Friday, 15 April 2016

Dontaku Ramen Japanese Restaurant


Ramen. That is one Japanese noodle (besides udon) that I have yet to try. Until last Saturday that is. 

It all started when my brother mentioned ramen. He wanted to know where to eat ramen because not all Japanese restaurants serve ramen. The Japanese restaurant opposite UOB@Uptown serves ramen but only the kosher version. We wanted oinks.

Then I  remembered Dontaku. I always walk past this restaurant on weekends and I did make a mental note to come here one day to sample the ramen. They have pictures of ramen and other dishes displayed on the outer wall and I had been ogling those.

So there we were last Saturday. It was a working day for me. Sigh. But I was cheered up at the prospect of eating ramen for the first time. It was a first for my brother too.

I'm sorry I don't remember the names of all the dishes (even the ramen). I only remember the King Prawn Roll, for reason that I will tell you later.

We ordered a beef dish. As you can see there are 6 small chunks of beef with a mound of beansprouts in the center. There was a generous dollop of mayonnaise on top of the sprouts.


The beef was chewy and the taste was just ordinary. It wasn't well seasoned. And one thing I can tell you is that mayo and beansprouts don't get along. It was really weird. We were disappointed with this one.

Then the much anticipated ramen was served.


A bowl of ramen with slices of pork belly, beansprouts and half an egg in a milky looking broth. We dug in with anticipation. And we were very quiet. The first sip of the broth did not wow me. I was trying to figure out the taste. My brother was doing the same thing.


Then we dug out the ramen. They were generous with the ramen which looked like pale mee kuning. Sorry, I am a bit kampung and that's the best description I can give. I found the noodles a bit soggy. Was it overcooked or is ramen supposed to be like that? 

As we progressed with the ramen, my brother announced that he was beginning to like it. Each mouthful tasted better and better. It was not bad I would say, I am not disliking it and that's for sure.


Maybe it's because this is our first time and we were not used to the soup base. We were wondering if this ramen is authentic. Just because this is a Japanese restaurant, there is no guarantee that this version they are serving is the real deal. Perhaps this is not the right place to eat good ramen.

Half way through, the King Prawn Roll came to the table. It's gorgeous, don't you think?


But where is the prawn? 


Oh there it is. That tiny little bit at the center of the roll. I could hardly taste it. That is why I remember the name. King Prawn Roll. King Prawn indeed. 

We also ordered a handroll with crispy salmon skin. That came first and oops! I forgot to snap a pic and this is all I can show you.

Sudah habistttt.....
But it wasn't much to show anyway because it was quite ordinary and the salmon skin was so puny. My brother commented that the one at Hokano is so much better. I'll agree to that.

The prices here are pretty reasonable, in fact on the low side if you compare with most Japanese restaurants. We were underwhelmed by what we had here but I am not writing off this place as yet. I might come back to sample their set meals before I draw a conclusion.

After the lunch, my brother and I decided to got to Isetan to look-see-look-see the Eat Paradise. Ah! We found Menya Musashi and Gantetsu. We looked at their menu and promised ourselves that we will go to Menya Musashi next week for another ramen experience. A much better one I am sure judging from the rave reviews.

Many of you who are more savy on these things will tell me that we should have gone to Menya Musahi or Gantetsu in the first place. But well, we had to have a baseline first before we can appreciate the finer things, eh?

35 comments:

  1. Finally you ate ramen at last after a long delay. So if that broth didn't wow you, something is not right lah. Nothing is wrong with a chef like you who knows what is good food. If you don't see any Japanese eating there, means the standard is not there yet. How about trying that Wakon Japanese Restaurant @ Uptown where you have to pre-order their ramen broth one day ahead! No kidding! It is GUARANTEED GOOD and I have eaten several times with Nihon folks on other tables.

    Address: Ground Floor, 75, Jalan SS 21/1a, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
    Phone:03-7733 5996
    Hours: Open today · 12–3PM, 6–11:30PM

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    Replies
    1. TM, I really want to slap forehead when I read your comment. I have been walking past this Wakon (and not knowing the name until today) every time I go and pay my phone bills. Now that I hear it from you that it is good, I will go there and check it out!

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  2. I went to the Bankara Ramen at the Avenue K... not my cup of tea... the soup base, I am still not used to it... too oily for my liking.. with the pork and egg, something like the above... I think I stick to the Japanese fried rice.. :) I am too chinesey!

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    Replies
    1. I will try ramen again for a second opinion hah..hah..

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    2. Bankara Ramen has one of the best Tonkotsu soup according to my spouse who loves the porky taste. Bankara is the only ramen specialty shop that serves a thick piece of Kakuni (braised pork) if you order the Tonkotsu Kakuni Ramen with Ni Tamago. The rest of the ramen just have slices of pork and not thick pieces. I guess Claire likes her food to be "ching" clear so that is why she does not like the soup.

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  3. The presentations are very nice!

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  4. 1) I don't think I've encountered bean sprouts with mayo before (so, I'll probably agree with you finding it weird). It would have been better if they served it with shredded raw cabbage.

    2) When I saw the king prawn roll, I asked the same question. They should have just called it Avocado Roll...haha! :D

    3) The hand roll with crispy salmon skin...I see 3 holes! Who ate two? ;)

    4) When I had ramen, I was asked if I wanted the noodles soft, normal or hard. I guess you got the soft version. As for the soft boiled egg, I've not seen a ramen coming with only half as the yolk should be slightly runny when you cut into it. To give you half, it means they have to cut it into two which would mean the yolk won't be runny (otherwise they can't do that).

    Don't be discouraged, my dear, with a bad bowl of ramen. Try some others. I wasn't a fan of ramen myself until I ate a bowl of Ippudo ramen :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. It was incredibly weird hah..hah.. in fact horrible :(

      2. I agree, there is hardly any prawn to speak of :(

      3. We ordered only two but it came in this 3-hole thingy :D

      4. I was disappointed that we got only half an egg and the yolk was not runny. In fact it looked cacat :(

      Yup, I went back to your blog to search if you have had ramen after my Dontaku experience:) And I did note that you changed your mind after having the ramen at Ippudo.

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  5. Pity it was so disappointing!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, but I am still determined to try ramen again but at other place.

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  6. These things served in a claypot tend to get nicer and nicer as you eat, must be the residual heat.

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    Replies
    1. Oh really? I didn't know about that :)

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  7. Until now I have not acquired a taste for Japanese food. The King Prawn roll looks pretty.

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    Replies
    1. That's OK because there are many people who are not fans. My dad is one of them LOL!

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  8. I agree with you.. The beef+sprouts+mayo macam weird combo.. I love mayo, and trust me, I eat mayo with everything - fried rice, white rice, economy noodles, goreng-goreng stuffs, BUT mayo with the sprouts and watery-gravy beef, hmm, a bit weird hor..And I can see it's normal white mayo, not the Japanese mayo (Kewpie)..

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    Replies
    1. Memang weird. When I ate it, I rasa geli.

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  9. I agree with you that the mayo do not go well with beansprouts..I wonder what is the green slice thing on the king prawn rolls...

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  10. When I saw the big photo, I thought that was an avocado roll instead of the king prawn roll. You must try all the specialty ramen shops before making a conclusion whether or not you like ramen and bear in mind there are different soup bases for you to choose from too so you need to make a few visit to Ippudo, Menya M, Bankara and etc before deciding.

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    Replies
    1. It should have been named Avocado Roll instead :) Don't worry, I intend to try ramen more times before drawing a conclusion.

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  11. Look at those taugeh being so out of place. The Japanese do use taugeh, but only in the soup. The beef should come with shredded daikon instead of taugeh >.< . If they cannot get this basic thing right, I won't be surprised they also messed up the soup. I'm afraid you went to a conman Japanese restaurant, you should try a few more to make your verdict.

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    1. I agree with you. This is likely those run of the mill restaurants where you get Japanese food wannabes.

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  12. Aww... I miss ramen since that one restaurant near my place closed down .

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  13. I prefer udon than ramen... Anyway rice is still my top choice la. I am a 'fan tong' :p
    I love sushi like this, avocado tastes so much yummier with sushi!

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    1. I haven't tried udon. It looks like laksa noodles to me hee..hee...

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  14. You should try those Japanese Ramen specialist restaurant to get a more "authentic" (maybe not as authentic as Japan I guess)version of ramen :P But I'm the one who don't want to splurge so much on a bowl of ramen LOL

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I will be trying sometime soon and hopefully I can report that I enjoy ramen :)

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  15. As I am a rice person, so ramen doesn't really appeal to me. Yes, quite true, bean sprouts and mayo don't match with beef, sounds and looks funny to me

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    Replies
    1. I'm a rice person too but now cannot eat often because it makes me fat :(

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  16. The King Prawn Rolls look really gorgeous in the photo

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