Hunky Dory Yakitori

Firstly, I must apologize for the lack of photos, as our utmost priority was to satiate our incredible hungers. But I will attempt to run through my favourites, which definitely left me hankering for more.

Torii, the Yakitori and Whisky bar, is located at one of the leafy neighborhoods in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, which locals tend to refer to as TTDI or Taman Tun. It’s home to many cafes, bars, and restaurants; and definitely a hotbed for yuppie gastronomical activities. The  restaurant genre would probably be considered Japanese Fusion, which could sometimes be a bad word, but for now given the benefit of the doubt.

Yakitori, or Japanese skewers, is quite a popular meal in the homeland from whence it came, with the trend spreading steadily across the globe. I recall Anthony Bourdain extolling the wonders of Yakitori, grilling all parts and ends of the chicken such as the Bishop’s nose (Chicken butt), heart, gizzard, and the rather crispy chicken skin. Torii serves all sorts of options besides chicken, including the nowadays ubiquitous wagyu beef, ox tongue, mackerel, squid, you name it. It is notably Pork Free, for folks who are interested. In any case, we were definitely spoilt for choice, and just fired away at whatever sounded tantalizing enough to tickle our tastebuds.

Fair warning as the prices are rather hefty, and appear to be inversely correlated to its portion size. I would recommend eating here during a special occasion, or on pay day when you’re feeling the urge to splurge.

Now, on to the dishes! The bonded unagi and foie gras was unanimously my favourite dish of the bunch. The portions were a tad miniscule, but probably sufficient as it was a very luxurious, bite sized flavour bomb.

Bonded Unagi and Foie Gras
Bonded Unagi and Foie Gras

Next, the Avocado de la Mer, which is baked seafood with avocado, mushrooms, piquant miso, and cheese. A rather unctuous dish, packed with seafood flavour. Quite a hit and we happily ordered seconds to share.

Avocado de la Mer
Avocado de la Mer

The other dishes that we enjoyed and did not take a picture of were the crispy chicken skin, ox tongue, grilled mackerel, and the Torii fried rice. The Torii fried rice was a jazzed up version of the garlic fried rice, augmented with foie gras. Tasty, but could have used more foie gras, and bacon for that matter. Everything tastes better with bacon.

Chicken Heart
Chicken Heart

Notably, there’s a “secret” seating area for whisky drinkers, and the restaurant does have an extensive collection of single malt whiskies. My interest was piqued by the 12 year old Glenmorangie aged in a Sauternes cask, which had a subtle sweet aftertaste. For the uninitiated, Sauternes is an amazing dessert wine, of which the grapes are grown in the Bordeaux region and undergoes a transformation known as Botrytis, or Noble Rot which concentrates the sugars of the grape. I highly recommend Chateau d’Yquem, or Sudairaut, which are truly the nectar of the gods. But I digress, and yes, plenty of whiskies to sample.

Overall, our pockets were stretched at about RM100 per person, but we definitely had an enjoyable meal. Ambience was pleasant and the outdoor seatings appear to be quite comfortable as well. Service was attentive and friendly, although some of the servers were rather pushy in recommending certain dishes.

I would not be opposed to coming here again, albeit perhaps after earning my keep offshore or for a special occasion. But otherwise, this is probably one of the best options for Yakitori and all things grilled in this part of town, or possibly in Kuala Lumpur for that matter. Well, at least until the next trip to Japan that is.

Location: 18 Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1, TTDI, 60000, Kuala Lumpur. +603 7733 9309. +6011 3301 9923. Website.

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