat quickly without breaking down the protein". This results in meat that is flavourful and juicy from the natural taste inside, yet it slightly crispy on the outside with a mild smoked flavour.  

Now, Ri-Yakitori Bar's Japanese kitchen is headed by Chef Isao Hasegawa as the new Chef de Cuisine. Japanese Chef Isao Hasegawa has close to four decades' experience from Japan to France and now, Malaysia.With  previously experience with prestigious hotels such as Hayama Hotel Otowa No Mori, Kannonzaki Keikyu Hotel in Japan and also in France specializing in France food.

His culinary skills have been sharpened during many years of experience will definitely enhance your dining experience at Ri-Yakitori Bar. Chef Isao has always been passionate in his profession in culinary trade. He only speaks in Japanese, nevertheless this is never a barrier for him to serve, create unique and delicious food for any patrons whom dine.

Specializing in Japanese Appetizer, Meat Dishes and Dessert; Chef Isao cordially invites you for an unforgettable dining experience at Ri-Yakitori Bar, St Giles The Gardens Kuala Lumpur, thus bringing in new culinary ideas and influences to its offerings.

Armed with a new chef and new revamped menu, we were the lucky few invited to review Chef Isao Hasegawa's latest culinary offering at Ri-Yakitori Bar recently.

Cabbage Salad 
Complimentary Dish

Our authentic Japanese dining experience started off with Cabbage Salad as appetiser to refresh our taste buds. A special slicer is used to prepare finely sliced chilled cabbage (of the same thickness) and dress with a tangy roasted sesame dressing and spicy wasabi dressing too. You can easily demolish the mound of juicy crunchy cabbage with its detectable dressing. Refreshing and healthy, we finished up the cabbage salad in no time!

Oh, the good news is that the cabbage salad is a complimentary appetiser to all its diners at Ri-Yakitori.

 Fried Garlic Mussel with Steamed Sake 
RM 29

Our next appetiser was a pure flavour of the ocean with simple Fried Garlic Mussel with Steamed Sake served with a baguette. The mussels with a delicate texture were very fresh and went well with the garlic gravy. My son, a non-seafood person was surprisingly seen cleaning off the bottom of the bowl with his baguette to soak up all the tasty sauce. 

Ri-Yakitori Bar being famous for their kushiyaki;  presented us with a selection of meat like chicken, beef, seafood and vegetable, as well as 'spare parts' such as chicken skin and beef tongue. First on the list was their mouth-watering Yakitori Moriawase (Assorted Grilled Chicken).

Yakitori Moriawase
 (Assorted Grilled Chicken)
RM 38

Meatball (Tsukune), Thigh (Momo), Breast meat (Mune), Chicken skin (Kawa),  Wings (Teba)
(From left to right)

Yakitori Moriawase consisits of an assorted grilled chicken meat from the breast meat (Mune), thigh (Momo), wings (Teba), skin (Kawa) to meatball (Tsukune). Top in my list was of course the Momo, chicken thigh was juicy and tender with smoky flavour.  The chicken wings (Tebasaki) was good too. The meat was juicy on the inside, and crispy on the outside; though it was on the saltier side if compared to the rest in bamboo skewers. The grilled chicken meatball (Tsukune) was firm and well-marinated while my last in my list were the skin and breast meat. 

Shahren added that the chef's skill is what gives him the edge when it comes to yakitori, as the meat is not marinated prior to being grilled and only has a dash of salt, pepper and sake for seasoning.

Wagyu Beef On Skewer
RM 41

Moving on, the star of the night for me was the Wagyu Beef On Skewer. Premium meat that was a melt-in-the-mouth experience, which  I gave credit to the excellent skills of Ri-Yakitori's chefs in grilling the imported meat to medium done perfection. Worth every bite for the price you paid for it, well-executed dish... thumbs up for that!

Beef Tongue (Gyutan)
RM 41

Next up was Beef Tongue (Gyutan), a five piece servings of gloriously grilled beef tongue. Usually I don't touch any 'spare parts' of any meat but made an exception for this dish. It was somewhat chewy, but its the chewing part that brings out the natural juices and flavour for the smoky gyutan. Good dish especially for beef-lovers!

 Tempura Moriawase
RM 58

Besides the grilled items, we were served a platter of Tempura Moriawase to complete our Japanese dining experience that night. Generous platter of ten assorted tempura with prawns, fresh maitake mushrooms, pumpkin, eggplant, zuchini, carrot and asparagus just to name a few.

Be sure to eat your tempura with the house-made tasty dipping sauce which was a simple mix of mirin, dashi and shoyu. but somehow Ri-Yakitori got the concoction right in their tasty dipping sauce, and everyone just loves it!

 Shake Ochazuke 
RM 17

Close Shot Of The Japanese Pickles

A rather simple rice soup dish called Shake Ochazuke or Salmon Rice Soup followed - basically a Japanese rice dish which combines dashi, steamed rice topped with savoury toppings of salted salmon flakes, scallions, nori (seaweed) and wasabi. I was told by Chef Isao that the Japanese enjoyed this dish more as a quick meal or a dish at the end of drinking session to fill up instead of proper meal time food.

Niniku Chahan
Garlic Fried Rice
RM 17

Japanese rice fried with garlic and eggs topped with scallions and shredded seaweed.

 Mochi With Green Tea Ice Cream
RM 20

Dessert followed next - it was Mochi With Green Tea Ice Cream. I had to say it was pleasant, pleasing-to-the-eye dessert. Served with kiwis, strawberries and chewy mochi, everything go well with the smooth and not-too-sweet green tea ice cream.

Before I end my blog post, there were also several dishes apart from the new menu which I tried, with request due to our inquisitive nature of checking out interesting dishes. My all-time-favourite comfort food were the tofu and eggs dishes and I usually choose to have them in most of my food-tasting session. Last but not least, I ordered a Japanese steamboat ~ Kamo Nabe.

Please note that the following three dishes are off the new menu but are available UPON SPECIAL REQUEST from the restaurant manager.

Agedashi Tofu
Japanese Style Tofu

Tofu-lovers will loved these delightful tasty, smooth with melt-the-mouth soft Japanese tofu in a very light-tasting broth. 

Hand-Rolled Omelette

Simple but delicious, I always make it a point to try eggs dishes whenever I'm dining in any Japanese restaurant. They have never failed me and all the dashimaki tasted really good, soft and thick, filled with the freshly cooked egg fragrant when served. Real comfort food for me!    

Kamo Nabe
Duck Steamboat With Japanese Soba

Kamo Nabe, it is a delectable pot of shoyu and mirin based soup with assorted vegetables served with smoked duck and fresh soba noodles on the side.  

Ri-Yakitori Bar
The Gardens Hotel 
Level 7, Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2268 1188 ext. 6323

Website: www.stgiles.com/home
FaceBook: www.facebook.com/TheGardensHotelandResidences

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  1. Unforgetable Dish of the Review was the Yakiniku Wagyu Beef On Skewer. It was so tender and juicy, bursting in its natural juices. A MUST ORDER dish to savour!

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