Ichikakuya Ramen, Mont Kiara & Shah Alam
April 8, 2021
If you love diving into the delicious diversity of ramen, check out Ichikakuya Ramen, the Klang Valley's foremost purveyor of a less-known style of soupy Japanese noodles - iekei ramen, which originated in Yokohama nearly half a century ago.
The noodles are freshly handmade nearly everyday, yielding a beautiful bite - customers can choose from the original thick noodles or thin ones, as well as select the texture of the noodles: Hard is the Japanese preference for a lovely firmness (cooked for only two minutes), but patrons can also pick 'normal' (cooked for more than three minutes) or 'soft' (cooked for five minutes) if desired.
The taste of the broth can be tweaked too - 'strong' is robust with either shoyu or shio, 'normal' should be sufficiently punchy for most folks who want to savour the purity of the broth, while 'light' is meant to be the most soothing. Chicken oil is also added to the broth for enhanced aroma, in amounts of extra, normal or less.
The toppings are top-notch too - the roasted pork belly is meltingly tender and clean-tasting (Ichikakuya prides itself on sourcing for premium pork), while unconventional ingredients like spinach and an extra quail's egg to accompany the regular soft-boiled egg also add intrigue to the bowl.
As a bonus, Ichikakuya Ramen's prices rank among the most reasonable of KL's top ramen shops. The regular-sized original Yokohama Iekei Ramen costs RM20, entirely worthwhile and hearty enough for a full meal. Ichikakuya also offers flavoured varieties like Red Iekei Ramen (RM24 for the regular portion) with its own spice mix, with a mildly fiery spark that complements the umami potency of the broth.
We could enthusiastically eat at Ichikakuya Ramen multiple times a month, since the restaurant also serves rice bowls brimming with satisfyingly meaty fare.
For pork pleasure, the Sutameshi Rice Bowl (RM18) is a bowl of bliss, blanketed with succulent stir-fried pork in shoyu-based seasoning with leeks. Customers are encouraged to first sample this as served, then add garlic, mayonnaise and red pepper to create their own final version, absolutely addictive.
We're also instant fans of the Curry Katsu Chicken Rice (RM20), with chunky, crunchy breaded chicken matched with creamy curry for the ultimate comfort-food coupling.
Ichikakuya Ramen Mont Kiara
Unit 15-0-1, Shoplex, Jalan Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 1130am-930pm. Tel: 010-823-0165
Ichikakuya Ramen Shah Alam
Unit 1-3A, Level 1, Tower 3, The Podium, UOA Business park, Jalan Pengaturcara U1/51a, Kawasan Perindustrian Temasya, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor. Open Monday-Saturday, 1130am-930pm. Tel: 014-958-3884