Maruki Ramen, The LINC KL

March 6, 2020

With a kitchen spearheaded by a Sapporo-born chef who sharpened his skills in Tokyo, Maruki Ramen's culinary authenticity is assured. But it earns an extra edge by promising ramen that everyone can enjoy, halal and wholesome, complementing freshly crafted noodles with naturally nuanced broths. If you're seeking ramen with a distinctive identity in the city centre, head to The LINC KL for slurp-worthy soulfulness.

Head chef Kita-san and his brigade work tirelessly to ensure each bowl is a showcase of impeccable ingredients. Chef Kita trained under a master who runs an omakase-style ramen restaurant in the Shibuya neighbourhood of Yoyogi, and the ramen here channels the influence of recipes served there.

Maruki Ramen's noodles rely on Japanese wheat flour, painstakingly prepared everyday without preservatives, for a texture that's subtly springy with a light, buoyant chew. Its broths feature a base of slow-boiled free-range chicken with bonito, kelp, vegetables and spices, delicately delicious with clear, clean-tasting dimensions, free of MSG and artificial flavouring.

Maruki's varieties of poultry-powered ramen come with glazed free-range chicken rolls, beautifully braised, proving to be tender and tasty toppings, bolstered by the ideal ajitama marinated eggs with lusciously soft-boiled yolks, rounded out with all the essentials of leeks, seaweed and spring onions.

For an introduction to Maruki's fundamentals, the Classic Shio Ajitama (RM25.90) promises the purity of chicken soup that nurtures and nourishes, with an understated salinity that enables us to savour the essential character of the white broth. If you like unadulterated, stripped-down flavours, this is the one to choose.

Our personal favourite is the Superior Shoyu Ramen (RM22.90), a true-to-Tokyo creation blended with Japanese soy sauce to convey what most customers love about ramen. Maruki's rendition is richly vibrant without being overpoweringly robust - it's certainly less punchy than, say, tonkotsu ramen, but its dynamics remain entirely enjoyable in their own right, with each sip and spoonful testifying to an umami of unmistakable quality.

Maruki Ramen proves to be a master of balance in other offerings like the Classic Kuro Deluxe, aromatic with black garlic oil, sultry in supplying an enhanced depth (RM32.90), as well as the Classic Kara Deluxe, which should suit Malaysians who relish spicy fare, courtesy of a spicy miso paste with notes of roasted sesame, peanuts and bird's-eye chillies (RM32.90).

Note that the Deluxe versions of Maruki's ramen comprise even more protein - premium Australian beef slices to accompany the chicken roll, so you can sink your teeth into two kinds of meat in a single serving.

Speaking of beef, Maruki Ramen is currently our best bet for bovine ramen - the Wagyu Deluxe is available in limited quantities, boasting top-tier A5-grade Japanese wagyu from Nishiawa Beef, the first halal-certified slaughterhouse in Tokushima Prefecture. This is beef that's exquisitely marbled, with a smooth, full-bodied succulence that makes every bite irresistibly decadent (RM69.90 with A5 Halal Japanese Wagyu, alongside premium Australian beef).

Wagyu Donburi will soon also be introduced - this might be KL's most worthwhile wagyu rice bowl, brimming with A5 Halal Japanese Wagyu for sublime satisfaction (RM69.90). Chicken-based don is also available, plus snacks such as tori karaage and gyoza.

All in all, Maruki Ramen brings a constructive new perspective to the Klang Valley's ramen landscape, a credit to its founders who love travelling throughout Japan and hope to offer a hearty, honest taste of ramen for all Malaysians. Many thanks to Maruki Ramen for a marvellous meal.

Maruki Ramen

Lot 2-23 - Lot 2-28, Level 2, The LINC KL, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 10am-10pm. Tel: 03-2332-6916 

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