10 Best Izakayas In KL & PJ That’ll Make You Think You’re In Japan. Itadakimasu! 

Bar culture is thoroughly ingrained into the fragments of society in many countries. There’s tapas in Spain, Ireland has Irish pubs, and the Germans love their beer halls. For the Japanese, drinking high-balls and eating yakitori in a vibrant izakaya is a good way to unwind after toiling the gruelling 9-to-5. The izakaya concept has spread to nations far and wide, including here in Klang Valley’s burgeoning F&B scene. And by sticking to the blueprint, the izakayas in KL and PJ will have you imagining you’re somewhere in Tokyo—minus the pricey flight ticket. 

Unwind In Authentic Japanese Vibes At An Izakaya In KL & PJ

Butaya Izakaya

best izakaya kl butaya
Credit: @butayaizakayamy via Instagram 

Butaya Izakaya’s neon lights and vibrant signages give life to Jalan Sri Hartamas 8, which is considered to be the quieter, less chaotic side of Sri Hartamas. Furnished with wooden communal tables and benches as well as photogenic figurines from popular Japanese animes, this charming izakaya-style restaurant in KL serves up affordable charcoal-fired yakitori and a fine selection of Japanese beers and sakes. The place isn’t the most spacious (true to a conventional izakaya), so reservations are highly recommended, especially during the weekends. 

Address: 14, Jalan Sri Hartamas 8, Taman Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: 

Tues – Sun: 4.30pm – 11.30pm

Contact: 03-2389 4172

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Kitsuzo Izakaya

kitsuzo izakaya
Credit: @kitsuzoizakaya via Instagram 

Secluding itself from the busyness of Desa Sri Hartamas, this izakaya in KL oozes an intimate and cosy atmosphere the moment you step in. Choose to sit on a tatami floor or in a private booth, and you’ll get to enjoy a relaxing dining experience with crunchy karaage chicken, skewered octopus, and fresh salmon sashimi. For liquid sustenance, the sake choices here are extensive, but the cocktail mixes are worth a try if you’re looking for something less potent. 

Address: Lot Wisma Rapid, 30, Jalan 30/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: 

Tues – Sun: 5pm – 11.30pm

Contact: 017-391 2318

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Hamasho 

best izakaya kl hamasho
Credit: @hamasho_kl via Instagram 

Hamasho is yet another izakaya that calls the Sri Hartamas suburb home, so what makes it different from the rest? For starters, it’s a branch from Tokyo, making it popular among the Japanese expatriate community so you know you’ll be in good company. And if you love seafood, the sumibiyaki (charcoal-grilled seafood) here is highly recommended. From Hokkaido scallops to buttery otoro, you’ll find proteins that aren’t available at surrounding spots. 

Address: 42, Jalan 27/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: 

Mon – Sat: 4.30pm – 12am

Contact: 017-240 8549

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Senya Izakaya 

senya izakaya
Credit: @jamieqzl via Instagram 

Picture this: Thinly-sliced grilled pork belly smothered in silky speciality teriyaki sauce, placed over a bowl of warm fluffy Japanese rice. That’s the signature dish at Senya Izakaya, the Hokkaido Pork Don. Delicious and hearty, it has been the go-to order for loyal patrons. But if you’re keen on a lighter offering, the sushi rolls and sashimi platters will fulfil the munchies without you feeling the need for a siesta right after. 

Address: D5-G3-5, No 1, Jln Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: 

Daily, 11.30am – 10pm

Contact: 03-6205 4999

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Shakariki 432″

best izakaya kl shakariki
Credit: @shakariki432_my via Instagram 

A chain from Osaka, Sharakiri 432” also runs 25 outlets in Bangkok on top of the two izakayas in Kuala Lumpur. Permanent fixtures of a Sharakiri 432” outlet include lively music, attentive servers, smooth draft beers, and an all-encompassing menu that has everything from yakitori and oden to ramen and tonkatsu. Great for picky eaters and/or indecisive diners! 

Address & Contact:

Publika

D4-G3-5, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

03-6411 7050

Desa Sri Hartamas

G Tingkat Bawah Jalan 23/70A 50480, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

03-6211 0432

Opening Hours: 

Tues – Thurs: 12pm – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10pm

Fri: 12pm – 3pm, 5.30pm – 11pm

Sat: 11.30am – 11pm

Sun: 11.30am – 10pm

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Fujisawa Izakaya

best izakaya kl fujisawa
Credit: @fujisawa_izakaya via Instagram 

All of Fujisawa Izakaya’s outlets in Klang Valley are great places for after-work drinks and dinner. Referencing the coastal city that it’s named after, each outlet is adorned with Japanese paraphernalia like maps showing Fujisawa’s sights and aquariums of live seafood. Whether you’re visiting the Uptown or Sri Petaling branch, the menu items are consistent across all Fujisawa Izakaya locations; of which are unagi rolls, chicken katsu curry, and more.

Address & Contact:

PJ Uptown

52M, Jalan SS 21/58, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya

016-556 6723

Sri Petaling

12-1, Jalan Radin Bagus 1, Bandar Baru Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur

03-9054 8723

Kepong

21, Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 1, Taman Usahawan Kepong, 52100 Kuala Lumpur

03-6243 4633

Opening Hours:

Sun – Thurs: 12pm – 3pm, 5.30pm – 11pm

Fri – Sat: 12pm – 3pm, 5.30pm – 12am

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Robataya Izakaya 

best izakaya kl pj robataya
Credit: @robataya_izakaya via Instagram 

With three outlets scattered across Klang Valley malls, Robotaya Izakaya provides a pitstop for shoppers to rest their feet and fill their tummies with authentic Japanese fare. Specifically, the BBQ offerings are done using the irori, which is a Japanese sunken fire pit. This traditional grilling method helps to preserve the natural flavours and juices of the food. If BBQ isn’t your jam, the set meals here are said to be filling and worth the price. 

Address, Opening Hours & Contact:

Publika

D4-G3-09, 1, Jln Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Mon – Thurs: 11.30am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm

Fri: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 11pm

Sat: 11.30am – 11pm

Sun: 11.30am – 10.30pm

03-6211 2785

1 Utama 

G202 & G203 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Lebuh Bandar Utama One Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya

Daily, 10am – 10pm

03-7628 1394

Empire Subang

Lot No. G-16, Empire Shopping Gallery, Ss 16, 47500 Subang Jaya

Sun – Thurs: 10am – 10pm

Fri – Sat: 10am – 10.30pm

03-5612 0374

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Fujiwara Yakitori Bar 

fujiwara yakitori
Credit: @fujiwarayakitoribar via Instagram

Fans of the cult manga series Initial D will love everything about this izakaya in KL. A life-like replica of the iconic Toyota AE86 sits at the entrance for photo-ops. Once you’re in, you’ll be bombarded with memorabilia of the series; there’s even an arcade machine for you to live out your street racer fantasy. Food and drink-wise, evenly charred yakitori, small bites like takoyaki, and satisfying mains such as donburi

Address: 24, Jalan Kampung Pasir, Kampung Pasir, 58200 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: 

Tues – Sun: 3pm – 11pm

Contact: 03-7773 9728

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Miyako Land

miyako land
Credit: @miyakoland.izakaya via Instagram

Miyako Land sets up shop in a two-storey facade that is all about Okinawan culture. You’ll get a slice of the coastal prefecture through culinary delights like sea grape (a type of seaweed harvest off the coast of Okinawa) and chanpuru (an Okinawan stir-fried dish made with bitter melon, pork, and eggs). The decor is expectedly colourful and lively, which certainly helps to elevate the overall dining experience at this PJ izakaya.

Address: Lot 4, B Land, 2, Jalan 51a/225, Seksyen 51a, 46100 Petaling Jaya

Opening Hours: 

Tues – Thurs: 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 11pm

Fri: 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 12am

Sat: 12pm – 2.30pm, 5pm – 12am

Sun: 12pm – 2.30pm, 5pm – 11pm

Contact: 012-660 5973

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Tansen Izakaya

Credit: @tansen_izakaya via Instagram

Located within walking distance from Damansara Jaya’s Atria Shopping Gallery, Tansen Izakaya is a quiet nook that lets you dig into yakitori and sashimi. There’s also imported Japanese beer and a steady selection of sake. The place is busy on weekends so reservations are highly recommended.

Address: No. 36, Jalan SS 22/25, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya

Opening Hours: 

Mon – Fri: 1pm – 3pm, 5pm – 11pm

Sat – Sun: 12.30pm – 3pm, 5pm – 11pm

Contact: 03-7731 3386

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Drink And Be Merry At An Izakaya In KL & PJ 

Credit: Pema Lama via Unsplash

Sure, it’s likely you won’t find the best ramen or sushi (we’ll have separate recommendations for those) at a KL izakaya. But what you will surely find are smooth draft beers, addictive bar bites, and complex sakes. And not forgetting the energetic atmosphere and flamboyant decor that’s perfect for letting loose.

Looking for more watering holes in the Klang Valley to visit? Check out these cocktail bars where you’ll sip on curated concoctions by talented local mixologists. Or if you’re tired of the usual run-of-the-mill beer, try these craft beers for a taste of something new.