By Mei Kuan
Yeok Ng who owns Izakaya, the one and only Japanese restaurant in Tanjung Piandang situated along Jalan Besar, incorporates the daily catch of best local seafood in his creations.
He formerly worked in Kuala Lumpur in telecommunications as his first job before training as a chef in Australia from 2011. For two years, he learned the skills from Japanese, Taiwanese and Malaysian chefs and their respective twists on traditional Japanese cuisine.
He opened a Japanese restaurant in Kuala Lumpur before deciding to continue his craft in his beloved hometown of Tanjung Piandang from 2016 till present time.
All his signatures make use of the local mantis shrimp, also known as “shako” in Japanese, as its star ingredient.
“A friend of mine suggested to me to feature local seafood. I experimented with the mantis shrimp first which has attracted many diners. Many diners commend us on the freshness of the ingredients as it is caught fresh daily in the morning. Thus it is only available in limited quantity,” the good-natured Yeok explained to Ipoh Echo in an exclusive interview on Saturday, January 18.
Among the all-time bestsellers are grilled shako (RM8 each), shako moriawase tempura (RM36 for six pieces), shako don (RM25), shako maki (RM18.90), shako sushi (RM12), tempura shako (RM12), shako with kappa maki (RM14.90), shako curry (RM24.90), shako mentai (RM13) and shako gunkan (RM6).
Did I mention that the prices are very reasonable to boot?
“As far as I am concerned, there aren’t many establishments who make mantis shrimp as its star ingredient. I create my own recipes without any MSG or food additives. My menu focuses on the catch of the day such as tiger prawn, lobster, sotong and others. It makes the menu more interesting rather than just having the usual salmon, maguro, etc.,” he added.
Another favourite is the equally must-have tiger prawn agemono.
In addition to domestic tourists and local residents, his customers hail from as far as Japan and Hong Kong.
How does one define quality sushi? “Japanese cuisine places the utmost importance on freshness,” Yeok pointed out.
Izakaya also serves a variety of salad, appetizer, agemono (deep-fried food), sashimi, noodles, donmono (rice bowl dish) and bento.
Non-halal. Open daily from 6pm to 10pm except for Monday. The restaurant also accepts advance booking for private events.
Izakaya is located at 291 Jalan Besar, Tanjung Piandang, 34250 Perak. For more updates, visit Izakaya Japanese Restaurant Facebook page.