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Review: Ramen Kanbe Restaurant, Empire Damansara

>> Thursday, April 2, 2015

Overall comment: The ramen broth was actually very tasty & unique. Even AP who doesn't eat much ramen loved the ramen here & I have to say that their gyoza (non-vegetarian as confirmed by the business manager 5 minutes ago) tasted really good! Seems like PerutBesi didn't fail in picking out ingredients from the gyoza after all :P
Halal: No

I've never been to Empire Damansara & wasn't even aware of its existence! Well, you can't really blame me since I live at the other end of the city & rarely come over to this area since it's quite a distance + the main road towards this building is usually congested at most times of the day.

But as I was invited by Fujiwara-san to review the food at Ramen Kanbe, I was more than delighted to try out something new outside my radar. I certainly had NO regrets!

Ramen Kanbe opened its 1st ever outlet in the world, here at Empire Damansara. This year itself, the plan was to expand the business to various parts of Asia including possible countries like Indonesia, Thailand & even Myanmar! You may wonder why the management of Ramen Kanbe is moving into such markets, but hey, when there's less exposure towards authentic Japanese ramen, that's where Ramen Kanbe can be the pioneer in such places :) Good stuff.

At Empire Damansara, you can just park at Car Park #1 & head up to G floor to the restaurant, that's located within the Heritage Lane. The restaurant faces the road outside, so it's behind the row of shops on the Heritage Lane.

The restaurant is spacious, clean, & smells of delicious gyoza/chicken karaage :P I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there were quite a number of groups walking into the restaurant during lunch hour despite it being hidden behind the main row of shops at the Heritage Lane. I must say that when it comes to good food, no matter how hidden you are, people will still find their way to you!

Chef-on-training from Indonesia
In time to come, Jakarta may get to taste Ramen Kanbe!

You may wonder what's so special with their ramen. The star is actually the Kobe-style soy sauce, custom made to pair with their freshly-made-each-day ramen. The noodles are firm, slightly chewy, & very smooth. It's similar to "pan mee" (yay to pan mee fans like yours truly!!), but firmer. I loved it! 

Lemon tea (RM5.00/glass) & Japanese Green Tea (RM3.00/glass)
Although the price of drinks are slightly more expensive than the usual, I have to say that their lemon tea is really refreshing & different. It's not your generic lemon tea from the dispenser, for sure, but one that's made in-house :)

Ramen Kanbe is proud to introduce their set lunches (and dinners - it's not stated on the menu, but it's applicable for both lunch & dinner). Authentic ramen sold anywhere else costs around RM25.00-RM30.00/bowl, so these set lunches are actually quite a deal! For larger sets like sets C, I think that 2 not-so-hungry eaters can actually share the meal :D In fact, that's what AP & I did...heehee...

Charsiu Ramen (RM21.00/bowl)
We ordered this best-seller ramen & it was GOOD! The soup is made from vegetable & chicken broth, cooked for 7 hours to achieve a full-bodied soup. It is savory, slightly sourish (like a hint of black vinegar) & somewhat rich yet clear. You have to eat the smooth noodles with the crunchy beansprouts, black fungus & meaty charsiu. Ah...I want a hot bowl of this ramen now!

The soup isn't the usual shoyu based nor is it the miso based soup. I prefer this style, actually.

Simple, straight forward menu - I like!

During lunch hour, they also have a 'fast-to-cook-good-to-eat" pork rice. The portion is generous & the taste is oh-so-fragrant! If you love garlic & onions with pork, this is a dish for you. It's a very simple dish, but like what I told AP, "It's a guy's dish! So much rice, pork, onions & garlic!"

I was so stuffed...so much rice...

Other types of rice & side orders

Chicken Karaage (RM10.00/serving)
It's a larger bite size of really aromatic deep-fried boneless chicken thigh. The chicken is well marinated in their house blend sauce & spices (there's definitely garlic!) & it goes well with a bottle of cold beer :D

Look! Beer promotion to go with your snacks!

Gyoza (RM10.00/serving)
Okay, it's not meatless as what I was told. The business manager just informed me that it contains meat. I thought it's such skill to make vegetarian gyoza taste like a meat gyoza...hahaha...There are chopped cabbage, spring onions, ginger & meat (pork)! The gyoza went well with their house-blend dip of soy sauce + black vinegar. Slightly crispy on the outside, soft & moist on the inside. Yums!

If you're a CIMB card owner, you could get a 10% discount as well!

Or even RM2.00 discount for the Based Ramen if you like their Facebook page

If you're working/staying nearby or even feeling adventurous, do give Ramen Kanbe a try. I liked it, so I hope you will too!

Ramen Kanbe Restaurant
G28, Block Empire Retail, Empire Damansara
No.2, Jalan PJU 8
47820, Petaling Jaya
Tel: (+6016) 202-5812
Business hours: Daily 11:30a.m. - 10:00p.m.

Presentation: * * * *
Price: * * *
Environment: * * *
Taste: * * * 1/2
Service: * * *


Ramen Kanbe - a hidden gem!


Review: Moo Kata Thai BBQ & Steamboat

Overall comment: Really worth the price paid! The variety is extensive & you get to eat all you can for just RM38.00 :D Great place to dine in groups.
Halal: No

This is a good deal for hungry diners who just want to eat everything bbq, grilled or cooked in soup (steamboat). For just RM38.00 (not sure if there will be GST...hehe), you'll get to enjoy more than 100 variety of meats, vegetables & cooked dishes 'til you're satisfied! Seriously, even I can't finish trying everything.

The layout & ambiance of this steamboat & bbq house is very simple. Located at the Kuchai Lama Food Court area, it's easily accessible from various highways & there's ample parking as well.

I would suggest that you don't come here alone, but with at least 1 more person so that you can enjoy different styles of cooking your meats. Each diner will get to select 1 type of stove i.e. the charcoal grill, charcoal hot pan or charcoal steamboat pot with pork bone soup.

Steamboat pot with rich, flavorful pork bone soup

Ingredients to go into the soup 

Our grill! They even have the "sa jui" fish :D
The meats are actually very well marinated, plus, they're fresh too!

You can even bbq your crabs on the grill!

Or stir-fry your mushrooms on the hot pan

I find this place a good venue for gathering of friends & family members. You get to enjoy some well-marinated meats, indulge in all the food you can take in & spend some decent time catching up with family & friends while waiting for your food to cook. For those who are hungry, you won't need to worry as there are cooked dishes at the buffet spread to keep your tummy feeling warm & fuzzy while you wait.

These go well in soup & even on the hot pan

You'll find chicken, beef, lamb, pork & even intestines for the grill

These go well on the hot pan 

Apart from the various types of meats, you'll find quite a variety of seafood as well. Just check out the types of shellfish offered at this place!

There's "yong tau foo" too 

All sorts of fish balls & seafood 

There are noodles, vegetables, beancurds & eggs as well

Here at Moo Kata Steamboat & BBQ House, you're spoilt for choice with their variety of homemade sauces. Being a "Thai-inspired" eatery, you'll find loads of spicy chili dips, ranging from mild to extremely spicy!

Types of sauces 

Last but not least, they also have some fruits & dessert, of which their Durian Float is worthy to have its own introduction! This cold, crumbly, sweet & fragrant D24 frozen durian treat is specially prepared by the owner's wife. In my opinion, it's best to leave it defrosting a while before biting into the pastry-like treat.

They have ice creams too ;)

If you're still thinking where to eat for dinner tomorrow, Moo Kata Steamboat & BBQ House could be option :D I'll recommend their rich & flavorful pork bone soup (which you can add their home-made tom yam paste to the soup if you prefer your soup to be spicy & Thai) & their hot pan for delicious & quick eats.

Blogging about it now actually makes me feel like eating there tomorrow...hmmm...:D

Moo Kata Steamboat & BBQ House
Lot 31208, Jalan Awan Makmur
(Kuchai Lama Food Court)
58200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: (+6011) 3336 1105
Business hours: Daily 5:30p.m. - 1:00a.m.

Presentation: * * *
Price: * * * 1/2
Environment: * * * 
Taste: * * * 1/2
Service: * * * 1/2


Love the variety of meats to bbq!


Review: Yoshinoya, Hanamaru Udon & Azuki Cafe

>> Friday, March 27, 2015

Overall comment: Fast, most dishes taste above average - good & the udons/rice are quite pocket-friendly.
Halal: Pork-free

Shoppers & those working around Mid Valley Megamall in KL will have even more food options now that 3 restaurants/food outlets have opened! I was quite delighted to find an extensive variety at Yoshinoya, Hanamaru Udon & Azuki Cafe as they offer all Malaysians a quick, delicious & pocket-friendly meal throughout the day. Located at the top floor of Mid Valley Megamall (centre court), these 3 restaurants are easily spotted from afar.

Azuki Cafe offers tea, coffee, smoothies & soft drinks from RM1.50 - RM10.00/cup.

We tried 2 of their more popular drinks i.e. Mix Juice - Osaka Taste (RM10.00/cup) & the Yuzu Soda (RM4.00/cup). The mix fruit smoothie had bananas, mangoes & peaches, so it was actually quite yummy :) The yuzu soda was quite fragrant as well; it gave the simple soda a taste-lift with its zesty, fruity taste.

Hanamaru Udon offers more than just udon! Udon being their main meal plus loads of other snacks for sides.

A variety of smooth, chewy udon meals from RM7.00/bowl - RM14.00/bowl (2 sizes available i.e. small & large).

There are at least 20 different types of snacks available, starting from RM3.00 - RM6.00/piece. You'll definitely be spoilt for choice!

Sushi & Onigiri (small variety just as light bites) 

Boiled/Soupy Sides

Workers preparing the udon dishes

For this pre-launch event, I sat together with some bloggers so that we could try a larger variety of dishes available :D Just look at Round 1 of our meal! Woohoo!

Here are some of the dishes that we tried ;) 

These are like our steamboat/lok-lok snacks - fish/squid balls on a stick! The long one actually didn't look very appetizing, but it's alike the small squid rolls that you get from the supermarket. Nothing very fanciful.

Inari Sushi (RM3.00/piece) & Salmon Onigiri (RM4.00/piece)
I didn't get to eat these but according to those who tasted it, they weren't very satisfied with these snacks. Perhaps we should just stick to the udons here, eh?

Chicken Karaage (RM4.00/stick)
Surprisingly this was quite tasty. It's not VERY yummy, but it stood out as the best among the snacks that we took :P

Chawan Mushi (RM8.00/serving)
Texture was slightly off, but taste was actually quite nice. Instead of putting a gingko nut, there was an edamame in the chawan mushi. Noms :)

And now, for the main dishes (all photos below show the regular bowl of udon)!

Ontama Bukkake Udon (RM8.00 for regular; RM11.00 for large)
This dish is actually very simple, but if you're a soft-boiled egg fan, you will love this cos I loved it! :D

Beef Udon (RM12.00 for regular; RM15.00 for large)
 This was one of the best among those that we tasted that night. It wasn't too salty, fragrant with the beef slices & the beef slices weren't too thick nor tough - just right. The udon was also just nice; not too soft, not too hard. Chewy, smooth & actually very filling!

Tori Dashi Udon (RM10.00 for regular; RM13.00 for large)
We didn't fancy this dish as we found it kinda 'flat' compared to the rest. Feels like a very clear, bland soup for those who aren't feeling very well!

Salad Udon (RM10.00 for regular; RM13.00 for large)
 Surprisingly delicious! You have pretty much everything your body needs in this dish: carbohydrates (udon), vitamins (vegetables), & protein (shredded chicken) & it's generously dressed with fragrant sesame mayonnaise! I would recommend this for a good variety of texture, taste & if you're into trying something different ;)

Spicy Miso Udon (RM12.00 for regular; RM15.00 for large)
 If you like spicy soup, we have a winner here. There's certainly a delightful "kick" to this udon dish.

Curry Udon (can't recall the price)
 Not many people are a fan of this style of udon. I found it not too bad, actually. I've only eaten curry don, so this was something different for me. It was quite flavourful although after eating halfway through, it does feel somewhat cloying/jelak since the curry is thick & so are the udon noodles!

After having all the udon dishes above, we were actually quite stuffed! But hey, there's more to try...hahaha...so we headed to Yoshinoya to complete our meal!

Beef Rice Bowl (RM9.80 for regular; RM11.80 for large)
I've actually tried this at IOI City Mall, so this wasn't something new to me, but it was still delicious. The thinly sliced beef were tender & the rice had enough gravy (not flooding the rice dish) to ensure that all the goodness of the beef flavour is soaked in the rice. 

Ah, Malaysians are indeed spoilt with the many choices & variety of food everywhere we go! If you happen to be at Mid Valley & you would want something fast & good-tasting, Yoshinoya Hanamaru will not disappoint.

Yoshinoya Hanamaru
Lot-T-15B, Level 3
Mid Valley Megamall
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: (+603) 2201 8789

Craving for Japanese food again,

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