Eating Out

Friday, 28 February 2014

Affordable Japanese barbecue at Kanpai

An assortment of tasty tempura at Kanpai. - Photos P NATHAN/The Star

An assortment of tasty tempura at Kanpai. - Photos P NATHAN/The Star

Cheras restaurant serves up dishes to remember.

225 Jalan Sarjana
Taman Connaught
Tel: 03-2857 9996
Business hours: Noon to midnight daily
Sri Petaling outlet: 133 Jalan Radin Bagus, Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 9054 3907 

WHILE most Japanese restaurants in the Klang Valley are backed by international chains and large corporations, it is refreshing and a pleasant surprise to find one in housing estates, run by individuals.

The plus point with smaller set-ups, such as Kanpai Japanese BBQ and Bar in Taman Connaught, is that they make their offerings more affordable in order to reach out to more customers.

Opened in July last year after their first outlet in Sri Petaling, Kanpai focuses on Japanese barbecue called yakiniku that appeals to the young crowd and families. It creates an opportunity for diners to spend good times together while waiting for their food to be grilled.

Complete with a wide variety of rice, noodles and side-dishes, Kanpai offers a Japanese experience that is quite different from the usual sushi and sashimi fare.

“We order the freshest meats for our barbecue. The meats need not be marinated and they are thinly sliced and dipped into our homemade sauce before they are grilled,” said owner Frank Tan.

“We make two types of sauce; spicy and non-spicy, which are localised to meet local diners’ preference. Traditionally, Japanese restaurants only serve chilli oil and chilli flakes,” he added.

The cozy wood and brick décor creates a rustic, care-free atmosphere for diners. A handsome sum was invested to equip the restaurant with good ventilation.

Charcoal is used for the barbecue, therefore the meats are infused with a delightfully smoky flavour.

Kanpai Japanese BBQ serves up delightful barbecue.
Kanpai Japanese BBQ serves up delightful barbecue.

Tan, who is also a cook, has loved barbecue and Japanese food from young. This restaurant was set up with the help of a group of friends who are cooks trained in Japan.

Apart from barbecue, diners can choose to have other delights such as yakitori (grilled meat on skewers), yosenabe (hot pot), katsu curry, don (rice dishes), udon, ramen, tempura and a signature burger.

The yosenabe and ramen are winning dishes with rich tonkotsu (pork broth) prepared with 24 hours of simmering. The flavourful broth is a creamy light brown colour, and goes well with the springy noodles. A sprinkling of sesame adds texture to the dish.

Flavourful pork belly ramen in rich broth.
Flavourful pork belly ramen in rich broth.

Other sizzling delights include Grilled Saba Shioyaki (salt-grilled mackerel) and Mixed Vegetable Tempura; the taste complement each other and rival those found at international chains.

For a light bite, dishes such as the velvety Agedashi Tofu and the refreshing Grilled Chicken Salad with capsicum are great choices.

The speciality, barbecued meats, are put to versatile use in different dishes, one of which is a burger. The juiciness of the meat certainly makes these burgers a favourite.

The restaurant positions itself as a place for friends and family to spend quality time together, hence great effort was put into the beverages served, such as sakes and Japanese beers, to complement the food.

The Sri Petaling restaurant serves buffet daily.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , food , Japanese , Kanpai Japanese restaurant


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