15 Jul, 2012
Posted by: Wen Ching In: Japanese Food
Malaysians around the Klang Valley would have probably noticed the influx of ramen establishments by now. Some are good and some not so much, but the one thing they have in common is the price range of their ramen. On average, a bowl of ramen at most establishments cost RM25 and above. Thus, we were delighted when we were invited by Debbie and Andy to sample the food at Ikuzo Ramen – an establishment with a revolution in mind, conveniently located in SS2 in Petaling Jaya (more or less beside McDonald’s).
Ikuzo Ramen aims to bring about a ramen revolution and this is evident in its splendid and creative décor. We were told that Ikuzo Ramen’s dream is to bring high quality yet affordable ramen to all the people. Indeed, we were pleased to discover at first glance of their menu that all the ramen prices range from RM5.90 to RM10.90.
Ikuzo Ramen makes everything themselves using only the freshest of ingredients and with no added MSG. The soup is made from long hours of boiling pork and chicken bones and the noodles are made using rye flour which is nutritious and high in fibre.
Ikuzo Ramen has a number of unique drinks on its menu which we were eager to try. We ordered the Ginger Green Tea with Yuzu Ice-cream, priced at RM5.90. Perfect for fans of ginger, this drink was made with real blended ginger and had a strong ginger taste. The sweet Yuzu ice-cream balanced out this drink once mixed and it proved to be very enjoyable and refreshing!
Other drinks that we tried were the Green Tea Milk with Yuzu Ice-cream and the Root Beer Vanilla Float, both priced at RM5.90. The Green Tea Milk was excellent and had a strong matcha taste to it which was complemented nicely by the mild milk it was mixed with. Like the Ginger Green Tea, the Yuzu ice-cream balanced out this float nicely and we found it to be the best drink of the day! Special mention goes out to the Green Tea Milk on its own without the Yuzu ice-cream as well, which was still a very enjoyable experience.
One of our appetisers for the day was the Wafu Kyuri Salad (和风青瓜沙拉), priced at RM2. This was a serving of sliced cucumber with a Japanese vinaigrette dressing. It was very appetising indeed as the Wafu dressing provided a nice mildly sour tinge to the fresh cucumber.
Though not on the menu yet, we were served with other sliced vegetables to go along with a variety of sauces. Starting with the darkest one on the left and making our way clockwise, we had: Seaweed , Teriyaki, Wafu dressing, Sesame & peanut butter and Umejizo (plum). We really enjoyed the Seaweed sauce as it was thick with a strong seaweed flavour.
Next up is the Gyoza (饺子), priced at RM4.50 for 5 pieces. These Japanese dumplings were generously stuffed with minced chicken on the inside and were very delicious on its own. A good way to enhance the flavour of the gyoza would be to mix the some chilli oil and ponzu sauce in a plate and use this as a dipping sauce for the gyoza. Doing this made us fans of Ikuzo Ramen’s gyoza!
We also tried the Harumaki (pork spring rolls). A serving of 2 rolls were priced at RM3.90. While it doesn’t look like much, these spring rolls had a crispy outer layer when bitten into and were stuffed with pork and mushrooms on the inside. We found this dish to be really good and it was hard to stop ourselves from consuming all of it!
The last of our appetisers that day was the Okonomiyaki (日式烧饼), priced at RM4.50. The Okonomoyaki was topped with mayonnaise, okonomiyaki sauce, bonito flakes and pickled ginger which gave it a good authentic taste. These Japanese pancakes were a little too thick for our liking as we are used to thinner versions, but some may still enjoy it nonetheless!
To start off our ‘ramen revolution’, we had the Cha-Shu Ramen (叉烧拉面) priced at RM8.90. Served with 5 pieces of pork in a shoyu-based soup, this bowl of ramen had a very light flavour to it. It was not imposing on the tastebuds and was a good way to kick start our impression of Ikuzo Ramen’s ramen! One could choose two different types of noodles when ordering – thick or thin. The thin noodles are like normal ramen noodles whereas the thick noodles have a harder texture. We recommend having the thin noodles to go with this bowl of soup as the light flavour of the soup might go unnoticed with the denser thick noodles.
We also tried the Tokyo Ramen (东京拉面). Priced at RM7.90, this was similar to the Cha-Shu Ramen above, except with less pork but with additional accompaniments such as bamboo shoots, spinach and egg. The soup remained the same, and it was the same pleasing experience as the Cha-Shu Ramen.
The Hokkaido Ramen (北海道味噌拉面) pictured above is a shift away from the Shoyu-based soup of the previous two ramens. Priced at RM8.50, this bowl of ramen was served with a miso-based soup alongside 2 pieces of pork, bamboo shoots, spinach, bean sprouts and sweet corn. The Hokkaido Ramen had a stronger taste as compared to the Cha-Shu and Tokyo Ramen. One of us found the Hokkaido Ramen to be more appetising that the other two so far!
Arguably the best bowl of ramen on that day was the Yakiniku Ramen (牛肉拉面), priced at RM8.50. This bowl of ramen was served with marinated and grilled beef slices with cabbage kimuchi in a shoyu-based soup. Due to the flavour of the beef and the cabbage kimuchi, the soup was slightly sweet yet it had a spicy tinge at the same time. This was definitely the bowl of ramen for those who eat beef!
Moving on to spicier options, the Curry Tan Tan Ramen was priced at RM6.90. This spicy ramen dish was made with mala spices and minced chicken. With no complicated accompaniments with it, it was simplicity at its best. This bowl of spicy soup was satisfying and definitely one of our favourites. Don’t worry though, it’s not actually spicy, but it has enough of a kick to stir up the tastebuds!
Our last bowl of ramen for the day was the Curry Ramen, priced at RM7.90. Served with breaded pork fillets in a curry soup, think of it as a milder version of the Curry Tan Tan Ramen. The soup here was not spicy due to the absence of the mala spices, but it was still savoury and delectable in its own way. The stronger flavour of the soup here made it suitable for the thick noodles that Ikuzo Ramen has to offer.
Dessert after a very fulfilling meal that day was a scoop of Yuzu Ice Cream. Priced at RM3.90 per scoop, it was drizzled with a caramel sauce on top. The ice-cream was not overly sweet and was a perfect way to round up our meal!
As a whole, Ikuzo Ramen stays true to its philosophy of providing high quality yet affordable ramen to the people. We found the pricing of each bowl of ramen to be more than reasonable and the taste of the ramen cannot be faulted. Therefore, we shall look forward to Ikuzo Ramen’s revolution led by its cute mascots above!
Many thanks again to Debbie and Andy for having us that day! We will definitely return for more affordable and tasty ramen. For more information, do check out their Facebook page!
No. 52, Jalan SS2/61
47300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03 – 7873 3110