Eating Out For Under RM30 features mid-range restaurants where one can eat well within this budget. It’s usually a meal for one – but when we’re lucky, we find places where two or three can eat for that price.
Japanese restaurant Hokkaido Ichiba looks fancy shmancy, but fortunately you don’t have to dig deep into your wallet to have a good meal there. Whether it is rice or noodles, you can still dine within a budget of RM30. Three of us put ourselves to the challenge and had a hale and hearty meal.
Curry Sauce no Omu Rice (Garlic Rice Topped With Omelette And Curry Sauce, RM20) is a rice bowl you may want to try. The garlicky fried rice is wrapped in a velvety, creamy omelette and surrounded by a pool of curry sauce. If you’re familiar with Japanese curry, you will know that it has quite a distinct taste unlike our local curry and is not spicy by our standards.
Our vegetarian friend orders this bowl at every visit. He's a creature of habit, he says, and is a picky eater but does not mind that the rice has no other ingredients.
He also orders inari which is aburaage (deep fried tofu pockets, RM2 per piece) filled with sushi rice all the time. It's a predictable choice, partly because it is the nicest sushi for a vegetarian. Although it is an inexpensive sushi, it is quite delectable with or without wasabi (Japanese horseradish). The rice is moist and soft and the aburaage, slightly sweet.
I chose Ebidon or Fried Prawns on Rice (RM23). It has a chunky serving of tempura prawns tucked under a blanket of eggs and sliced onions (see top image).
I quickly fished out the prawns and set them aside to prevent them from getting too soggy. But much to my dismay, the first prawn I bit into was crispy on one side and somewhat limp on the other due to the heat of the cooked eggs and onions. They're still very fresh and tasty, though, and the portion size is generous.
My son picked Gyuniku Ramen or Shoyu Ramen with Beef (RM22). This bowl of Japanese noodles has sliced beef, seaweed and half an onsen tamago or onsen egg on top. This egg is a traditional Japanese low-temperature egg originally slow cooked in the hot springs (onsen) in Japan.
The springy noodles go well with the superior shoyu broth. The thin beef slices are tender and the egg is soft with a slightly runny yolk. As Shoyu Ramen is a favourite noodle dish of mine, I tried some of his noodles and found the texture really terrific. The broth, I must say, is excellent and full of flavour.
If you’re not eating under the RM30 budget, do try the Teppanyaki Zen or Diced-cut Beef Steak Set (RM45). This set comes with fried rice, diced beef steak, stir-fried vegetables, miso soup, cawanmushi (steamed egg), cut fruits and a side dish that changes. For the beef lover, this set is truly satisfying!
We usually have our meals with a choice of hot or cold ocha (green tea) which is refillable. The service staff is quick, friendly and attentive. The restaurant is quite cosy and has a good ambience for any occasion.
Hokkaido Ichiba Japanese Restaurant
T-201, 3rd Floor, The Gardens Mall
Lingkaran Syed Putra
Mid Valley City
Tel: 012-473 3060
Open daily, 10am-10pm
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