Seeking the best Japanese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur?
For those who love Japanese food, you’ll be delighted to know there is seemingly no shortage of new Japanese restaurants in KL, with a number of new entries making waves in the scene in 2022.
Malaysians’ taste in Japanese food has clearly evolved from conveyer belt sushi to more authentic and traditional Japanese cuisine, such as omakase and izakaya-style meals.
If you just can’t get enough of Japanese cuisine, here are the best new restaurants that have recently opened in 2022.
Best new Japanese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur to dine at:
Shin’Labo by James Won
A restaurant not to be missed by true fans of Japanese contemporary fine dining is Shin’ Labo by James Won. Located just by the fountain at the main entrance of LaLaport Bukit Bintang City Centre, Shin’Labo aims to reinvent the omakase experience by marrying Japanese cuisine with that of French, while using carefully sourced indigenous Malaysian ingredients.
According to Chef James Won, gourmet extraordinaire, the idea of Shin’Labo stems from his own aspiration to revitalise the yōshoku — Western-influenced cooking in Japanese cuisine — by elevating it using modern French techniques. Hence, dishes such as Truffle Hayashi Rice and Binchotan Duck à l’orange grace the menu, and are just a few of many experimental dishes that Shin’Labo has to offer.
Address: Lalaport BBCC, G-13A & G-13B (Ground Floor), Mitsui Shopping Park, 2, Jalan Hang Tuah, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 17 916 6991
Sushi Mastro Nikkei
Recently opened in February 2022, Sushi Mastro Nikkei in Kepong is putting a local twist on Peruvian-origin Nikkei cuisine. The restaurant focuses on Nikkei, a cooking style that fuses Japanese cuisine with Peruvian elements, stemming from the migration of Japanese citizens to Peru in the early 20th century.
Must-try dishes here include the sashimi selection starring northern Malaysian fish – siakap, red snapper and malabar grouper, Nikkei Salmon Mango, and The Hamachi Uramaki sushi roll.
Address: Unit 1-1 Fortune Centra, No. 2, Jalan Metro Perdana 6, Taman Usahawan Kepong, Kepong, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, +60 12 312 4112
While not exactly new, Shin Nihon KL has been rebranded to Kyomo KL Desa Sri Hartamas, offering yakiniku (grilled meats) with their premium wagyu imported from Japan. For more intimate dining, the restaurant now offers 31 private rooms, expanding from its previous 17 private dining rooms. The restaurant has also been given an updated look with minimalist Japanese interior design elements.
If you plan to dine here as a group, be sure to try the Premium Wagyu Bridge, a 600g platter that offers 5 different cuts of wagyu.
Address: No.26, Jalan 24/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 32 856 7350/ +60 12 373 9554
Ní.KIZOKU Modern Japanese Dining Bar
Opened in December 2021, this addition to Chinatown’s emerging F&B scene is not to be missed by those who love modern Japanese cuisine. The European-inspired space paired with Japanese elements sets the ambiance for a relaxing meal where you’ll savour creative creations using fresh seafood.
For unique dining experiences, you can also opt to dine at the main dining hall (a vibrant scene on the weekend evenings), at the chef’s counter to watch the masters in action, or for a more private event, the curtains can be closed to create a private cave-like room that seats up to 12 persons.
Address: 59A Jalan Sultan, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 32 022 3889
Ken Shin-Ryu Japanese Ramen
For premium Japanese ramen, this restaurant at 1 Mont Kiara should be on your list of eateries to try. Helmed by Sapporo-born chef Kita Koichi, the ramen here reflects his years of experience and expertise. This non-halal Japanese restaurant utilises Sakura pork and Kenkori eggs in the dishes, putting a premium touch on the humble ramen.
Quality ingredients take centre stage here with noodles made fresh from Japanese wheat flour everyday. The classic clear shoyu broth is made without MSG and artificial flavourings. The restaurant temporarily closed in May and reopens on July 6 2022.
Address: Level 1, L1-02, 1 Mont Kiara Mall, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ever since its opening its doors in April 2022, Aburii in Taman Tun Dr Ismail has been pulling out all the stops in offering authentic upmarket Japanese cuisine. With lively decor and a warm ambiance, the atmosphere sets the tone for a fun Japanese experience that you won’t soon forget.
Must-try items include spicy karaage-style fried chicken and wagyu gyoza with cheese. From fresh sushi to fiery yakiniku and curated omakase, this restaurant has it all.
Address: No 5, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, TTDI 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 37 733 0906
This story first appeared on PrestigeOnline Malaysia