Ramen in KL – Menya Musashi & Gantetsu Ramen (1 Utama), Santouka (Pavilion), Yamagoya (Solaris Dutamas)

I’m never guilty of being a follower of fads, even when it comes to food. Well, I got hooked on the froyo craze but I stayed clear of the macarons, donuts, cupcakes, bubble teas, etc. craze back then.

However, the recent ramen mania got me all noodled up inside as well.

Just a week before Europe, I had Gantetsu Ramen for lunch followed by Menya Mushasi for dinner on the very same day. Blame the proximity of 1 Utama to my house or it could be that both were just superb ramen outlets.

The very next day, KC (ulric) dragged me to Pavilion for Ramen Santouka, saying it’s one of the best in KL at the moment and my ramen ramen experience is not complete without it.

I took his word for it; and ended up slurping the thin eggy strands cheerfully. Now I have him to thank, for indeed this post wouldn’t have come about as Santouka; being the furthest from home, wouldn’t have been possible without his insistence.

Last is Yamagoya Ramen in Solaris Dutamas. I sampled it as my last lunch prior to my flight to Europe and now that I’m back, I compiled all of these into ONE table of short notes, as I realized there are plenty of other detailed blogposts and thus my post may sound repetitively already.

Here’s my short summary. Perhaps a longer review will follow; after I’m done blogging about my France (Paris) – Netherlands (Amsterdam) – Belgium (Antwerp) trip!

The number 1 -4 denotes my personal ranking of preference for each component of a bowl of ramen between the 4 outlets.

Menya Musashi Gantetsu Ramen Ramen Santouka Yamagoya
Broth  1. Best murky soup with incredible depth of flavour. Unfortunately, it’s the most oily one too.  2. Though the depth of flavour wasn’t as great as Menya’s, it close to being my favourite as it is less oily and the flavour was distinctive enough.  3. Overall the broth here is the saltiest. I couldn’t eat the Kara Miso; it was that bad for me. Funnily enough, my Shio (salt) ramen was tolerable.  4. The broth somehow lacked character, though tasty enough.
In conclusion, Yamagoya’s soups are less complex.
Noodles  1. Chewy, thick and very fresh tasting noodles  3. Thin, a bit stringy and springy noodles almost alike our local wantan noodles  2. Springy with a firm bite.Less of the “stringy” texture; but softer instead.  4. Thin springy noodles. Almost similar to Gantetsu. My preference goes to Gantetsu.
Pork  2. 2 big slices of tender  1. The pork slices are tastier, owing perhaps to the marination.  3. I find the pork slices too salty; the ones in the ramen as well as the pork cheeks.  4. Thinner slices, more streaks of fat. Taste was pretty forgettable.
Egg 2. Lovely, though on the 2nd visit we got overcooked eggs, which was replaced quickly after I spoke to the Chef.  I need to revisit for  the eggs!
However, it looked really good, rivaling Santouka’s from what we peeked from the other tables.
 1. The most well made soft-boiled eggs from this list.
The egg white is fully cooked, but the yolk retains a molten consistency. Areas surrounding the yolk remained wobbly too.
 3. Decent effort, but still incomparable to the other 2.
Portion  1. I love the portion here the best. The noodles are thicker and chewier thus giving the most volume. To top it off, 2 large slices of pork are given per bowl!  2. A good satisfying portion, both noodles and meat.  3. Smallest and cost is considerably expensive per portion compared to the rest.  4. Satisfying portion and comparable to Gantetshu’s.
Price 1. Best value for both taste and portion!  2. I do not mind the price for the quality and taste, especially for the pork!  3. Seriously, why are the portions so small??  4. With so many choices, Yamagoya would be last on my list to re-visit.
CONCLUSION: Love the ramen, like the broth but will omit the oil next time as the slick of oil over my noodles gets a little sickening at the end for me. I dislike stringy noodles in general, but I love the pork slices here. Service was good as well. No re-visit for me. The price is a factor, another is the sodium levels which is too much for me. I applaud them for their efforts; but with Menya and Gantetsu there isn’t really a big drawing factor to come back, especially since prices are similar.


Disclaimer:
All outlets visits were made within ONE week, except the last 2 bowls from Menya Mushashi which was today.
All are self paid meals. Owners were not aware of our visit.
An average of 2 bowls of ramen were ordered at each outlet; one standard or signature and another depending on mood. :DD

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Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Kara Miso – (S) – RM24.50
Shio Toroniku (S) – RM33.50 (with added pork cheeks)
Karaage – RM10.00
Komi – Tamago (Egg) – RM2.00
10% service charge. 

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-1

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-2

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-3

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-4

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-5

Shio Toroniku (S) – RM33.50 (with added pork cheeks).

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-6

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-7

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-9

Kara Miso – (S) – RM24.50.

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-10

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-12

Karaage. RM10.00. Lip smacking juicy within yet crispy on the outside.
THIS WAS GOOD!

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-13

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-14

Thick cuts of pork per bowl of ramen.

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-15

Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL-17

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Menya Mushashi Ramen
1st round:
Mushashi Ramen RM26.00
Chashu Gohan RM9.00
Iced Green Tea RM2.00

Menya Musashi_Isetan Eat Paradise_1 Utama

Chasu Gohan. RM9.00.

Menya Musashi_Isetan Eat Paradise_1 Utama-008

Menya Musashi_Isetan Eat Paradise_1 Utama-004

Mushashi Ramen RM26.00.

Menya Musashi_Isetan Eat Paradise_1 Utama-007

Menya Musashi_Isetan Eat Paradise_1 Utama-006

2nd round:

Aka Musashi Ramen RM26.00 (with chilli oil)
Kuro Ajitama Ramen RM24.00 (special oil of fried shallots and garlic)
Iced Green Tea RM2.00
Water free of charge.
Service charge 10%, 6%  Government tax.

Kuro Ajitama Ramen RM24.00 (special oil of fried shallots and garlic).

rebecca - menya musashi ramen, 1 utama (5)

The failed soft boiled eggs.

rebecca - menya musashi ramen, 1 utama (6)

It was replaced with these. Much better!

rebecca  - menya ramen - samsung s3 (1)

Aka Musashi Ramen RM26.00 (with chilli oil).
I will order this next time! It wasn’t spicy but comes with a bit of heat enough to make the dish shine. In addition to that, this wasn’t as oily as my Kuro Ajitama.

rebecca - menya ramen - samsung s3 (3)

Finally got a picture with him! 🙂

rebecca - menya musashi ramen, 1 utama (31)

I couldn’t finish mine. 🙁

rebecca  - menya musashi ramen, 1 utama (14)

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Yamagoma Ramen
Mukashi Special Ramen RM24.00
Black Garlic Ramen RM22.00
Green Tea RM2.00
Service charge 10%, no Government tax.

yamagoya ramen, solaris dutamas (3)

Mukashi Special Ramen RM24.00.

yamagoya ramen, solaris dutamas (6)

Black Garlic Ramen RM22.00.

yamagoya ramen, solaris dutamas (5)

yamagoya ramen, solaris dutamas (4)

Thin pork slices with streaks of fat.

yamagoya ramen, solaris dutamas (8)

Cleaner broth.

yamagoya ramen, solaris dutamas (7)

**************************************************************************************************************************

Gantetsu Ramen
Hokkaido Spicy Miso RM25.11 (10% opening special)
Hokkaido Tonkotsu Black RM23.31 (10% discount opening special)
Green Tea RM1.90
Service charge 10%, not sure about Government tax. 

gantetsu ramen_eat paradise_Isetan 1 Utama

gantetsu ramen_eat paradise_Isetan 1 Utama-001

gantetsu ramen_eat paradise_Isetan 1 Utama-005

Hokkaido Spicy Miso RM25.11 (10% opening special).

gantetsu ramen_eat paradise_Isetan 1 Utama-006

It wasn’t spicy but did deliver a little sting.

gantetsu ramen_eat paradise_Isetan 1 Utama-010

Hokkaido Tonkotsu Black RM23.31 (10% discount opening special).

gantetsu ramen_eat paradise_Isetan 1 Utama-007

It was supposed to be black garlic soup but this was more of a drizzle of garlic oil. But the pork slices were delicious and my favourite out of the 4 outlets.

gantetsu ramen_eat paradise_Isetan 1 Utama-008

gantetsu ramen_eat paradise_Isetan 1 Utama-009

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Menya Musashi and Gantetsu Ramen,
Eat Paradise,
2nd Floor,
Isetan 1 Utama

Yamagoma Ramen
A2-G2-8, Solaris Dutamas

Santouka
Pavilion KL’s Tokyo Street.

So that’s it! I’m scared of ramen now! :DD

** To add to this, here’s a long ago post when the ramen revolution started in KL – Marutama Ramen, Fahrenheit 88 – click HERE.

And if anyone ask:
” What about Ikuzo Ramen in SS2?”
My reply: “Absolutely incomparable to the 4 above, including Marutama. The difference is so vast it should not be mentioned in the same post.”

Now…….. which one is YOUR FAVOURITE? :DD

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Eunice

    YES. I have to agree with you that I am afraid of ramen too!!! Tried all ramens that you’d mentioned. I think the best is santouka…;P

    1. rebeccasaw

      Santouka too salty for me but I have friends who liked it too!
      But their ramen is good actually.
      Anyhow, Menya and Gantetsu remains my favourite, lucky me since its in 1 U, so near my house! 😛

  2. Nikel

    OMG.. ALL in ONE post.. menya musashi..

  3. ulric

    Gotta taste Menya Musashi n Gantetsu first…then u have my favourite 😛

  4. Icednyior

    Oo japanese chef is cute 😛

    Thanks for the breakdown. Will try out the 1utama ones, since quite near my house.

    1. rebeccasaw

      Heheh hope u enjoy it!
      Oh yes he’s charming and very nice 😛

  5. Sean

    nice chart! i think i agree with 80 percent of your points. if only some outlet could combine the pork of gantetsu with the egg of santouka, that could be quite awesome! 😀

    1. rebeccasaw

      True!
      Ahh, our own ultimate bowl of ramen! 😀

    1. rebeccasaw

      Hahah yes yes yes… so near! Now I just need to afford it. RM25+ per bowl ok!

  6. Joyce

    Now I want some ramen!!!

      1. rebeccasaw

        Ohhh let me check out your post!! Heheh

    1. rebeccasaw

      Ahh you didnt? Cos most of them invited bloggers to review, but I didn’t go so I went with my frens to try out myself 🙂
      Tell you what, go to the ones in 1U…heheh.. makan the best one can dy!

  7. Kelly

    That’s a lot of ramen in one week! I’m not surprised you are now scared!

    1. rebeccasaw

      Yes lor! Somemore each bowl is so complex tasting & heavy in flavour.

  8. Badri

    been dying to eat Ramen since got back for good from there!
    do you know if any of these is halal? ..since mostly they are tonkatsu 豚カツ

    1. rebeccasaw

      Ohh… ramen non-pork is like not ramen… LOL. I try to find beef ramen ok?
      Hmm Ikuzo in SS2 PJ is pork free i think…

  9. Jin

    Menya! best of the best. ;P

  10. Jack

    So we went to Menya after a day in 1U. I must say I was quite impressed. I’ve tasted thousands of ramen – being half Japanese I consider myself quite a connoisseur. I would say the noodles were excellent and the meat also – loads of it! I was a little unsure of the broth. It was oily as you say and cam with black grit, like carbon?, perhaps part of the pork-roasting process. It was a tasty both – though I think I tasted something fishy in there. I also was missing an egg. Perhaps I ordered wrong. I noticed they had miso-ramen which I’ll try next time. We also had gyoza which were ok. I liked the noisy atmosphere – quite authentic. So overall from me a 7/10 – especially as I’ve not tried other ramen places in KL. Thanks for the tip!

    1. rebeccasaw

      Half Jap? waohhaa! I know who to ask for good recommendations of Jap food in KL now? HEhehe..
      I’m so glad you enjoyed your meal 🙂 Did you see the Jap guy?
      Oh, the egg here not so nice, not molten enough the last time I went and I had to ask for a change. They quickly changed for me though. The egg is an add-on. And yes, here the broth is oily. That’s why when one of the options is what oil I want to add, I opt for no oil. And I totally agree on the portion, noodles and meat. It well worth the price 🙂

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