Ramen Taiko & Takehana

January 30, 2012

Searching for pork can feel like a hassle in Mont Kiara, but these two outlets are worth the hunt on evenings when chicken, beef & fish aren't enough.

First up, Ramen Taiko, tucked inside Mont Kiara Shoplex. The restaurant has long cultivated a faithful following in this neighborhood, but it feels more popular than ever now, following a recent refurbishment & revamp of its menu.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen, bristling with a wealth of chashu slices, egg, bamboo shoots, fish cakes, corn & spring onions. Not as satisfyingly aromatic as what Pavilion's Hokkaido Santouka & Fahrenheit 88's Marutama serve, but it'll still muster at least a 'B' in our book.

Comfort food is what the crowds crave here. Something disarmingly simple & decisively rustic _ such as stewed duck with rice _ fits that bill perfectly.

Pumpkin croquettes, creamy & naturally sweet. Ramen Taiko's expanded menu includes sashimi, makis & more, ensuring that customers won't run out of things to try. Prices are marginally lower compared to chains like Rakuzen.

Oh, there are complimentary starters too. Pray for tamago stuffed with unagi.

Ozeki Hana-Awaka, a sparkling sake with sugary overtones.

Just across the road, Takehana occupies a discreet corner of Plaza Mont Kiara.

Meat that's reminiscent of char siew _ reasonably tender, but not richly caramelized.

Takehana's equivalent of siew yok. Fleshy & fatty, sweating in savory gravy.

Fluffy crab omelet in sweet-&-sour sauce. Could have been the handiwork of a Chinese kitchen.

Pork liver with chives. Stinkier than expected. Hold your breath while eating this!

Coming full circle, we end this entry with more porky noodles: Wakamai Miso Ramen _ hot, hearty & heartwarming. But unfortunately, unlike Ramen Taiko, Takehana serves ordinary hard-boiled eggs instead of seasoned ones.

Sake makes the earth move under our feet (we feel the sky tumbling down).

Ramen Taiko,
Mont Kiara Shoplex, Kuala Lumpur.
Open daily for lunch & dinner.
Tel: 03-2096-1822

Plaza Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.