PETALING JAYA, Feb 22 – When it comes to ramen, everyone has their own individual preferences, hence there’s no best ramen. In fact, it’s very much like the phrase, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.
I tried Ramen Hitoyoshi some time back and I enjoyed it. However I was mindful whether it was due to my personal preference for a lighter broth.
So I tested the waters by recommending it to two friends. Both of them visited and came back to say they loved it.
Ramen Hitoyoshi traces its roots to Singapore. The founders are said to have garnered their skills from the Keisuke Ramen chain that originates from Japan.
The restaurant is located at the first floor of The Starling Mall
In Malaysia, they have an outlet at Johor Baru and this latest spot opened late last year at The Starling Mall.
The space offers ample seating during peak hours
Adorable drawings showing scenes of Japanese day to day activities decorate the walls
The menu features tonkotsu broth with various flavours like the original broth, laced with garlic oil or a spicy version. There’s only one shoyu ramen available. If you prefer rice versus noodles, there’s a selection of rice bowls with toppings such as unagi, salmon, chashu and more to tuck into.
You can also order side dishes like gyoza, ebi fry or edamame to snack on.
Here, the broth, texture and thickness of noodles can be customised to your preference. Select from light, normal or strong. Just bear in mind, as you move up the flavour chart, it tends to be saltier.
For the pork topping, there’s their chashu, aburi belly chashu and a special chashu that is rolled. If you prefer thin sliced pork, there’s buta shogayaki with ramen or even a rice bowl.
My personal preference is the original tonkotsu broth which I tune to a lighter taste with less oil. Since I prefer more meat versus noodles, I pair this with their special chashu which is essentially rolled up pork belly.
Here you get a satisfying bite with the rolls of tender, juicy meat and fat. The slices are also torched for a caramelised surface.
Watch how they prepare your ramen through the glass windows
That bowl is so incredibly substantial at RM37.80 that it is served only with black fungus and spring onions. If I am feeling indulgent, I like adding their ajitsuke tamago for RM3.50 as the eggs are so well prepared.
You get a hit of soy sauce and a beautiful jammy yolk in the centre. What I liked was how the eggs were consistent each time I visited them.
The tonkotsu broth is light with less salt but still creamy and flavourful, which meant I could happily slurp it down.
You may still need to balance out the saltiness after taste with some hot green tea though depending on how sensitive your tastebuds are.
For a stronger taste, go for the garlic ‘tonkotsu’ broth that is laced with garlic oil
On another visit, I tried the garlic version which is said to have a stronger taste. The base is still tonkotsu broth but they add a black garlic oil on top to give it a mild garlic flavour.
It’s a nice balance that doesn’t overpower your tastebuds. If you order the bowl with all toppings for RM34.80, you get those runny yolk eggs, tender chashu slices and thin pork slices. The chashu taste can be quite mild though compared to the special chashu.
You can get free flow marinated bean sprouts and crushed sesame seeds to add to your ramen for extra flavour
While you wait for your ramen to be cooked, help yourself to the marinated bean sprouts in a small pot. This can be a tasty appetiser or you can even add it to the bowl of ramen, if you prefer a stronger taste. In Singapore, the ramen chain gives corn niblets too but that’s not available here.
The gyoza has a juicy pork filling with a little broth to make it a tasty bite
For the side dishes, their pan fried gyoza is my top pick as the pork filling is juicy with a little broth that enhances the taste of the dumplings. It’s RM12.90 for five pieces or RM21.90 for 10. The tori karaage (RM12.90) is also good with a nice crunch and juicy meat.
‘Tori karaage’ is good with a crunchy texture and juicy meat
Ramen Hitoyoshi, F-128, Level 1, The Starling Mall, 6, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya. Open: 11.30am to 10pm. Tel:03-77333024. Facebook: @RamenHitoyoshi.MY
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