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.
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?