Prologue @ Taman Paramount & Kisyu @ Desa Sri Hartamas

March 30, 2015

This ivory-white space beside PJ's Awesome Canteen may look forlorn & forsaken for now, but before the end of this week, expect to see some customers strolling in & out for bowls of ramen & rice - this Prologue is future to Awesome Canteen's past.

We're previewing Prologue by introducing Jack Weldie, one of the nicest chefs we've met this year - Jack's the main man in the kitchen of Prologue, a Japanese-focused spin-off of Awesome Canteen. Originally from Tuaran in Sabah, the 28-year-old moved to peninsular Malaysia more than a decade ago & worked hard to hone his craft in various Japanese restaurants, from Shun & Tomoe in Subang to the now-closed Ninja Jones in Mid Valley. Brace to hear more about Prologue in the weeks to come; Awesome Canteen was a fab place even on its first evening, so we have our fingers crossed for Prologue.

Update: Prologue has opened for business, retaining the casual feel of the kopitiam it took over, but with a leafier look.

Ramen is the cornerstone - the one with the works is this prodigiously hearty Prologue Ramen (RM27), with pork char siu, tender roast Aussie beef strip-loin, sake-steamed red snapper, marinated egg, spinach leaves, green onions & bamboo shoots in mild-tasting tonkotsu broth. An interesting variation is ramen in fish broth, subtle but well-tuned in flavour (RM20.90).

Prologue's forte is no-nonsense fare that's both well-executed & well-priced - we're predicting that Prologue will satisfy most customers with offerings like this gyu-yakiniku don (RM18.90), a rice bowl bountifully heaped with tender & tasty sliced beef.

Prologue's other speciality is its 'otsumami' snacks selection, meant to pair with beer. We couldn't stop munching on the crispy deep-fried shrimp & the momotaro tomato in fish broth, both delicate but indelible in flavour; for future visits, we'll probably check out the grilled potatoes mixed with fish roe mayo & wrap up with a soft, textured mango pudding with a real-fruit taste.

While waiting for Prologue to open, there's time to check out another new Japanese joint: Desa Sri Hartamas' Kisyu Ramen.

Kisyu specialises in ramen, with varieties like curry ramen, garlic ramen & butter-&-corn ramen (mostly RM22+ to RM24+). There is also Maze-Soba, a ramen preparation that's served hot & dry with bean sprouts, pork belly slices & minced meat, meant to be mixed together before being eaten. Slick & savoury, absolutely addictive; RM19.80+.

Looking like a bowl of bee hoon, these 'yam noodles' supply a crisp counterpoint to the creamy raw egg they're immersed in. RM8+; Kisyu seems to have a solid claim to authenticity, judging from its exclusively Japanese clientele on a recent evening.

Protein-powered pleasure: Roast pork, thin but tender, partnered with an onsen egg. RM12+; tasty enough for us to contemplate returning to check out the remainder of the menu - lots of kushikatsu & yakitori, rice bowls, & no lack of fried fare.

For dessert, skip the regular green tea ice cream & snack on the fried sweet potatoes with a honey-butter dip. RM11.80+.

Dry, crisp sake starts from RM35+ for this serving that should suffice - barely - for two people for, say, twenty minutes.

Prologue by Awesome Canteen
17, Jalan 20/13, Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya, Selangor 

Kisyu Ramen
32, Jalan 30/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-6201-8866

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