What’s better than barbecue?
There’s nothing like the sizzle of fresh meat as it hits the grill, and the glisten of oil and juices over beautifully marbled slices of pork belly. You get all that, and more, at Rocku Yakiniku, a popular Japanese-style barbecue (yakiniku)joint located within 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama Petaling Jaya.
Video here. Scroll to the bottom to read more details!
This is actually my second time here (the first was with my junior writer and we were too busy eating to take pictures, lol). Since it was S’s birthday, I decided to treat him to a meal. We thought the resto would be super busy since it was a Saturday, but it was surprisingly empty. Not that we’re complaining! The interior is upbeat, casual and cosy, with cool Japanese-themed murals decorating the brick walls. There is a stage at the centre where they have music performances in the evenings.
Service was prompt and friendly, even though I had a hard time understanding our server at first due to his foreign accent. You can choose from the Platters (beef, pork and seafood – good for if you want to try a bit of everything) or opt for individual orders. The red meats such as lamb and beef are flown in from Australia and New Zealand.
The buffet corner has a limited selection of items, which is fair since most people come here for the grilled items anyway. There’s the sauce station where you can mix and match your own dips, such as yuzu chilli, sushi shoyu, chilli sauce, and more. I recommend the spicy miso – savoury with a spicy kick; great with various grilled meats.
For carb lovers, there’s fried rice, sushi rolls, udon and stir fried noodles, alongside chawan mushi, tofu and fried snacks like chicken wings and hash browns.
While the charcoal grill was being heated, we got a couple of snacks to nibble on. Udon had a nice sweetish flavour and good texture, hash browns were greasy but tasty, but AVOID the chicken wings – they were obviously fried way earlier and the batter was rock hard.
Meats are grilled over a charcoal fire, which I think is better at producing that charred, smokey taste compared to gas fires.
For starters, S and I went for a seafood platter and pork platter. The seafood platter came with squid, mussels, saba (mackerel), butterfish, shrimps and scallops, while the pork platter had 3 pieces of pork shoulder, pork belly and bacon slathered in a marinade. There was also a piece of lard for us to grease the grill.
Portions were generous and hearty, especially the shrimps and the butterfish slices.
Grilling in progress
One thing about BBQ is that you really have to work for your food 😀
Everything was fresh and tasty. S liked the bacon slices which had a sweet, smoky flavour. Even better if you get a piece of pork belly, slather some spicy miso onto it, put the meat onto a piece of lettuce and eat that whole, as the veggie helps to cut through the fattiness and grease. Shrimps were sizable, which was impressive seeing how difficult it is to get large-sized shrimps at many establishments these days.
The scallops were served in aluminium foil bowls and heated up til they bubbled merrily. There was also a dash of egg yolk(presumably quail) in the broth.
Personally, being a seafood lover, I really enjoyed the squid and butterfish, which like its namesake, has a buttery texture and just melts on the tongue. Kinda like fatty tuna.
Round 2 of our orders saw more bacon, more pork belly, and lamb shoulder. This was the only ‘meh’ item we had because the meat was really lean and ended up being dry.
Drinks are ordered separately, but an economical choice would be the green tea which is served in a jug for RM3 and can be shared among a group.
Our lunch for two came up to RM120, which was pretty reasonable for a barbecue buffet. If you come on weekday afternoons, it’s RM39.90++ per pax.
Rocku Yakiniku has another outlet in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.
ROCKU YAKINIKU (1UTAMA Branch)
F.355, F.356 & F.357, First Floor, Rainforest, No. 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Opening hours: 11AM – 11PM (Daily)