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Monday, January 4, 2016

Torazou Ramen, Kuchai Entrepreneur's Park

Torazou has never been hidden, but for some reason, it only jumped out at us just recently (i.e. a few days ago), and so we figured, why not?

It's been a few years since I had ramen, and the place where I had it no longer exists in Sunway Pyramid. My first impression then was that the key to a good ramen was mainly the soup base, with the pork, noodles, and toppings coming in as secondary. My first ramen experience wasn't bad, but the "gyoza" that came with the noodles were as if they were salt-cured before frying.

Anyway, back to Torazou. It's on the same row as Chatime, Nippy Noodle House (a favorite), and Drunk Cat Restaurant; opposite Lai Lai Restaurant, which mainly focuses on Taiwanese beef noodles (to be sampled in the future).

A disappointing red Japanese curtain barely lined the glass door leading into the restaurant, booth chairs lining both sides of the restaurant, after a small noodle-making room to the left of the entrance. The walls were painted a dull grey, but illuminated with several paper-wrapped bubble lights reminiscent of IKEA.

The left side of the wall was adorned with Japanese style art in the form of blown up photos of paper-and-wire sculptures.

After browsing, we opted for a bowl of ramen each, with 2 side-dishes, all to be washed down with green tea that is quite regularly refilled by the foreign staff. Both bowls of ramen had a ridiculously miso-heavy soup base.

The SO ordered the Aka Niku Miso Ramen, which is a miso-based ramen with spicy minced meat. He rated it a 6/10, as the soup wasn't as thick as we expected, and the chashu was slightly bland. The bowl included a marinated soft-boiled egg (yolk no runny), spring onions, julienne black fungus, crispy bean sprouts, the spicy minced meat, and 2 slices of chashu. The sprouts and fungus provided a nice addition of crunchy texture to the springy ramen.

Since I just tried out the squid ink pasta a few days ago, I was still in an adventurous mood, but I was limited to a non-sour-spicy-eggy diet for the past few days, so I had to bypass the Jigoku Ramen (literally ramen of hell) and opt for the black garlic ramen. It was basically a miso-soup base infused with black garlic oil, and the bowl included 2 slices of chashu, black fungus, and bean sprouts, minus the soft boiled egg. The sweetness of the black garlic went quite well with the miso base, but overall it was a dish that merely mildly surprised me.

The thing is... the ramen noodles themselves also surprised me, as I was expecting the thicker type of noodles, like in instant Korean ramen, but a quick Google search revealed that this is indeed original ramen noodles. I think the key here is the texture: springy and almost crispy, but still soft enough to enhance the ramen experience~

Apart from the chuka idako (which was so overwhelmed by the flavor of sesame), we ordered a side of Hiroshima wings (comes in 5 pieces). This, we could give almost 10/10, because while the wings were crispy yet light, and wonderfully marinated in what I assume is a garlic marinade. However, a Google search led to no such dish called Hiroshima wings, or Hiroshima tebasaki.

The meal ended with some laughs about the katakana written on the wooden plaques on one side of the restaurant walls, which were (I assume) were to mimic the traditional Japanese style of a "menu", but they seemed to be done by someone who had little to no experience with Japanese writing.

Overall, the experience wasn't bad, but it would be a place that I would actively return to for ramen or noodles.

Location - 8 / 10
(relatively accessible, but parking might be a problem unless you're okay with double-parking)
Atmosphere - 8 / 10 
Food & beverage quality - 5-7 / 10
(depends on what you order, mostly)
 Price - 7 / 10
Value for money - 6 / 10
(also depends on what you order, but portion size:price doesn't work for me)
Service - 8 / 10
(although staff are foreigners, they are quite attentive) 

41, Jalan Kuchai Maju 7,
Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park,
58200 Kuala Lumpur.
Business hours: 12.00pm - 9.00pm

Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Photos edited with Fotor app

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