Momotalo Yakiniku may be a mouthful to pronounce, and being a mouthful doesn’t just stop there. We find out how Momotarō likes his Japanese grill meats.
One may easily overlook the modest exterior of Momotalo Yakiniku (Japanese for Momotarō’s Japanese BBQ) at Desa Sri Hartamas and that is truly a shame because here lies one of the best Japanese-BBQ dishes we have ever tasted in our stint thus far. I suppose it is true when they say good food doesn’t need to come in pretentious packages, so I certainly realised that when I went in for lunch.
We were greeted by the friendly and chirpy manager, Catherine, who immediately sat us and beckoned her staff to start preparing our order. There was a sense of comforts of home in the restaurant despite the rows of kitchen vent above each table for the obvious indoor grilling that comes with the yakiniku experience. Homemade kimchi and pickled Japanese cucumbers were served as a flavoursome prelude of our impending carnivorous adventure. Catherine was the gracious host who recommended some of the best-selling dishes to try, and while waiting for our orders, I was bursting to ask, “So, why the name Momotalo?”.
She laughingly began that the owner wanted to name this joint after a Japanese folklore hero called Momotarō, in attempt to cleverly brand it as a Japanese bbq restaurant. On that note, one of the waiters swiftly cleared our table to put a charcoal grill in the middle of the table, just right under the kitchen vent. Catherine offered to be our grill master of the day and began introducing each cut of meat in front of us. I stopped short when she mentioned ox tongue because I am definitely not one to volunteer to try such delicacy, however, decided that day would be a first.
To my surprise, I enjoyed having the ox tongue more than I imagined I would as it was juicy but with a slight cartilage-like rigor to it. A complete newbie to Japanese charcoal grill cuisine, I was vying for their sought-after secret dipping sauce, and truthfully so, the hype was real. This concoction of minced garlic, home-made soy sauce, miso, and garlic paste were poured generously on to a dipping bowl. Just the sauce alone was an explosion of sweet-savoury notes which made me ask Catherine twice for a takeaway portion.
She said at Momotalo, the owner prides himself in personally ensuring the quality of the meat that comes in from the supplier and always makes sure it is of the best quality. Majority of the meat flown in from New Zealand, Australia and Japan are all halal-certified except for the Kobe beef. Therefore, it is not a surprise that Momotalo is favourite amongst Muslim patrons too, because there are not many pork-free yakiniku around.
Momotalo also serves set lunches at a reasonable price, however, we must note that prices for the regular a la carte grill menu can be a little steep. For a complete yakiniku experience, it ranges from RM70 – RM100 per person, but it is definitely worth it; given the freshness of the cuts and the hospitality which comes with it. The small things matter, and here in Momotalo, it is evident how big of an impact they make because we are already planning another trip for round two.
If you have the Japanese craving nudging you, perhaps it is a great idea to drop by Momotalo Yakiniku soon. If Japanese is not your thing, maybe Italian is? Whichever it is, we don’t discriminate your tastebuds here at UPPRE. Let us know what you would like us to try next below in the comment section. Also, have you liked our page on Facebook? Do it, we have cool stuff happening there too!
20, Jalan 24/70A,
Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 KL
Tel: 03-2300 2080
Business hours: Mon (6pm – 10pm), Tue – Sun (12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm)