Ramen and other Japanese delights


Yokubari Maki has generous slices of Wagyu beef and fresh sea urchin.

WHENEVER I crave for ramen, one restaurant comes to mind – Ippudo – because the broth and noodles there are the closest to the ones I enjoyed in Japan.

I am a fan of the restaurant’s spicy dishes, especially the Karakamen, where you can choose your preferred level of spiciness.

Ippudo has branches in Bangsar Shopping Centre, The Gardens Mall and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, its country manager Lukas Law showed us the drinks menu and we noticed some interesting beverages, besides the usual green tea. “This is new, it is our first time serving cocktails,” he said.

There are interesting combinations comprising four cocktails; Mango Tango, Iichiko Passion, White Shake and Yuzu Mojito, while the mocktails consist of Lemon Mint Soda, Pomegranate Sunrise and Mango Bellini.

Mango Tango, a blend of Japanese whisky, passion fruit, mango and lemon juice.
Mango Tango, a blend of Japanese whisky, passion fruit, mango and lemon juice.
 
The mango concoction was a preferred choice, which had a mix of Japanese whisky, passion fruit, mango and lemon.

The Bangsar branch has an outdoor dining area complete with a bar to serve special Japanese liquor.
 
Gindara Saikyo Miso Yaki


“It’s a bit different here, especially when diners opt to chill out and spend more time entertaining instead of just having a bowl of ramen,” said Law, adding that the non-halal restaurant served sharing platters for small eaters or those who simply want a nibble.

We started with the Pork Rillette accompanied with slices of garlic toasted baguettes.

The small serving of pork pate was topped with a sweet thickened layer of Porto wine, somewhat like a fruit-based jam, which provided a hint of sweetness to the pork.

(Above) The Kogashi Miso Ramen has a rich and smoky flavour. Premium ingredients are used to make Zeitaku Maki (right).
The Kogashi Miso Ramen has a rich and smoky flavour. 

For the pork ribs, instead of being grilled, the chef marinated the meat with a secret sauce before deep-frying it. The meat was tender and fell off the bone effortlessly.

Our dinner continued with the Pork Loin Steak, Zeitaku Maki and Yokubari Maki.

All three dishes are favourites from its sister restaurant, Gogyo in Hong Kong.

Pork Loin Steak

Both the sushi dishes are pricey as they are packed with premium ingredients.

Priced at RM98, the Zeitaku Maki has freshly minced tuna belly, amaebi (sweet shrimp), uni (sea urchin) and ikura (salmon roe) together with Japanese yellow radish, avocado and cucumber.

The Yokubari Maki has Japanese yellow radish hidden with avocado and cucumber below a generous slice of Wagyu beef topped with fresh sea urchin for RM118.

Premium ingredients are used to make Zeitaku Maki.
Premium ingredients are used to make Zeitaku Maki.

Another crowd-pleaser was the Gindara Saikyo Miso Yaki. It is grilled cod marinated with Saikyo miso served with bacon bits and citrus dashi broth, eggplant and maitake mushrooms.

We ended the night by sharing a bowl of Gogyo’s famous burned ramen aptly named Kogashi Miso Ramen (RM35).

“It’s really quite a scene if you see how we prepare this dish but being in a shopping mall, we have to tone down the heat as a safety requirement,” said Law.

 

For starters you can try the Pork Rillette which comes with a small serving of pork pate and slices of garlic toasted bread.

He said the miso broth was prepared by firing up the wok to 300 degrees with lard to produce a bowl of rich, smoky flavour for the soup.

The combination with a sweet aftertaste went well with the pork belly, salted soft boiled egg, narutomaki, cabbage and seaweed, which were nestled in the bowl.

The new menu will be available at Ippudo’s branch in Bangsar Shopping Centre next month.

IPPUDO, G110 & GK11, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof, Kuala Lumpur. Business hours: 11am to 11pm, daily. (Tel: 03-2011 6238).

This is the writer's personal observation and not an endorsement by Star Metro.

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Metro , Central Region , IPPUDO , JAPANESE , SUSHI , RAMEN

   

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