To Eat or Not to Eat: Dining in Japanese Restaurants in Malaysia

  Dining in Japanese restaurants in Malaysia with no Halal certification can be a tricky thing. How often do we hear folks justify and say “oh, it’s okay, it’s just seafood” or “there’s no meat and just veggies, so it’s fine” or “no pork or alcohol, so okay lah”?  There is a high chance that […]

 

The original Ramen and its ingredients.
The original Ramen and its ingredients.

Dining in Japanese restaurants in Malaysia with no Halal certification can be a tricky thing. How often do we hear folks justify and say “oh, it’s okay, it’s just seafood” or “there’s no meat and just veggies, so it’s fine” or “no pork or alcohol, so okay lah”?  There is a high chance that you have.

These cases are not uncommon. General consensus in the Malay-Muslim community has also taken the side that their Muslim neighbours – Malaysia and Indonesia – would have more Halal food choices given that they are Muslim countries.

A Halalke survey of 243 Singaporean Muslims between the ages of 18 to 60 years old revealed that 52 per cent disagree to dining in a no-pork-lard-alcohol eatery. 26 per cent of them stayed ‘neutral’. When dining overseas in places with no Halal certification, ‘sticking to seafood-only’ food options were also opted as a major choice for participants.

It’s true, finding Halal-certified food in Muslim-minority countries can be a challenge. Therefore, finding Halal Japanese restaurants in Malaysia is a challenge. However, it might be useful knowledge to understand the origins of certain foods that at first sight appear to be ‘seafood-only’ or ‘no-pork-lard-alcohol’ but may well contain pork by-products and alcohol. With better understanding and knowledge comes better choices of  what to eat, Insyallah.

Japanese Restaurants in Malaysia

In this Halalke series, we focus on ingredients used in major Japanese food chains restaurants in a Muslim-majority country like Malaysia.

Ichiban Boshi

Ichiban Boshi

“Our status of the restaurant is not considered Halal because we selling alcohol. Thank you. Yes our meat also have Halal certificate. Some of the menu have mirin or sake for base ingredients.”

By Ichiban Boshi Facebook Messenger

Sakae Sushi

Sakae Sushi“We do not carry a halal certification at the moment. However, we are looking into it and hope to obtain this certification in the near future.

Rest assured, all our dishes are completely pork-free. In addition, all our meat and chicken suppliers are compliant with halal requirements. We also do not add mirin (a type of Japanese alcoholic condiment) into our sushi rice.

At the same time, we are also pleased to inform that our sister brand Hei Sushi, which is Halal certified by JAKIM is now open in Alamanda Shopping Mall and MyTown Shopping Centre. Hei Sushi specializes in a fresh dining concept of contemporary Japanese cuisine infused with favourite local flavours.”

By J-kie Yong (Customer Service Department)

Nippori Café

Nippori

“Sorry we can’t promise that our meat is halal as our Japanese chef buy it from morning market by him self. 100% pork free cafe.”

By Nippori Café Facebook Messenger

Kura Restaurant, One world Hotel

Kura Restaurant at One World HotelKura Restaurant at One World Hotel provided no responses. However, from photos and description found on the restaurant’s social media, alcohol is served on the premises. 

Sushi Zanmai

Sushi Zanmai

“Please be informed that our restaurant is not halal due to beer serving. Other than that, all of our meat based products are from halal certified supplier and we are pork free.

However, some of our cook dishes did contain mirin for taste purpose. Generally, during the cooking process, the mirin will evaporate.”

Best Regards, Management of Super Sushi

Kuriya

Kuriya Restaurant

No reply from Kuriya Restaurant. From photos and description provided by the restaurant shared on social media, mirin-based sauces are used in the preparation of food like ramen. Alcohol is served on the premises.

Rakuzen

“Thank you very much for your enquiry about halal status of our restaurant.

Please be informed that our restaurant is not halal due to sake serving. Other than that, all of our meat based products are from halal certified supplier and we are pork free.

However, some of our cook dishes did contain mirin for taste purpose. Generally, during the cooking process, the mirin will evaporate.”

Best Regards, Management of Super Dining Sdn Bhd

OKONOMI

“Hi there. We are pork free but yet to get any halal certification. Meats are from halal sources but not some of the sauces.”

By OKONOMI Facebook Messenger

Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Nobu Restaurant Kuala Lumpur“We are not halal restaurant and some dishes in our menu contains alcohol. Some meat supplier send us halal items, except chicken but some imported items like wagyu beef doesn’t have halal certificate. Alcohol is served on the premises.”

By Nobu Kuala Lumpur Facebook Messenger

Sushi Jiro

 

Sushi Jiro

Hi, thank you very much for your enquiry. We are in the midst of preparing to get halal status. It may take probably two years to adjust some recipes and source all ingredients from halal suppliers.

Currently, our Ramen Soup, Udon Soup and Mentaiko Sauce contain Mirin. The meat we use is halal certified. There is no Mirin in our Sushi rice. We do not serve alcohol in the premise. Thank you very much

Kodawari Menya Udon Malaysia

Kodawari Menya Udon Malaysia

 

We are pork free restaurant. The meat such as chicken and beef use are from halal certified supplier. We do serve alcohol in Mont Kiara outlet only, however our food ingredients does not contain alcohol. Hope this clarified your query.

Halal-Certified by JAKIM Japanese restaurants in Malaysia (as of writing)

Sukiya

Sukiya

Check Sukiya’s Halal policy here.

Sushi King – Halal-certified except for a few outlets

Sushi King

Check Sushi King outlet Halal status here.

To eat or not to eat

Dining in Japanese restaurants in Malaysia can be a tricky thing but if we understand what goes into what we eat, choosing where we dine would be easier in the long run. Lastly, ingredients matter. Hence, always best to verify before we say Bismillah!


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