By ALICE YONG
LIKE the restaurant name implies, yakitori – Japanese-style grilled skewers takes pride of place at Yakitori Fukuda, a small, cosy eatery in Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.
Besides the usual skewers of bite-size meat, seafood, mushroom and other delectable morsels, the menu also focuses on chicken ‘spare parts’ and uncommon cuts like chicken Sot Ly Laisse (RM7.20 per serving) – an oyster-shaped piece of meat culled from the hollow of the chook’s pelvic bone. Touched with a bit of salt, the sublime texture and inherent sweetness of that tender morsel should leave diners wanting more.
For the uninitiated, the skewers of crispy Kawa (chicken skin, RM6.20) and grilled Bonjiri (chicken tail, RM6.80) may just spur a liking for these parts. Cheaper than foie gras but just as creamy-rich with muted metallic aftertaste, the grilled Chicken Liver (RM5.80) and Chicken Hearts (RM5.80) may be more of an acquired taste for some.
Crowd-pleasers such as Negima (grilled chicken with scallion, RM6.80) and Iberico Pork Belly (RM12.80) should hit the spot well. The former comes generously basted with tare, Japanese savoury-sweet yakitori sauce whilst the latter proffers melt-in-the-mouth morsels of streaky pork belly.
Other notable picks include salt-spiked Tebasaki (chicken wings, RM9.80), hearty tare-coated Tsukune (chicken hamburg ball, RM9.80) and skewers of smooth, rich Cream Cheese (RM9.80).
Need some greens to complement all that protein? A serving of the house Mizuna and Japanese Ginger Salad with Sesame Dressing (RM28.80) is recommended.
Since the yakitori takes time to prepare, whet the appetite with some appetizers such as Four Assorted Sashimi Platter (RM48.80), fresh Shelled Oysters (3pcs, RM59.80) or Fried Oysters with Tartar (RM18.80).
The freshness and taste quality are on-point enough in priming the tastebuds for the main specialities to come.
A selection of hearty, comforting dishes is available to assuage yearnings for simpler, homey fare.
A good example is Tori Tonkotsu with Soup Ramen (RM26.80) – springy ramen with sliced belly pork, bamboo shoot and negi in rich, sweet tasting white pork bone broth.
Inspired by the national sport of Japan, the hefty Sumo Hot Pot (RM88.80) is a heavyweight offering; a melange of Iberico pork slices, chicken meat, chicken meatballs, mushrooms, enoki, carrot strips, cabbage, spring onion, carrot and beancurd puffs immersed in heartwarming umami broth.
Before calling it a night, load up on some omega-3 goodness with sublime Chargrilled Salmon Belly (RM36.80) fresh off the sumiyaki charcoal grill. Alternatively, moo-ve on to a serving of delectable, slightly smoky Japanese Saikoro Beef Cube Steak (RM48.80).
To wrap the meal up on a lightly sweet note, a portion of smooth Mochi Ice Cream (RM7.80) is the cool way before bidding sayonara.
Alice Yong is a freelance writer/blogger at www.jommakanlife.com. She can be reached at email@example.com.