Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa

Hot on my kushiyaki phase, my friends decided that we’d celebrate my birthday at Maruhi Sakaba, first introduced by Fiona upon my waxing lyrical about Wakon.

Maruhi Sakaba is the youngest of Seiji Fujimoto’s Japanese outlet empire in Taman Desa. Mr Fujimoto who came to Malaysia a decade ago is also proprietor of Sanuki Udon and Taishú Yakiniku, the latter commonly known as the back alley Japanese BBQ.

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - restaurant

It’s not difficult to locate Maruhi Sakaba. What to look out for: Taman Desa, Faber Plaza, Public Bank, inconspicuous signboard in Japanese. The place itself is friendly, casual with no air-conditioning. Sweat in your yakitori, people.

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - grilling orders

A single page menu offers limited variety of food items. Specials could be found written on a whiteboard, or recommended by your helpful waiters. Prices seemed inexpensive, reasonable. Food came out from the kitchen at top speed, quality consistent for every order.

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - on the grill

What to start with? Japanese beer, of course! Choose Asahi (RM11), Sapporo (RM13) or Kirin. Ozeki Sake (RM16) available, great for birthday shots (thanks Maruhi Sakaba!)

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - Japanese beer

Nothing more pleasurable than cold Japanese beer paired with freshly grilled non-halal pork belly still dripping in its own oil.

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - pork belly and beer

The meat grilled items are most pleasurable. As we were a large group, we tried almost every item on the menu. You can’t go wrong giving all of them a go!

Recommended: Chicken Skin (RM4) – crispy, crunchy, not soggy: perfection on a stick!

The Pork Belly (RM4) is a must-eat item here. They do it well here – nicely salted, a delicate combination of meat and fat.

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - meat
Some delicious lamb, some thin pork wrapped around mushrooms, some delicious chicken skin, some potentially life changing pork belly

I don’t know how they manage to slice their pork so thin to wrap tomatoes, enoki, asparagus (RM5) etc. For the pork wrapped tomatoes, I would have enjoyed it more if it was saltier, or bacon.

More kushi? Vegetable options such as Shiitake mushrooms (RM3), Okra (RM3) and Eggplant (RM3) could turn unapologetic meat eaters to the green side.

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - grilled vegetables

Chicken Wings (RM5), decent. They were cooked well, I take them as stomach fillers (chicken meat), great with beer. My lack of interest in these wings is because I’ve had fish eggs and gyoza stuffed in chicken wings elsewhere, and maybe gimmicky, works to excite one on chicken wings.

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - chicken wings

If you enjoy pig offal, you cannot miss out on the Organ Meat Stew (RM10)! Generous pieces of pig intestine covered in hot, spiced broth that makes the coldest of evenings embraceable.

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - organ stew
I can easily eat 3 bowls of this. And maybe more.

Order salads and tofu to ease the guilt of indulgence. Most go for RM5 each. There’s an item called, Cabbage Salad that is just… raw cabbage pieces with sauce. Ingenius, reminds you of the simplicity and straightforwardness of the menu and descriptions.

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - salads and tofu

For the adventure seekers, try the Chicken Sashimi (RM15). What, raw chicken? I’m unsure how this works, but my friends ate it and they’re still with us today, with no extreme output stories to share.

Maruhi Sakaba also serves rice with egg, soup etc. Logical if you have gone through all the grilled items, and are still hungry for more.

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - biceps
You can do it!

Thanks, my dear favoured friends. You guys make life’s journey fantastic. The best part about this birthday surprise was that AhFa invited my mother to join the dinner, as I usually spend most weekends with my family. That was really nice.

My mother couldn’t make it, being the traveling junkie that she was. The other part of this story was that she kept this secret from me for over a week. I don’t think mothers are supposed to lie to you, I want my money back!


Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - Suanie birthday
Birthdays are fun!

And that evening was special for one more reason: it was Baby Cheang’s first birthday dinner party! Other than her own, of course ;)

Maruhi Sakaba, Taman Desa - group
Nom the baby!

Maruhi Sakaba
No. 6A, Plaza Faber,
Jalan Desa Jaya, Taman Desa,
58100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +6012 241 8131

Opens: Tues to Sunday, 6pm – late. Closed on Mondays.

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