We first met Torii at TTDI, a Japanese gastro-bar with eye-catching outfront that is all dark, trendy yet elegant; located at the same row with Thursdvys, one of the most-visited coffee places in TTDI. Within a year, Torii successfully opened another outlet at Damansara Heights Kuala Lumpur, a neighbourhood area which is in the midst of revealing more eateries from cafes to bars, restaurants, and brunch destinations. Some said it is recognized as Batai Village.
For those who are not familiar with Damansara Heights Batai Village, here is the direction: As you turn into Jalan Batai from Jalan Beringin, you will see an open-air carpark at your left. Suggest to park there. There are two rows of shops further down the carpark. Both Torii, Sitka, and Shangri-La Kopitiam that houses famous Seng Lee Pork Noodle, Char Koay Teow, Fish Head Noodles, etc. are at the same row.
The name of Torii is inspired from the word “Yakitori” which generally means Japanese skewers, and at the same time pays respect to Mr. Shinjiro Torii, the father of the Japanese whisky industry. Torii hence lives up to its name, clearly defines what they are going to serve in the restaurant, seeing that both Yakitori and whisky take the centre stage in Torii.
Torii is divided into few sections- al-fresco with high tables and chairs; indoor ground floor focuses on Yakitori; indoor upper floor as bar and private rooms to cater larger group of diners for events.
At first floor, an extensive selection of Japanese single malt whiskies stretched out in glass cabinet, claimed to be the largest whiskies collection on offer in Kuala Lumpur by far, something Torii prides of.
For food, Torii Japanese Gastro-Bar specializes in Yakitori, together with few choices of salad, sashimi, udon, pasta, frid rice, don and dessert to complete the menu. All Japanese skewers in Torii are lightly seasoned with ingredients such as sea salt, black pepper, shoyu sauce and salsa that draw a good marriage with their meat, seafood or vegetables. Beverage wise, Japanese whiskies or whiskies-based cocktails are notably good to pair with your skewers.
Wagyu Seven with Sea Salt and Black Pepper (RM20/per skewer)
Torii offers premium cut of beef to satisfy diners with discerning palate. Other beef choices like beef enoki with Sea Salt and Black Pepper (RM11/per skewer), Beef Meatballs with Sweet BBQ Sauce (RM8/per skewer), Short Rib with Sea Salt and Black Pepper (RM12/per skewer), Ox Tripe with Sea Salt and Tangy Salsa (RM6/per skewer), Ox Tongue with Sea Salt and Black Pepper (RM16/per skewer) are on the list too.
Escargot with Garlic Miso and Scallion (RM10/per skewer)
Grilled escargots give a lot of chews like biting into soft bones, very much different to Italian Baked Escargot that usually comes to be more tender. Lightly dressed with garlic miso and scallion to add on mild pungency and saltiness.
Rock Lobster with Scallion and Garlic Chilli Sauce (RM10/per skewer)
This is our favourite! Firm and bouncy meat encapsulated with sweet and juicy touch, enhanced with a hint of spiciness from chilli and garlic.
Chicken Wings with Sea Salt (RM8/per skewer)
Seems to be the most common choice on the Yakitori menu but definitely the must have. Chicken wings are grilled to slightly burnt at the surface for crispy, smoky result, set off with succulent, tender meat beneath.
Sweet Potato with Sea Salt and Butter (RM5/per skewer)
Blue Fin Tuna Salad RM22
Blue Fin Tuna Salad is passable, not towards our liking. Worth ordering for nutrient balance. Hearty serving of Tuna placed over a bed of salad, combining mango, cilantro, Safron, tomato, lettuce in Balsamic Dressing.
Bonded Unagi & Foie Gras RM28
The best dish on the table during our visit in Torii! Served in petite, morsel size, we suggest to pop the whole Bonded Unagi & Foie Gras into the mouth in one go and experience the burst of mellow softness, creaminess developed in mouth, coupled with unagi sweetness and delicate “buttery” sensation of Foie Gras.
Wagyu Sliders RM24
The reputable TimeOut KL mentioned Torii Wagyu Sliders as one of the “Top 15 Best Dishes of the Year”. We don’t find a reason for not recommending this, or not ordering this in Torii. In fact, we have to agree that it is real good, but Bonded Unagi & Foie Gras is still our top pick (*chuckles*). This Wagyu Sliders is more than just a mini size burger- Fresh, crumbly scone replacing fluffy soft bun, sandwiching delicious homemade patty, spinach, and caramelized onions within. Add RM12 for Foie Gras Toppings.
Salmon Crudo RM25
Salmon lovers can trace for their favourite at Torii too, such as Tsujiki Salmon Sashimi (RM38), Salmon Crudo (RM25) and Diced Salmon Mozarella Salad (RM22). Our choice of Salmon Crudo is satisfying, featuring thick, fresh salmon topped with scallion, ponzu and pesto sauce for a twist of flavour, garnished with garlic chips for texture contrast.
We didn’t try out any desserts, but definitely will in the next visit. Summergirl has been eyeing on their Chocolate Bar + Whisky-N-Raisin Ice Cream and Green Tea Creme Brulee + White Chocolate Lavender Ice Cream.
Our Must-Have so far: Waygu Beef Slider, Bonded Unagi & Foie Gras, Yakitori Chicken Wings
Write Up: Summergirl
Damansara Heights Outlet:
Torii Japanese Gastro-Bar
No 8-6, Ground Floor,
50490, Kuala Lumpur.
Contact: +603 2011 3798/+6019 203 7093
Taman Tun Dr Ismail Torii Outlet:
Torii Japanese Gastro-Bar
18 Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1,
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 7733 9309/+6012 668 4399
Business Hours:5:30pm till late