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Tag / ramen

Hidden within Fahrenheit 88, also known as the re-branded KL Plaza, is a little Japanese ramen restaurant that has it’s origin in Singapore.

The island republic does not usually have the upper hand when it comes to food, but Japanese ramen is one of the rare exceptions. Here in Malaysia we have been stuck with trying to make ramen halal for way too long while our neighbor kept it real and true to the origin – with pork, like how ramen should be.

Marutama Ramen is located on first floor of Fahrenheit 88 (old KL Plaza)
Marutama Ramen is located on first floor of Fahrenheit 88 (old KL Plaza)

Local eateries have since realize what diners really want and it is good to see that there are a lot of ramen places that serves the dish with the right ingredients.

Marutama was introduced to me by Timothy, who got to know the place from his girlfriend Audrey, who in turn got the recommendation from Ringo. The two of them must be the most “Japanese” lookalike and act alike Malaysian in the country, so if they say it is good, it must be good.

chasiu ramen, I love it with plenty of fried garlic
chasiu ramen, I love it with plenty of fried garlic

I always measure a ramen place by its most essential dish – the good old chasiu ramen.

Marutama’s version is unpretentious, four slices of chasiu (not to be confused with BBQ pork, the Japanese version is slices of rolled pork shoulder), 3/4 boiled egg, seaweed, spring onion, and ramen noodle in pork chicken broth.

check out the glorious 3/4 boiled egg
check out the glorious 3/4 boiled egg

The broth at Marutama is one of the thickest and most flavorful I’ve had from anywhere, very savory and absolutely brilliant. They also have the egg boiled just right, and the chasiu were fatty and tender like they should.

Best of all, there’s free flow deep fried sliced garlic on the side to be added to your ramen.

I went with timothy and david on separate occasions
I went with timothy and david on separate occasions

Other than ramen, they also serve some side dishes like grilled pork belly, fried rice, gyoza and so forth. Their gyoza was just alright, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to try their fried rice (it was quite lousy). Stick to the ramen and you’ll have a wonderful experience at Marutama.

Prices are around RM 20 including taxes. Another good pork ramen place nearby is Ton Chan at Wisma Cosway.

map to Fahrenheit 88, KL

Marutama Ramen
Fahrenheit 88
Lot Flr. 27.01, 1st floor
Buking Bintang, KL
GPS: 3.14748, 101.71283
Tel: 03–2141 1573

I’ve been working at the proximity of Bukit Bintang for over half a year now, and I gotta say that compared to KLCC, this place has so much more lunch options. One of my relatively recent discovery is this little Japanese ramen shop on the first floor at Wisma CoswayTon Chan.

Ton Chan at Wisma Cosway
Ton Chan at Wisma Cosway

The interior decoration is not unlike other simple Japanese outfit, with plenty of lanterns and empty sake bottles. I spotted a few Japanese dining within, and that was when I decided that this is probably a place worth visiting.

Chasiu ramen with glistering pork & 3/4 boiled egg
Chasiu ramen with glistering pork & 3/4 boiled egg

On my first visit I ordered the Chasiu Ramen (RM 15), since it’s supposed to be a ramen restaurant, they should serve good chasiu ramen, the original stuff.

And what came was a bowl of ramen with five pieces of chasiu that stared at me so seductively it could make a grown man cry. Half of a perfectly 3/4 boiled egg, plenty of green onion, home made ramen, and their light but tasty soup made up the rest of the dish. It was a bowl of good ramen that ensured my return to this restaurant.

rice with pork, rice with chicken & egg, ramen
rice with pork, rice with chicken & egg, ramen

On my second visit with a few colleagues, I tried their braised pork with rice. Served with the same half an egg and a side of soup, the braised pork were seriously one of the bests I’ve had. It was fat, succulent, and super savory. I’m gonna have trouble choosing between this and the ramen.

My colleagues tried ramen and liked it, another ordered oyakodon (rice with chicken and egg) and gave good reviews to them too.

map to wisma cosway

A meal at Ton Chan typically costs somewhere around RM 15-25, but you do get real Japanese food that are different from your typical sushi/sashimi shops.

Give it a try if you’re at the area.

Ramen Ton Chan
Lot 1.18-1.21, 1st Floor
Wisma Cosway
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50540 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.150875, 101.711812
Tel: 03-2148 9389

Non-halal Japanese Ramen used to be a bit of a novelty in this country. For a long time, Wisma Central’s Tenka Daiichi and Ton Chan at Wisma Cosway were two of the few places that serves it.

Mai Ramen at Jaya One
Mai Ramen at Jaya One

But with the seemingly rapid maturity that Japanese cuisine enjoys in this country over the last decade or so, I’m glad that there are now more ramen shops that don’t feel like they have to make compromises to capture a wider demographic.

Mai Ramen is one of such places, a relatively new comer to the scene that serves ramen as intended – with pork!

chasiu ramen, always my go-to ramen of choice
chasiu ramen, always my go-to ramen of choice

I ordered basically the measuring stick of any ramen place – chasiu ramen. If you ask for a set, it comes with 3 pretty tasty gyoza, a somewhat forgettable salad, and some interesting salty+spicy vegetable on the side that goes pretty well with the ramen.

As for the bowl of ramen itself, it was certainly not a disappointment. The broth was pretty thick and flavorful, the noodle palatable, and the chasiu were commendable too. It was actually, quite good.

I think we might have over ordered..
I think we might have over ordered..

Yuki had ramen that comes with unagi. The unagi sauce certainly made the eel tasted as good as any. The 3/4 boil egg in the ramen too were perfectly done. Good stuff.

The yakitori (grilled stuff) at Mai Ramen, on the other hand, were a pretty disappointing affair. They somehow tasted a little old and you don’t get the flavor and punch you’d expect from good yakitori such as those you can get from the excellent Sumi Ka or Hyotan at SS15.

Horng, Yuki, Kerol
Horng, Yuki, Kerol at Mai Ramen

A dinner at Mai Ramen would come to about RM 20-30 inclusive of drinks. The best ramen I’ve had in the region is still Santouka in Singapore, but Mai Ramen is certainly not a place to be dismissed if you’ve got that pork ramen craving coming. Now I just wish they don’t take nearly as long to serve…

map to Jaya One

Mai Ramen
D-13-G, Block D
Jaya One,
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti,
Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.117537, 101.635680
Tel: 03-7957-6689

SS15 in Subang is seriously shaping up as the premier one stop center for Japanese food. Years ago, there was Rakuzen, and now, the number of restaurants at this little area has blossomed to double digit. One of the latest installment being Yamada.

Having blogged about Rakuzen, Hyotan, Jyu Raku, and Sumi Ka, I guess it make sense to pay a visit to Yamada as well.

Yamada Japanese restuarant at Subang SS15
Yamada Japanese restuarant at Subang SS15

Yamada is located right across the road from SJMC, just a few doors down from Jyu Raku and Rakuzen. Whenever a restaurant opens among the more established and still able to attract customers, you know they must be at least decent.

The crowd at weekend night when we were there mainly consists of Japanese expats, and the chef himself is an old Japanese guy, that’s always a good start.

Yamada Bento
Yamada Bento – fried chicken, sashimi, tempura, unagi, and more

I went for Yamada Bento (RM 60) that came with quite a lot of stuff, chicken karaage (fried chicken), tempura, sashimi, unagi, potato salad, saba, and miso soup.

The sashimi tasted pretty awesome, with hotate (scallop), salmon, surf clam, yellow tail, and one of the better cuts of tuna. Chicken was pretty good if not slightly oily. I don’t have any negative feedbacks for the tempura, unagi, or potato salad, but I thought the saba (i think it was saba fish) was a little over cooked to be honest.

potato salad, california handroll, saba, torikara bento
potato salad, california handroll, saba, torikara bento

Haze ordered a serving of potato salad (RM 12), a california handroll (RM 8), and the saba, torikara bento (RM 48). That was of course, a bit too much food. The bento came with saba that tasted nicer than mine, the same chicken, and a bowl of ramen that I thought tasted rather good. Instead of avocado, the california roll curiously had mango in it, a little strange but it worked.

map to Yamada Japanese restaurant

Compared to some the competitors, the price at Yamada seems a bit steeper. As for food wise, the quality is there but I didn’t think it was always spot on. Next time I’m gonna spy on the Japanese customers to see what they order. I suspect most of their raw stuff must be very good, as I can attest with the serving of sashimi in my bento.

There’re still a handful of Japanese restaurants at the area I haven’t been too, next time then!

Yamada Japanese Restaurant
No. 5, Jalan SS15/5A,
47500 Subang Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan

GPS: 3.078895, 101.592711
Tel: 03-5635-2574

Tucked at the corner on the ground floor of Wisma Central is a little hidden Japanese ramen shop that even many white colar guys around the area is oblivious to. I didn’t realize the existence of Tenka Daiichi Ramen for the first couple years I was working at KLCC myself.

tenka daiichi japanese ramen
Tenka Daiichi Ramen at Wisma Central, Jalan Ampang

Despite its hidden location, business seems to be pretty brisk whenever I went there. The restaurant is operated by a middle age uncle and the chef looks to be his Japanese wife. This is of course, purely my own interpretation via observation.

Lunch and dinner menu differs, with more choices over lunch and only 5 combination dishes served at night. However, there seems to be a separate menu in Japanese that might offer other choices, or that could be just a sake menu. The clientele at Tenka Daiichi Ramen for dinner consists of almost entirely Japanese expats.

japanese ramen with charsiu
Ramen with char siu

I almost never failed to order their char siu ramen whenever I’m there. A couple pieces of glistering rolled pork shoulder (not roasted like Chinese style though) swimming in the subtle but sweet tasting soup and that soft but firm noodle. You can also order them with a side of gyoza too.

Other items they serve include cold tofu, pork patty, grilled fish, and a few different types of ramen. Expect to spend around RM 10 for lunch and perhaps over RM 20 for dinner here.

Tenka Daiichi Ramen (behind 7-11)
Wisma Central, Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur

3.158728, 101.714473