Butaya Izakaya: your go-to place for beer and kushiyaki

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Stumbling upon F&B outlets which turn out to be good always feels like a win, don’t you agree? We discovered Butaya Izakaya during one of the long weekends. Located in one of the only two rows of shoplots in Taman Sri Hartamas, the outlet was quiet as it was only late afternoon when we dined there.

Stepping into the outlet, it felt like we were back in Japan and this was very much appreciated, as we miss Japan big time! We had our pick of tables, since there was only one other diner there at that time. Although I must say, it took me sometime as I was assailed with the décor and was too busy taking it all in (and I can’t even read kanji).

Butaya Izakaya

What’s on the menu at Butaya Izakaya?

After finally deciding on a table, first order of business was to get our beer orders in (via an iPad). We then proceeded to scroll through the menu. We picked a variety of kushiyaki (grilled meat or vegetables on skewers): perfect accompaniments to our beers!

Izakayas are Japanese bars that serve small dishes and snacks (similar to tapas) to go with alcoholic drinks. I’m not sure if you’re meant to have a filling meal here, but for us, we fill up enough for it to be considered a proper meal (me: “Eat up! I’m not cooking today”).

It does take a bit of time for the dishes to arrive, as they grill them only when you place your order. If you’re really hungry, edamame might be a good start for munching until the skewers arrive. Drinks were served promptly. As we ordered a 3-mugs deal (there were only two of us imbibing), the waitress checked with us as to how many mugs we wanted served first. This is always great as you get the deal, and they keep your last beer on hold, so it doesn’t sit on your table getting warm.

Top marks went to the pork belly, chicken wings, eggplant, lady’s fingers as well as the bacon asparagus roll (but that’s not a fair judgement as bacon makes everything taste good!). The luncheon meat fried rice was also gobbled up in a jiffy. The chicken karaage did not hit the mark though. They were a tad too dry, as was the chicken thigh skewer. The skewers here are smaller than our usual haunt, but with smaller sticks, the price is also lower.

Butaya Izakaya: safe to sit and dine

If you’re still wary about dining out, each table is partitioned off from each other with a hanging see-through plastic sheet. Although, when dining with the soon-to-be-teen, we opted to sit outside (there are only two tables which can fit three pax). If you know me, you’d know that I don’t like the heat (yes, I’m born and bred in Malaysia). At Butaya Izakaya, the outside tables had mini overhead oscillating fans at each table – perfect!

However, when dining outside, the only issue is the drivers who sit and wait in the car and leave their engine running (either for takeaway or to pop into the pet shop next door) – even when they notice there are people dining. Why?! There are plenty of empty lots if you’re there on a weekend! Sigh…

Butaya Izakaya is our go-to place now when we want a quiet meal, far from the madding crowd (but we do eat early!).

The restaurant is located at 14, Jalan Sri Hartamas 8, Taman Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.

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