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I Went For A Solo Buffet @ Rocku Yakiniku, 1 Utama

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If you can’t already tell, I am somewhat of a loner.

While I enjoy good company in small doses and in intimate settings, large crowds give me anxiety, and I need lots of me-time to recuperate after an extended period of socializing. This is probably why I’m comfortable dining alone: I’ve never really understood why other people would give me the ‘but it’s so sad!’ – because all I need is a good book / manga to read over my food.

I’ve never really gone for a solo buffet though – which I did for my birthday a couple of months ago at Rocku Yakiniku, 1 Utama.

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This is my third visit to the Japanese BBQ establishment. Not much has changed – the interior is still upbeat and edgy-looking, with Japanese-themed murals decorating the brick walls. The layout has been tweaked slightly to allow for more social distancing between diners, however.

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Meat is the main highlight at Rocku Yakiniku – you can choose from different cuts of beef and pork, and there is also a selection of fresh seafood.
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From past experience, the dishes from their buffet counter are so-so, so I went straight for the meat. Pork is always a good bet. Above is the pork platter with pork belly, bacon and collar. Cuts are thin enough to make it easy for grilling, but thick and meaty enough to satisfy.

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Oil the grill with a piece of pork lard before placing your items onto the grill. Rocku Yakiniku uses charcoal so you get a nice, charred/smoky taste imbued into the meat.
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The butterfish and squid were also very fresh.

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While the meat is good and all, my favourite is actually the scallops, which are served in small tin foil bowls swimming in a flavourful broth. The scallops are sweet and juicy with a buttery taste – extremely addictive – and the broth is delicious too. After demolishing seven bowls, 2 plates of butterfish, 1 plate of squid and a whole pork platter, I think I’ve gotten my money’s worth back lol.

Rocku Yakiniku is open for lunch and dinner. The lunch buffet on weekdays is RM39.90++, excluding drinks.

ROCKU YAKINIKU

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)

rocku.com.my

Food Review: Sae Ma Eul Charcoal Korean BBQ, Jaya One

This was over a month ago but I’ve only had time to write a review now; that’s how busy I’ve been 😦 

It’s been awhile since I last met up with my uni-mate Jo, so we decided to get dinner after work. I wanted to take her for some yakitori, but the place was closed so we ended up getting Korean barbecue instead. Located on the second floor of the central courtyard, Sae Ma Eul uses charcoal rather than an electric grill for the meat, creating a nice, smoky flavour.

Interior looks like your typical bbq joint, with indoor and outdoor seating and exhaust hoods over the grills to catch the smoke.

Readying the grill.

I’ve been to several grill places where the service is excellent – waiters are very attentive to your needs/help you to grill your stuff. This was not one of those places. Service was mediocre, and staff members looked completely disinterested at their jobs. The boss himself was great – came out to show us how to cook the meat properly – but the staff needs proper training and a huge dose of enthusiasm.

Jo and I got a set meal for 2-3pax (ambitious much). Instantly regretted when the food came because they came in such hefty portions. Giant pork belly slabs. Humongous shoulder cuts. A huge mound of marinated octopus. Didn’t help that I (foolishly, but hey, everyone does that when they’re hungry right?) ordered an extra helping of cheese lol.

High quality cuts with good marbling and balance between lean and fat.

Jo didn’t like octopi so I had this all to myself 😀 They were quite sizable, and the spicy sauce it was marinated in had a kimchi/bellpepper flavour.

Part of the fun of bbq – watching the meat crack and sizzle over the fire.

Our melted pot of cheese on the side was thick and gooey – great as a dipping sauce with the meat. The meat itself was tasteless but went well with some sesame oil and bean paste. The best way to eat is to wrap the whole chunk in a fresh lettuce leaf with some garlic. Hmm!

A lot of food which we struggled to finish towards the end. Didn’t even touch the banchan (side dishes) too much lol.

All in all, I’d say that I’ve had better K-BBQ, but Sae Ma Eul isn’t bad and pretty value for money if you’re sharing a set with friends. Service can definitely be improved though. They also have branches in Publika and Solaris Mont Kiara.

SAE MA EUL (JAYA ONE BRANCH) 

77-1, Block E, The Square, Jalan University, Jaya One, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Open daily: 11.30AM-11.30PM