Korean BBQ with a touch of Japanese
JAN 9 — Kannikchikan Yakiniku is a Japanese-influenced Korean BBQ place for those who love their beef and this is where you can fine-tune your palate to the different cuts and types of the meat.
There is, of course, lamb, chicken and seafood, but nothing quite beats the quality and variety of beef here. Don’t expect the table to be filled with vegetable appetizers as in a Korean BBQ. Instead we had a mixed kimchi that came with our Wagyu Set.
The Wagyu Set lets you taste different types of cuts, such as the Japan Kuroge-Wagyu Ribeye, premium wagyu ribeye, premium wagyu shortrib, wagyu ribeye and sliced roasted beef. Lettuce to wrap and eat the meat with, raw garlic, lemon to squeeze over the cooked meat and two dips, one that’s soya-based and the other, chilli are served with the set. The beef is not marinated and only when you order it will a sauce be poured over it.
The barbecue makes use of a special charcoal that does not emit any toxic smoke. In fact the restaurant will entertain your complaint if you get a sore throat from eating the meat or seafood barbecued over the charcoal fire (if you weren’t suffering from the condition before that).
I was determined to have some Beef Tongue here, and we started the barbecue with slices of this. It was so good: smooth and crunchy and not at all rubbery. The light marinate enhanced the flavour of the meat.
There are subtle differences in texture and taste when you grill the different types of wagyu in the set. Pay attention to the colour and the marbling and you can anticipate the mouth feel after the light grilling. We went from the good beef to the best: the premium wagyu ribeye already had a creamy, melt-in-the-mouth feeling. The pinkish Japan Kuroge-Wagyu Ribeye that’s almost Kobe, was super smooth and creamy.
It’s beef you could eat without any embellishments. Sometimes a little lemon juice sufficed.
We had lamb for someone who did not eat beef, and this was excellent too. We also shared some seafood — scallops, prawns and squid — but these paled in comparison with the beef we had eaten.
In between there was Gyu-Tataki, which is thin slices of beef seared, then topped generously with grated radish blended with soya and vinegar. The meat rested on a bed of finely sliced onions. The almost raw beef had this lovely tart finish that was so refreshing.
I could never resist Bibinba, which is hot rice in a stone bowl with vegetables like big-head beansprouts, spinach, carrot strips and mushroom, seaweed and a raw egg. Stir everything up with a little sweet sauce and a squeeze of lemon, breathe in the aromas and taste the rice. It had all the right flavours, but the rice was a little too soft.
The Oxtail Soup had mushrooms and seaweed in a stock finished with egg. The oxtail had meat falling off the bone, so tender it was and flavourful.
I found the soup for the Karubi Ramen (noodles) a little sweet.
The Wagyu Set offers more than 400g of beef, and costs RM268. It is enough for two to three people and is value for money when you consider the quality of the beef.
There is also a Special Set of Prime Ribeye, Prime Shortrib, Skirt Flank, kimchi and beansprouts for RM50, for one person. The Seafood Set of king prawns, scallop and squid is RM40. The Value Set A of RM180 is enough for four people and consists of beef tongue, chicken thigh, ribeye, shortrib, skirt flank, lamb rack, king prawn, Korean pancake and lettuce.
The lunch menu has Yakiniku sets priced at RM28 and RM35.
Kannichikan Yaniku must be doing something right as it has been around for nine years. Its first outlet is in Penang.
We were at the restaurant located at 42, Jalan 28/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, Tel: 03-23008829. There’s another outlet at 51 Jalan Damai, off Jalan Tun Razak in KL.