Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Yakitori Japanese Grill at Vino Vino in Taman Molek, Johor Bahru
Johor Kaki was invited by Christian, manager at Vino Vino Bistro to try their Japanese grill or yakitori dishes.
Vino Vino Bistro in Taman Molek is a very well appointed restaurant with an impressive range of beers, whiskies, fine wines, and premium spirits.
Vino Vino has a private room for those special occasions.
Vino Vino has plenty of choices of fine sake and shochu, needless to say.
And, this is the charcoal fired yakitori station that churns out all the delicious Japanese grilled dishes to go with the fine spirits in Vino Vino. Heading Vino Vino's kitchen is Japanese Executive Chef Inose Kazuhiro who has many years of working experience in Japan and Singapore, and over 10 years in Malaysia.
Before we get down to the yakitori, Christian started us off with a couple of Japanese appetisers. This was the Ockura Mentaiko Ae (RM16), lady's fingers with cod roe.
I liked this Ockura Mentaiko Ae a lot. The tender, crunchy, slightly sweet lady fingers with slimy sap were mixed with savoury cod roe. Excellent, delicious combination that really whetted my appetite.
The Gobo salad (RM16) made with very thin slices of fried fibrous root is a very popular appetiser among Japanese.
Our appetites nicely whetted, it's time for the main course. Yakitori literary means "grilled chicken". So central to any good yakitori menu are its grilled chicken parts.
Nankotsu (RM3), chicken cartilage from the breast bone. My family and friends know that I will always "reserve" this part of the chicken whenever we eat together. I like nankotsu for its crunchy bite.
Torikawa (RM4) or grilled chicken skin and ginan (RM3) or grilled ginko nuts. Crispy and savoury.
When I saw bishop's noses (bonjiri RM6) on the menu, I couldn't resist asking for it. Hey, the best blend of skin, fat, meat, and collagen in a chicken is right here, not anywhere else. They are always good when grilled till the skin is crisp.
Aburi Mentaiko (RM38), cod roe marinaded in red capsicum juices and then grilled.
Salty and savoury with very subtle tender, poppy mouth feel from the bursting eggs, Aburi Mentaiko goes well with drinks, in my opinion.
Tokusei Tsukune (RM6) or "Special Meat Ball" made with minced beef and chicken.
The "meat ball" is dipped in soft boiled eggs and sauce before eating.
Eringi, King Trumpet Mushroom (RM3).
The manager's recommendation, Ocatsuki (RM6) or "Rice Ball in Green Tea Soup".
The steamed rice is compacted into a ball and then grilled till a slightly burnt crust forms. The bits of burnt, crunchy crust matched well with the clear, lightly flavoured broth to create an interesting dish that goes well with yakitori.
We had a couple of wines to help us wash all that yakitori down.
Getting to Vino Vino Bistro is really easy. Just 15 minutes' drive from downtown Johor Bahru via the EDL (Eastern Dispersal Link). If you don't want to drive, Vino Vino even has a limo service (actually a SUV clearly painted Vino Vino) in which they will pick up diners from anywhere in town and bring you to the restaurant. After your dinner, Vino Vino's limo will send you to anywhere you want to go in Johor Bahru town. Just call Vino Vino at 607-357-6699. I think this is a really thoughtful and helpful service. I will use this service the next time I am going to Vino Vino, and perhaps, indulge myself a little bit more in the drinks :)
I would definitely like to come back to Vino Vino Bistro for the food, drinks and the ambiance.
Restaurant name: Vino Vino Bistro
Address: 12, Jalan Molek 1/13, Taman Molek, Johor Bahru
Hours: Monday to Saturday 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight / Sunday 4:00pm to 12:00 midnight
Date visited: 1 Apr 2013