Yatai is a fairly new addition to Mitsui Lalaport’s slew of food and beverage options. Specializing in fresh and grilled Japanese seafood, the restaurant is located among the mall’s outdoor stretch of eateries on the ground floor, with décor inspired by Japanese seafood markets.
Boxes of Styrofoam line the storefront and also act as dividers; there’s an open kitchen where you can watch the chef’s in action grilling seafood items over a charcoal fire, and a cozy indoor dining area with lightbulbs casting a warm, golden glow.
There’s a vending machine at the back where you can buy drinks. Orders are done by scanning a QR code at your seat before proceeding to the counter for payment. Once your food items are ready they’ll call out your number and you have to collect them yourself.
For mains, I got the Curry Udon with Chicken Katsu. It was decent, as the noodles had an al dente texture, the curry was savoury and sweet with a slight hint of spice, while the potatoes, onions, and carrots were all cooked well. The chicken katsu was good as well, being crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
The Hubs and I got 50gms of chutoro (medium fatty tuna) to share. It was fresh and tasty, with just the slightest chew, but mostly boasting a melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Last but not least, the Hubs got a whole grilled ika (squid). Liked the char on the outside, the chewy texture of the squid, and the sweet teriyaki sauce it was glazed with. The portion was miniscule, however – no more than a couple of bites.
Overall, the food and ambience at Yatai is good, but we were disappointed with the size of the portions versus the price. While we know food in that neighbourhood tends to be expensive, I think presentation and service could at least be proportional to what we were charged for: everything was served in disposable paper bowls and plates, which made for messy eating.
Service was also slow, and they regularly forgot items (such as handing cutlery to clients when they went to pick up the food at the counter). So although we enjoyed what we had at Yatai, for the price, I don’t think you get good value. There are other Japanese restaurants within the vicinity that offer a better dining experience with similar quality food.
Lot G-66, Mitsui Shopping Park Lalaport, 2, Jln Hang Tuah, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 11.30AM – 1o PM