We have sushi joints and ramen houses everywhere in KL these days. So what’s next? Izakayas, of course. These casual Japanese restaurants have been mushrooming in the Klang Valley of late, and a few Japanese restaurants have also started adding an izakaya section to their menus. Bangoya in Jaya One is my favourite izakaya outlet so far.
Located on Kissaten’s rooftop, Bangoya brings us a unique experience of “grilling under the stars.” I love how Kissaten’s owners converted recycled wooden pallets into tables and chairs while kampungboy loves those pub tables made of oil barrels. With Japanese lanterns lighting up the whole place at night, catching a cool breeze as we drink and dine has never felt more comfortable.
What is Japanese BBQ/Izaka dinner without beers? At Bangoya, the owners gave beer-drinking a twist by pouring some saké at the bottom and placing the beer bottle upside down. We pulled the bottle upwards to allow the liquid to flow down as we sucked a little, so we got to enjoy the beer and saké’s flavour in different intensity.
Cooking on a charcoal grill is one of the tastiest and most fun types of outdoor cooking. So let’s get into some serious grilling.
Bangoya takes pride in their kushiyaki skewer-grilled and yakiniku barbecued-meat selections. We had pork belly, ribs, miso marinated pork, and beef slices, priced at RM10++ each. The meat was sliced thinly, so we could either sear or grill it quickly, resulting in lean and juicy slices with plenty of flavours.
We also ordered some Japanese traditional favourites like grilled saba, chicken liver, skewered scallops, and Portobello mushroom stuffed with minced meat (each from RM4++). These were prepared in advance in the kitchen as the liver and scallops required precise timing and the right temperature to bring out the best textures.
The grilled saba was seasoned with salt and grilled until the skin was crispy and the flesh tender. I usually refrain from having chicken livers but when done in kushiyaki-style, the chicken livers with a creamy centre were so delicious! We also enjoyed having the scallops – perfectly charred and the flesh still moist. Thick, juicy, and tender, the grilled Portobello mushroom stuffed with minced pork is a meat lover’s joy.
To make it a delicious and well-balanced meal, we ordered some greens. Nothing says fresh, crisp, clean, and hydrating like the Bangoya cucumber salad and Bangoya bittergourd salad.
Kissaten’s pork burger is a personal favourite of mine so I could not resist not having one. Using pure minced meat, the patty was grease-free and juicy as usual.
Bangoya serves delicious, pit-smoked, barbecued food at very reasonable prices. It was a fun night out with great weather and deliciously grilled meat. If the weather turns against you, there’s always a Plan B as most patrons would adjourn to Kissaten’s café downtairs to enjoy their grilled meat.
Bangoya by Kissaten
Address: L12A-1-1, Palm Square, Jaya One, Jalan Universiti, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Opening hours: Daily 6.00pm – 12.00am
GPS coordinates: 3.117537, 101.635680