Yakiniku Kuro is a spot that’s perfect for solo eaters who want to have a private dining experience. The unique introverted seating arrangements and personal grills make it easy to just sit down, grill your meat, and enjoy your meal in peace without having to mingle or interact with anyone besides the staff. And if you’re looking for a quick meal on-the-go or for takeout, they’ve got you covered with their self-BBQ bento boxes.
There are two Yakiniku Kuro outlets, one at IOI Putrajaya and the other at One Utama. We decided to head to the One Utama outlet as it was closer to our location. However, finding the restaurant wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be. If you’re familiar with the Jaya Grocer/Mix/Subway area, it will be easier to navigate your way there. The restaurant is tucked behind Kyochon and is located opposite Sushi King/Boat Noodle/Black Canyon, so it’s quite far away from the bustling crowd.
We reached the store around 5pm on a Sunday during the Puasa period. So, the crowd may have been lesser because of that. The store looks spacey and clean from the overview. I’m not sure how clean are the grill stove as there were residues when we were that; that being said, I’m not sure how often they clean those, perhaps on a daily basis. However, the grills for the meat are interchangeable and are easily switched. So there are no issues for me with those.
There’s also good ventilation in the store. Unlike most of the bbq restaurants which are covered in smothering smoke, this place has clear air! I didn’t smell oil or burn, na-dah. This would be perfect for anyone who’s working around the area and coming down here for a quick lunch.
One thing I really appreciated about Yakiniku Kuro is how they’ve got all the utensils you need right under your nose. Just slide open the drawer at your grill station and you’re good to go with chopsticks, spoons, and napkins. They’ve also got some extra condiments like salt, pepper, soy sauce, and chili flakes on the side, so you can add some extra flavor to your meal. And the best part? The tables are nice and clean, so you don’t feel like you’re eating on a greasy mess.
Now, I will say that the staff at Yakiniku Kuro can be a little slow sometimes. We had to wave our arms around a few times to get their attention, and it seemed like they were always busy cleaning tables or doing other stuff. But honestly, it didn’t ruin our experience or anything. The food was still great, and the chill vibe of the place made up for any minor annoyances.
The prices at Yakiniku Kuro are super easy to figure out. You’ve got two options for most of the meats: Ala carte or set. If it’s Ala carte, there’ll be a tiny label next to the price tag to let you know. But honestly, the set is where it’s at. You get Japanese white rice, miso soup, and either kimchi or salad. And let me tell you, that rice is so fluffy and delicious, it’s worth it just for that!
Oh, and one other thing that’s really helpful is that they’ve got this handy diagram on the back of the menu that shows you where the different cuts of meat come from. So if you’re not sure what to order, you can always refer to that and make an informed decision.
Writing this review has got me salivating all over again. Not only was the meat surprisingly fantastic, but the condiments they offer are a match made in heaven. They provide two dipping sauces, one of which is on the sweeter side (meat sauce) while the other (miso sauce) has a bit of a kick thanks to the addition of garlic and chili.
My absolute favorite when it comes to yakiniku is the cow tongue or gyutan. It’s just unbeatable when grilled to perfection. The key to making it taste great is to have it fresh, sliced thin enough, with enough fat and not overly frozen to the point where it becomes stiff. Yakiniku Kuro did a fantastic job of meeting all those requirements! When I put a nicely grilled piece in my mouth, it tasted heavenly. It was chewy but not tough, and the freshness was evident. It paired perfectly with the tangy miso sauce.
Next, we ordered the Kuro Trio set and went with the recommended marinated option. I’m totally okay with marinated meat, in fact, it’s my go-to option. The marbling on the meat looked impressive, and it was fresh as well. From left to right, my guess is that it was beef short plate, beef chuck, and beef skirt. My favorite was the one on the far left, which was perfect with just salt and pepper. It brought out the buttery taste from the fats. The one on the far right was fantastic too, paired with the meat sauce. The one in the middle was just a tad too chewy for me, but it still worked well with the meat sauce.
Let me emphasize this: EAT IT WITH RICE! It changes the taste completely when you pair yakiniku meat with rice, especially beef and pork. Their rice was almost cooked to perfection, and it came in a large bowl. I was pretty stuffed by the end of the meal. The soup was decent, and the kimchi was pretty good. The set is worth the price (it would be even better if they had refillable green tea instead of soup).
Later on, we decided to order one more gyutan but with marinated sauce this time. Honestly, it’s better without the sauce because it covers up the taste of the gyutan, which is something I find unappealing. Stick to the regular gyutan, trust me on this one.
This is the place where you will catch me eating alone, except for the malls that they decided to open at, I prefer to go with somebody instead. I highly recommend gyutan for those who haven’t tried it. They do offer gyutan don, but I prefer to cook it myself.
The price is definitely worth it for a beef meal set, especially if you have a smaller appetite. However, for those with a larger appetite, it may be a bit pricey, as we had spent RM111.75 and still felt a bit peckish afterward.
Good meat, good rice, good environment. The meat and rice here are of high quality and the environment is great. It’s the perfect place to go when you’re craving Japanese BBQ-style meat.
If there’s one thing I wish they could improve upon, it’s expanding to a non-halal branch and offering Sapporo/Kirin beer and pork options. I was really looking forward to sipping on a cup of Japanese beer while savoring the delicious meat, but unfortunately, they don’t serve alcohol. As for pork, it’s just my preferred meat.
Although, there are many non-halal options out there that offer what I’m looking for, I just don’t know where to begin.
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday | 11:30 AM – 10:00PM
Home Page: https://www.yakinikukuro.com/
Lot LG311B, Lower Ground Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, No. 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
Phone: 03 77322868
IOI City Mall
L3-209, IOI City Mall 2, Lebuh IRC Resort City, 62502 Putrajaya, Selangor.
Phone: 03 86824146
Disclaimer: I had paid for the meal, so it’s clearly not sponsored 😋