Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Eat All You Can Sukiyaki & Shabu-Shabu @ Suki-Ya, Tokyo St, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

*Update: Revisited in May 2012 and food/service is still good. Price is still the same, and the buffet time for lunch has been extended to 120 mins. There is an extra sushi selection for dinner. The soup selection has been increased to 4 types - shabu-shabu, sukiyaki, miso and kimchi. 

*Update no.2 Revisited in Oct 2014, wow no price increase and still as tasty as ever! And still a super long queue during peak hours. Sushi selection is available for lunch buffet now too. Taro soft serve ice cream is super YUMS!

The much anticipated Tokyo Street was recently launched in Pavilion KL and we finally made our way there last weekend. Inspired by Ginza and Shibuya's cityscapes as well the Imperial history Japan has to offer, Tokyo Street offers a mix of traditional townscape and modern scenery, arts, culture, and food trends. Here, you can find shops such as Daiso, The Click Shop, and HABA. There are also various restaurants here, such as Hokkaido Santouka Ramen, Mochi Sweets, Ochado, En Ginza Cafe and Suki-ya, just to name a few.

Tokyo Street on Level 6 of Pavilion KL

Suki-ya was our destination for lunch that afternoon. Known as the "House of Hot Pot", this was one of the more popular restaurants in Tokyo Street along with Hokkaido Santouka Ramen. When we arrived at the restaurant, it was still quite empty but come 12.30pm, the place was packed with diners. Service was excellent despite the restaurant being full house, our tea was replenished without us having to signal any of the waiting staff over and so was our meat. Definitely a satisfying lunch experience.

The restaurant setup is simple, though tables are placed quite close to one another. The ventilation was pretty good and the restaurant was well-aired , so we got to enjoy our lunch in comfort.
This mini guide to enjoying a delicious sukiyaki plus info and tips on how to cook the meat and vegetable proved to be very useful.

The menu itself is pretty straightforward, choose 2 out of 3 types of soup base to enjoy. The choices were shabu-shabu (a light clear savoury konbu broth), sukiyaki (sweetened soy sauce broth) and kimuchi (mildly spicy soup made with authentic Kimchi base, miso and various vegetable base). We went for the sukiyaki and kimuchi soup. There are also some a la carte items such as edamame, tempura, karaage, sashimi and unagi kabayaki but we did not try any since we wanted to concentrate our tummies on the hot pot.

There is a choice of 3 meats here, Australian beef, lamb and farmed chicken. The Australian beef and lamb are cut in paper-thin slices. My advise is to go for the lamb and beef and skip the chicken. The chicken was at best ordinary but frankly, too fatty to enjoy. The lamb was our favorite; both tender and flavoursome.

There is also a vegetable bar a.k.a Healthy Bar, which features a wide variety of greens, noodles, mushrooms and tofu. A firm favorite with most diners were the mushrooms; enoki, shitake and oyster mushrooms were available. The vegetables were snapped up quickly everytime they were refilled, but as I mentioned earlier, the service was really good here hence you would hardly see the vegetable bar empty.

Three types of meat to choose from

Healthy Bar

Vegetables galore

Help yourself to as much vegetable as you like!
Boil baby boil!

Chilled Australian beef - yum

Thin slices of lamb - double yum

Farmed chicken - give this a miss

There are 2 types of dips provided for the shabu-shabu; ponzu (shoyu with vinegar) which is suitable for vegetables and misotare (spicy bean paste sauce) suitable for meats. There is also gomatare (sesame sauce) but this is only available on request. We really liked the misotare sauce, it went really well with the lamb and beef.

Spring onions and grated radish is also provided and can be added to create your own dips

Suki-ya uses premium quality pasteurised eggs. The beaten raw egg is great as a dipping sauce for sukiyaki. Dipping freshly cooked meat into the raw egg was absolutely heavenly.

Just beat it... beat it...
On your mark, ready, set... GO...!

Shabu-shabu directly translates to "swish swish", the familiar swishing sound of the thin slice of meat in the broth is where this dish gets its name. We swished and swoshed plate after plate of meat. It was pretty fun, actually!

The lamb and beef cooked in a matter of seconds.

Once the meat is cooked, dip it in the raw egg. Pure indulgence.
And when you're all done with your meat and vegetables, add udon or rice to remaining stock and enjoy the rich flavour of the broth. Incredibly flavoursome.

On top of the free flow meat and vegetables, you also get free flow ice cream to end the meal. How awesome is that. Vanilla, chocolate or a mixture - take your pick and go wild!

And the price of the buffet? RM29.80++ for lunch (100 min) and RM39.80++ for dinner (120 min). Children under 5 eat for free. Very reasonably priced, no wonder this place is packed! We left 10mins before our 100 mins was up so I am not sure how this system is policed.

Long queue outside the restaurant at 1pm

Verdict: Good value for money. Do walk in with an empty stomach and eat to your heart's content. I did. :D

Full set of photos available to view here.

Opening times: 11.0am - 5.00pm (Lunch); 5.00pm - 10.00pm (Dinner)


Service: Excellent.

Price: RM29.80++ for lunch and RM39.80++ for dinner. Children pay 50% of the adult price. Children under 5 eat for free.

Location: Suki-Ya, Lot 6.24.04, Level 6, Pavilion KL Shopping Centre, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2141 4272

Join their Facebook page here.

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  1. the food looks really good..n the price is cheap..but unfortunately it's in kl n not pg...so only can "tengok", cannot "rasa"...

  2. Kay: Never mind, make a list of all the things you wanna eat in KL then can make a trip here. Anyway Penang got so much nice food.. dont need to feel jealous lar.

  3. i'm betting that as long as they keep their price below RM50, they'll be able to attract the crowds (and maintain their quality too, of course, heheh)! but y'know, i still can't really tell the difference between sukiyaki and shabu-shabu, despite reading all the explanations/definitions online :D

    1. Sean, the main difference between shabu-shabu and sukiyaki is the soup itself. Shabu-shabu is clear stock soup (like normal steamboat), while sukiyaki stock soup is a dark broth with sweet taste. Like Baby Sumo said, you eat Sukiyaki by dipping your meat in raw egg after boiling the meat in Sukiyaki.

  4. I love unlimited meat but do they replenish fast for it?

  5. I do love Japanese-style shabu shabu ever since my trip to Japan...the taste is more 'ching' than Malaysians-style shabu-shabu :)

    Been eyeing Suki-Ya since Tokyo Street opened...haven't had a chance to try this cose of no-kaki issue...soon...thanx for d review :D

  6. Sean: I think the main differences between the both are:
    1. Shabu-shabu - savory broth & served with dipping sauce
    2. Sukiyaki - sweet broth & dipped in raw egg

  7. Choi Yen: We were there during peak hours, and they brought us our meat within mins of ordering. :)

  8. lovely review. eat all you can idea sounds good.
    but the queue....

  9. Ulric: You're welcome. Hope you find some kaki to go with you soon.

  10. Ai Wei: Thanks dear. If you turn up before 12.30pm, should be able to get in without having to queue.

  11. Michelle: Can you get swish swish in Melbourne?

  12. Omg i'm so out!! I never heard of this Tokyo street and know nothing about it! O_O but now i know! thanks for sharing! Must pay a visit when got time! =(^.^)=

  13. Zoe: Awww no worries. So many new things happening around KL all the time, we're bound to miss some of them. Do pay Tokyo St a visit, interesting concept.

  14. You mean there's time limit for lunch and dinner?

    Wanted to try but there's always a queue during peak hours. Guess I'd have to go there earlier. Hehe.

  15. Chong: It isnt stated in the menu but on their Facebook page, it says they have a time limit. Not sure how they police it though.. we left before our 100 mins was up.

  16. Btw everyone, I think you can call and make reservations via telephone if you're worried abt the long queue.

  17. Ooh good tip - empty belly and turn up a bit earlier, I guess? :)

  18. Kenny: Exactly! Then after food digest, can have some Ochado or Japanese ice cream :P


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