Wherever you are, whenever someone says, “ramen”, the first thought that usually comes to mind is, “oh, instant noodles”. Well now, the long-suffering reputation of the popular Japanese noodle dish is just about to be debunked by us!
In 1988, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka was established by Hitoshi Hatanaka, who wanted to develop a classic ramen for all to enjoy. The ramen recipe included a simple soup that could be savored to the last spoonful and topped with a fabulous “char siu pork”. Masterfully assembled, Hitoshi Hatanaka’s ramen contains superior ingredients and magnificent, robust flavor.
Oh and yes, it’s strictly non-halal.
More than 20 years later, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka gained so much popularity that it has since expanded to more than 50 locations in Japan, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, and now Malaysia.
Small and cozy 68-seater restaurant Santouka Ramen, the first of the ramen juggernaut chain to be introduced to our country, is located at Tokyo Street in the swanky Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. And we hear that in the short time that they’ve been open (since 29th of July 2011), throngs of customers (local and international alike) have visited and revisited the restaurant to savour their popular Japanese dishes.
In fact, we’ve heard so much buzz that it was impossible not to want to try it for ourselves. Our chance finally came one fine day and the first decision that came to us was to order their popular “Shio Ramen” as soon as we were seated.
To be honest, it didn’t look like much. But the mildly creamy soup that accompanied the ramen noodles was bursting with flavor with every spoonful! We later found out that in order to make the soup base, the wonderful cooks at Santouka Ramen spend about 20 hours to simmer the pork bones before adding vegetables, dried fish, and other special ingredients. Wow.
Following that, we quickly ordered the “Tokusen Toroniku” which is a popular mouth-watering treat of pork cheeks. We say “quickly” because Santouka Ramen limits it to 60 portions per day. Well, we don’t blame them. The pork cheeks come in limited quantities after all, at only 200 to 300 grams per pig.
The verdict? It was a crazy, melting sensation! The “Tokusen Toroniku” has a very rich flavor and is extremely tender. We’re not exaggerating when we say that it didn’t feel like we were eating pork at all. In fact, it has the same texture as fatty tuna. On top of that, it also complemented the “Shio Ramen” perfectly!
Santouka Ramen’s “Shio Ramen” goes for RM22.50 for a small bowl, RM25 for a regular bowl, and if you’re really hungry, RM29 for a large bowl. And you can either order their signature “Tokusen Toroniku” separately or together with a bowl of ramen (Tokusen Toroniku Ramen) for RM33.50 for a small bowl, RM36 for a regular bowl, and RM40 for a large bowl.
Go indulge in the ramen mania at:
Hokkaido Santouka Ramen
Tokyo Street, Level 6,
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur,
For more information visit their Facebook page.