Chef Akira Yonomoto Hanare The Intermark

Akira Yonomoto, Head Chef – Hanare, Intermark Mall

Akira Yonomoto

In this interview, Chef Akira Yonomoto, head chef of Hanare in Intermark Mall, reveals a little about the life of a sushi chef.

What do you do and how did you get into the industry?

I started to work at the age of 21 years old after I finished high school. Interested in people working as chefs at wet the market, I took a chance to work at a small sushi restaurant around Osaka. This is where I improved my sushi skills. After 25 years of working in sushi restaurants in Osaka, I made the biggest change of my life. At the age of 46, one of my friends invited me to work together with him at Nogawa Japanese Restaurant in Singapore. Following six years of working in Singapore, I travelled to Malaysia to again change my working environment. Now I have been in Malaysia in Malaysia for 17 years. I worked with a few Japanese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and have been at Hanare for the past six years.

What’s one of your happiest chef moments?

The happiest part of my profession as a sushi chef is when our customer gives me a “thumbs up” and say “oishii’ (delicious).

What’s a food memory from your childhood or travels that stands out?

My favourite food during childhood was grilled beef.

What’s the best/ worst part of your job?

The best part of my job is cutting fish, making sushi and talking to customers. The worst part of my job is when the customers are not happy with the food.

Chef Akira Yonomoto’s favourite food and beverage pairing?

My favourite foods are beef steak, chicken rice and bak kut teh. I don’t drink alcohol, but I do like coffee and watermelon juice.

The perfect day off would be…

Playing golf with my friend sand going for a spa.

A day in the life of Chef Akira Yonomoto is…

… is working and entertaining customers.

What do you do for fun?

Shopping and eating.

What’s something you’d like guests to know about Hanare?

The freshness of the food, high quality and variety at Hanare is because we receive our ingredients directly from Toyosu Fish Market.

What’s something you’d like people to know about being a sushi chef as a profession?

A sushi chef is an interesting job because you can meet more people and enjoy serving them. Skill is most important to tackle customers.

What’s your view on the food scene in KL?

There are many Japanese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. In my opinion, we must maintain the quality, freshness and variety to impress our guests.

What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?

We always ask the Toyosu Fish Market supplier to bring seasonal items to our restaurant so our menu changes with the season.

Find more interviews similar to this one with chef Akira Yonomoto, here. And, stay up to date with the latest food and beverage happenings in KL here.


  1. I love Japanese cuisine especially sushi. A nice interview with this sushi chef.

  2. Impressive record, this serious-looking chef! Sure looks like he means business. LOL!!!

  3. Missing this place, used to go there for lunch quite a bit when my office was in the same building

  4. I love sushi, wish we could pop in and say “oishii’. Cheers Diane

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