Happy Birthday Everyone! Today is the 7th day of Chinese New Year, also known as “Ren Ri” 人日 (Literally means Human Day). This was the day Human beings were created according to Chinese customs, and the Malaysians and Singaporeans celebrate this day with Yee Sang. I won’t be doing much eating today though after countless bowls of Mee Sua and other delectable food in Sarawak (by the way, some goodies to giveaway in my next post). But here’s a quick review of my favourite thing: Noodles!
It’s no secret that I’m a Ramen fan. Although I have not tried every joint in KL, my firm favourite is Marutama in Fahrenheit Mall. When I heard that the famous Ippudo Ramen is going to be open for Business at Pavilion, I’ve been anticipating a visit, wondering if it could rival Marutama. I couldn’t make it on the opening day due to my gig at Nerofico (it was a fun gig by the way) so we scheduled our catch up session yesterday afternoon at Ippudo.
Apparently at 12noon, there was a sizable queue but this was what we saw at 1.30pm. Take note of the shorter opening hours during the soft opening or you might not get your ramen.
The restaurant was pretty packed, but it wasn’t too long until we got the big table for 6. Upon surveying the menu, the first thing that we noticed was the significantly higher price than all the other Ramen joints, even Hokkaido Santouka, which is also located in Pavilion. A full bowl with everything added will cost you RM36++, that’s pretty steep for noodles. The rent must be super high.
We made our orders respectively, with most of us going for the Karaka Special, which is the Tonkotsu broth with Spicy Miso and Ground Pork, with all the toppings.
The red hue of the broth is tantalising indeed. Upon the first sip, the broth is rich and creamy, with a great mouth feel thanks to the little bits of pork fat (you can definitely see it in the picture), and also bits of ground pork. It’s very aromatic and not too salty, though it can get a little cloying towards the end for some. The spicy note is definitely there but not too strong. You can choose to have your noodles al dente or softer, and we all went for al dente, of course. I enjoyed the noodles, they were cooked perfectly and thus very addictive.
There is also the option to add some crushed raw garlic for that extra pungency, but most of us did without.
The next 2 component were a little disappointing though. For the egg was hardly flavoured (I suspect it’s not as the white remained completely white), even though the yolk was still perfectly runny. The Pork Belly was not as tender as I expect and lacks in taste compares to the broth. Still it was pleasant enough to eat.
Irene ordered the Shiromaru Special which is the classic Hakata-style Ramen. I had a sip of the broth and it was great without the spice too. The taste of seaweed is more prominent here.
The Akamaru Special features the Original Tonkotsu Broth with Miso Paste and Garlic Oil. I didn’t try this one, but Kc commented that the saltiness is slightly more prominent due to the miso paste, and it’s just a little to rich to finish. In fact, none of us did. One thing of note too, the green tea is served per glass and is RM2.50++ each. So savour every sip. The service here can be a little lacking, but that could be teething problem. Just make sure you pay attention to the last call even for your drinks.
So was the bowl of noodles worth the price tag? You be the judge. Because when it comes to Ramen, we all have our preferences and this might turn out to be perfect for you.
Hakata Ippudo Ramen,
Level 4, Pavilion Shopping Mall, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2110 6233
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/IppudoMalaysia