As more yakitori joints pop up around K.L, the Japanese Izakaya (pub) scene remains fairly low-key.
Tsubohachi Izakaya Hokkaido is the latest Japanese offering to pop up in Publika; the franchise started in Japan (Hokkaido being it’s namesake and start) and now has outlets in Singapore and Thailand. The Publika shop is the first in Malaysia.
It was packed on a Friday night and we were told to leave our number and come back in 30 minutes.
The menu has yakitori (grilled meat skewers), sushi, sashimi, rice dishes, grilled dishes, appetisers, noodles and dessert. Apart from tea, there are a variety of Japanese spirits available as well as mocktails.
The restaurant is brightly lit, with 16 maneki neko (lucky cats) perched on the wall. There are semi-private rooms with the traditional tatami look at the sides and the back. If you didn’t see the ‘keluar (exit)’ signs, it felt like Japan.
The clientele was a good mix of Japanese and locals – there were a few Japanese among the staff.
All the waiters were polite, though there was some lag between dishes and I think they forgot our sushi order. They apologised for the delay after we asked them to check where it was.
The sushi was nice but nothing special. The scallops (RM18.90) were juicy but the rice tasted… Warm? Flat? Not sure how to describe it but it wasn’t as nice as the scallop. No complaints about my cod roe sushi (RM7.50).
The mixed skewers (RM19.80) consisted of: chicken heart, liver, neck, skin, giblets and something else I can’t quite remember. You get to choose whether you want it in salt or sauce – we chose salt.
Agedashi tofu (RM9.90) was nice ; gyoza (RM12.90) crispy.
While the staff seemed a bit disorganised, Tsubohachi has only been open a week so they have time to improve. No complaints about their manners since all were very polite.
Food was good, but nothing outstanding. Atmosphere was there – loud chatter with J-pop cheerfully in the background (I heard Greeeen). Good for both families and friends to hang out in (provided you don’t mind noise or smoke).
Total bill for 7 dishes plus 3 alcoholic drinks was RM201. Per person would be RM67.
Tsubohachi Izakaya is located on the same row as San Nae Deul, above Pappa Rich and Bestari.
Address: A2-UG1-9 Solaris Dutamas
No.1 Jalan Dutamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur