Let’s Go For Ramen! Ikuzo Ramen, SS2

Before the 1950s, the Japanese called ramen (ラーメン) as shina soba (meaning “Chinese soba”), most probably because ramen is of Chinese origin. There are four main types of ramen; shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), miso and tonkotsu (pork bone), where each types came from different region of Japan.

Photobucket
Photobucket

Klang Valley witnessed the ramen boom in recent years, where ramen joints mushrooming all over the metropolis such as Marutama, Yamagoya, Mai and so on. And since the trend is widely welcomed by Klang Valley folks, the people behind Nagomi decided to jump into the bandwagon as well, and thus Ikuzo Ramen is born. Helmed by Chef Shimbo Katsunori, Ikuzo Ramen prides itself as the revolution in ramen by using high quality ingredients with affordable price tags and no addictives or MSG are added into their food. True enough, when I flip over the menu, I found that no single item is priced above RM15!

Photobucket

Ikuzo (literally means “let’s go!” in Japanese) Ramen believes that the quality of the broth dictates the ramen experience. Almost everything are prepared in-house, including the ramen (prepared using rye flour) and ice cream. The broth used in most of their dishes are made from long hours of boiling chicken carcass and tonkotsu (pork bone), separately and flavoured with shoyu (soy sauce). I was told that some other secret ingredients that goes into the broth are fruit and veggies. Then, the two types of broth are mixed together to form the ramen broth that is light, sweet tasting and pleasant to the palate.

Photobucket

Photobucket
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

What we had for appetizer? A very simple Wafu Kyuri Salad (RM2.00) – zucchini sticks dip with their home-made dressings. We tried all five of them; Nori (seaweed), Teriyaki, Wafu (Japanese vinaigrette), Gomadare (sesame) and Umejiso (plum). You can get these salad dressings from their shop directly. Forget about the boring mayo or Thousand Island, these tastes better! Gyoza (ギョーザ), RM4.50 was juicy with minced chicken filling, while their Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), RM4.50 was a little bit too soft for my liking. Topped with mayo, sauce, bonito flakes and pickled ginger, this Japanese pancake is much thicker than usual and served in triangles. Harumaki (pork spring rolls, RM3.90) was quite good too with minced pork and mushroom filling.

Photobucket
Photobucket

Tokyo Ramen (RM7.90) came with the thick, stright cut ramen (which resembles local pan mee), hard boiled egg, spinach, nori (seaweed) and slices of pork a.k.a. cha-shu (チャーシュー) in shoyu-based broth. The broth was indeed very light and it doesn’t overpower the overall taste of the noodle. If the thick ramen is not your preferred choice, you can opt to have the thin version.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Two types of spicy ramen are available here; Curry Ramen (RM7.90) served with breaded pork cutlet (tonkatsu, 豚カツ), hard boiled egg, spinach, curry soup and garnished with chopped spring onions and Curry Tan-Tan Ramen (RM6.90) with minced chicken and mala spices. A good choice for those who need a little bit of heat and lots of meat in their food. Comparison-wise, the Curry Tan-Tan Ramen is spicier than the Curry Ramen and it also has a stronger flavour to it. Not for the faint-hearted, otherwise, be ready with your tissue papers!

Photobucket
Photobucket

Alright, let’s go back to the basic, which is also Ikuzo’s best-selling signature dish. Cha-Shu Ramen (RM8.90) came in the thin version of ramen, 5 slices of cha-shu, seaweed and spring onion in a shoyu-based broth. Almost identical to their Tokyo Ramen in term of taste and flavour.

Photobucket

Photobucket

The last duo, Hokkaido Ramen and Yakiniku Ramen (both priced at RM8.50). As Hokkaido is the birthplace of the rich miso (みそ), the Japanese associate Hokkaido with its miso ramen, which is ideal for Hokkaido’s harsh and snowy winters. Here in Ikuzo Ramen, their Hokkaido Ramen came with cha-shu, sweetcorn, bamboo shoots, spinach, bean sprouts and spring onion in a miso-based broth. Slightly heavier to the palate compared to the shoyu-based broth. As for the Yakiniku Ramen, it is served with grilled marinated beef slices with spicy cabbage kimuchi in a shoyu-based broth, which gave the broth a slightly reddish hue. A little bit of Korean influence here (that’s why it is called ramen revolution, no?) and good for people who has low tolerance on spicy food. The beef slices could be improved though – I find them to be slightly tough.

For dessert, go for their in-house made Yuzu (ユズ) ice cream (RM3.90 per scoop) or better yet, wash them down with the thick and creamy Green Tea Milk with Yuzu Ice-cream (RM5.90) instead.

Photobucket

Am I revolutionized? You can say partially, as I’m quite impressed with the effort, pricing and quality ingredients the chef put into their dishes. As for the ramen, they aren’t much difference to what the other ramen joints has to offer.

Ikuzo Ramen
No. 52, Jalan SS2/61,
47300 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor.
(Next to McDonald’s SS2)
Tel: 03-7873 3110

FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/IkuzoRamen

This post is linked to: Brought Up 2 Share, My Story and Eat Only Lar!

Sushi Tei – Current and Seasonal Menu (Limited Time Only)

*This is an invited review from Sushi Tei.

Photobucket

*From top left: Takoyaki (octopus balls), tempuras, juicy gyozas and tender, well-seasoned teriyaki chicken.

Sushi Tei opened its first outlet at Tropicana City Mall (TCM) in Malaysia about 2 years ago. Back then, I think Yo! Sushi was still around until Sushi Tei decided to expand its business by taking over Yo! Sushi in Gardens (or so I heard) and Pavilion. Now, they have 3 outlets in Malaysia in just 3 years!

Photobucket

And for a limited period of time till 31st March 2011, Sushi Tei will be having a new Seasonal Menu. We had 4 of the new items and let’s have a look what they have on the menu, shall we?

Photobucket

Appetizer – Deep Fried Shirauo (whitebait). Served lightly salted and not greasy, this snack was rather addictive to munch on while waiting for your main meal to arrive!

Photobucket

A spicy version of sushi, topped with spicy mentaiko. While the others like it, I think the spiciness kind of overwhelmed the taste of the sushi.

Photobucket

Volcano Maki (RM7.80) – got its name from the overflow melted and slightly torched cheese, tobiko and shredded seaweed on top of the maki. The flavour was good, not overwhelmed by the cheese on top but if you’re a small-mouthed person, beware. It’s gonna get messy!

Photobucket

And if there is one item on the seasonal menu you can’t afford to miss, it would be the Tuna Cheek Steak. Juicy, succculent tuna cheek steak grilled to perfection that is not heavy to the palate (even ladies with petite appetite can finish this on their own!). And be reminded, this item is only available for a short period only.

Photobucket

Lastly, Crunchy Tuna Roll (RM18, bottom left) with tuna filled in the centre of the crispy roll. The roll were firmly secured, they did not create a mess when you pick ‘em up with your chopsticks. It was good but I personally feel the filling were a little bit dry.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Other usual dishes we had for the night includes Asama (slices of raw hamachi, salmon and tai, RM23.80) with considerable thickness, Tosa (10 assorted sushis), wakame (seaweed ) salad with their homemade tangy dressing and kani (crabstick) avocado salad.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

And some desserts to end the night. Pino (RM8, original) is the ice cream encased in chocolate shells; Chocolate wafers (RM7.50) are also ice cream but encased in thin wafer biscuit shell and 3 types of Japanese ice cream, the goma (black sesame), yuzu (a type of Japanese citrus fruit) and shio (salt), all RM7 per scoop. The black sesame has a grainy and creamy texture, while yuzu was light and refreshing. The most interesting one would be shio, with a contrast of flavour – sweet with a hint of saltiness.

So, there you go, a repertoire of Japanese dishes you could find at Sushi Tei. Although there are some hit and misses, I would still be happy to drop by again in future to try on their other items, especially when their TCM outlet is so near to my house! :p

Photobucket

Sushi Tei
Lot G-16, Ground Floor,
Tropicana City Mall,
3, Jalan SS20/27,
47400 Petaling Jaya.

Tel: 03-7728 4299
Web: http://www.sushitei.com/

*This post is related to J2kfm and Brought Up To Share.

Shin Chan Ramen, Solaris Mont Kiara

Photobucket

If only Crayon Shin-Chan can cook! Well, we might not have one but we have another Shin Chan who opened this ramen shop in Solaris Mont Kiara. Shin Chan Ramen is the brainchild of Wong Shin Chan and his brother, Tony (now you know where the name came from).

Photobucket

Photobucket

We were quite impressed with the interior design of this shop. The earthy colour palette exudes a dim, cosy and comfortable mood that beckons you to take a shelter from the scorching sun outside (black ceiling, dark colour furniture, dark blue mosaic cashier counter), while glasses and metal grills lend it a contemporary, modern finish. On the other hand, I personally think the menu is confusing – too much item and some of them are redundant (for example, you may find salmon teriyaki at page 8 and then you’ll see it again in page 17 but with different picture). That was most probably the reason which caused us to take a longer time to place our order. And the music – I heard Korean.

Photobucket

After much deliberation (we got some recommendations from the friendly waiter, luckily), I ordered the Sutamina Don (RM15) which came with rice, topped with generous amount of stir-fried lean pork, onions, chives, a little bit of chilli and a raw egg. Usually served as udon (sutamina or stamina udon), but the chef cleverly substitute it with rice instead, made it a more filling meal. When mix everything together, it became very moist and sticky but absolutely delish. The veggie and pork topping was stir-fried to perfection; the pork slices were succulent and tender and the chives does not have the strong, pungent smell as the usual Chinese would use.

Photobucket

A rather normal Katsu Don set (RM22) came with miso soup, salad, rice, white tofu and tangerines. The salad is forgettable (julienned cabbage with Thousand Island dressing) and the tangerines reminds me of Chinese instead of Japanese but I must admit it’s a refreshing change from the usual watermelon. The katsu (chicken, in this case) however, has a slight frozen taste to it.

Photobucket

There are some hit and misses but since we did not have any ramen, I guess I should order that next time for a fairer view. Wouldn’t mind to come here for the Sutamina Don again.

Shin Chan Ramen
19, Jalan Solaris 4,
Solaris Mont Kiara,
50480 KL.

Tel: 03-6203 6998
Fax: 03-6203 6989

While Googling, I found these; NekoHime, Epicurious Girl and Tockism.