Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Menya Musashi & Gantetsu @ Isetan 1 Utama

Fans of Japanese food are sure to flock for the next few weeks to Eat Paradise at Isetan 1U, which features a fresh bevy of businesses exclusive to this hall of temptations.

First up, Eat Paradise's pioneer tenant _ Menya Musashi _ has sprung a stunning surprise; unlike the temporary kiosk that this Tokyo-based ramen purveyor opened recently in KLCC, the full-blown outlet here at 1 Utama is a pork powerhouse, enabling Malaysian customers to finally sample Menya Musashi's recipes as they might be meant to taste.

Menya Musashi's signature ramen comes with unprecedentedly enormous slices of cha-shu in an unexpectedly earthy broth blended with fried shallots and garlic. At this point, it's impossible to say which ramen outlet in the Klang Valley is the best. Some will prefer Santouka, others Marutama or Yamagoya, but many will love Menya Musashi too.

Ajitama Chashu Tsukemen, costing north of RM30, comprising thick, pleasurably chewy egg noodles to be dipped in hot soup. Customers can select serving sizes for noodles _ this was supposed to be a small (!!!).

Beside Menya Musashi, its main rival: Gantetsu, a champion Hokkaido ramen juggernaut from Sapporo. Both Menya Musashi and Gantetsu also have branches in Singapore.

Gantetsu's bestseller: tonkotsu miso ramen with king cha-shu (about RM30). The flavor of this "Great White Soup" isn't as deep as Menya Musashi's, but it makes up for it with luscious, fatty cha-shu that's damn near perfect. The eggs are more decadent than Menya Musashi's too.

So far, Menya Musashi and Gantetsu are open at Eat Paradise, while everything else may launch later in May. Other highlights that'll make their debut here include Puran B, the Japanese offshoot of The BIG Group's Plan B, which provides pork-free Western fare with twists from the Land of the Rising Sun. Stuff like creamy soft-shell crab spaghetti.

Also waiting in the wings: sushi bar Ichiro and BBQ beef specialist Gyu-Kaku. The outlets here seem like full-fledged eateries, unlike the stalls at Isetan's FoodMarket @ KLCC.
Entries on Isetan FoodMarket @ KLCC:

Speaking of Yamagoya Ramen at Solaris Dutamas, here's a return trip to check out this increasingly popular outlet's non-noodle recipes.
Main entry on Yamagoya: April 15, 2012.

Steaming-hot, crisp chicken, fried with spices supposedly flown in from Japan.

Gyoza, as good as this snack gets (though that might be faint praise).

Rice, not very fragrant, but it makes up for it with a light, minimal-oil touch.

Calpis shochu soda and lemon shochu soda.

Wrapping up this entry with more of Menya Musashi's fierce look.


Menya Musashi and Gantetsu Ramen,
Eat Paradise,
Second Floor, Isetan 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

56 comments:

  1. Ehh... we both blogged about Menya Musashi at the same time, lol! didn't see u there today but guess u went for dinner la ;-) Did u check out the chef, hehe?!

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    1. Pureglutton: oops, looks like we missed each other by just a couple of days! was there for a weekend dinner on sunday evening. ya, noticed the chef, but my friend and i were too bashful to speak to him. i think he shot an intense stare at my table while i was photographing the ramen! :D

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  2. The ramen and the running egg look delicious! Can't wait for the other outlets to open! It's going to be another food paradise. =D

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    1. Smitten By Food: yeah, right now, it can be annoying to eat here, because there's a lot of noisy drilling and hammering going on in the nearby outlets that haven't opened. i think Puran B will open here within a week, so that's the next one to watch out for! :D

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  3. Looks like the ramen trend is quietly infiltrating our shores! Does Puran B have anything to do with BIG by the way? lol

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    1. Drops Of Contentment: heh, yeah, i think the ramen trend is still building up, and it hasn't hit saturation point yet! we'll probably see a dozen more ramen outlets open in the klang valley before 2012 is over! :D and yes, Puran B is by The BIG Group. it'll serve western fare, like spaghetti, with japanese-ish influences, like crispy soft-shell crab. might be pretty similar to some of the stuff that Plan B currently serves :D

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    2. Ahhh...I'll be looking forward to a new take on their awesome soft shell crab pasta in Plan B! =D

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    3. Drops Of Contentment: i'm crossing my fingers that there'll be a mentaiko pasta at Puran B! though i'm not very optimistic, heh =)

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  4. too many ramen places that I need to get to! which ones should I go to first??? Is there any that I shouldn't even bother?

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    1. My personal opinion is to skip Marutama cos it tastes too much like maggi ayam! :P

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    2. Vien: most folks like Hokkaido Santouka Ramen at pavilion the best, though i think that since you live not far from publika, the most convenient stop for you would be Yamagoya Ramen there :D

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    3. Thank you TiMing! Will keep that in mind!
      I'm in love with Santouka but it's time to venture somewhere else :P sure thing! I'll give that a try as soon as I'm back!!

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  5. Eat Paradise will make me visit 1U for the first time...pathetic rite? Gotta wait until all the shops are open though =)

    Aiyo...you can get good Mentaiko Pasta at SMI Cafe, Haikara Style in Subang Jaya or during lunch at Yashi-no-mi in Cosway lar :P

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    1. Ulric: heh, i'm not a fan of 1U's layout. it's just too huge and winding for me. i get lost trying to find various outlets =) ohh, the nicest mentaiko pasta i've had in KL is at ozeki tokyo on jalan p ramlee =)

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  6. Wah, looks like it's KL's turn to have a Ramen Explosion! ... Soon you'll have so many different ramen stalls you'll be able to write a "KL's Top 20 ramen restaurant list" hehe.

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    1. Timing: heheh, we'll try to compile a Top 10 first! :D

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    2. Great!! Top ten!

      I've tried quite a few of them, and here is my thoughts:
      1. Santouka
      2. Menya Musashi
      3 (A distant third). Yamagoya
      4. Marutama
      5. Gantetsu

      These I can officialy rank.. I've had many more but unfortunately I was disappointed. Any other places worthy of mention in this list?

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    3. Joe: that looks like a Top Five i could agree with! i might rank them the same way (though maybe i'd rank Gantetsu one notch higher) =) hopefully we'll get a few more ramen outlets this year that'll be able to fill out a top ten :D

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  7. Dare I say it? Is this the Year of the Ramen? :D

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    1. We tried Menya Musashi ramen in KLCC, I remember they use chicken that time, should go and try again now.

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    2. Kenny: i'm happy it's the Year of the Ramen, and not the Year of the Kebab! :D

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    3. CK: ya, and you can try Gantetsu next door to Menya Musashi too, and see which one you prefer! :D

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  8. ah, pork, nice. I believe pork isn't allowed to be served in KLCC. In fact the only two places in Suria with pork (raw) are Isetan & Cold Storage.

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    1. KY: hey, you're probably right. that sounds like the most logical explanation. thank goodness there's an isetan in 1 utama now! =)

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  9. so many jap outlets these days! i feel like i'm spoiledd...

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    1. Michelle: it's a good kind of spoiled, heh =)

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  10. Please.. you are making me go all the way to 1U now for ramen...

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    1. and finally a tsukemen to die for?

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    2. Jeffrey: heh, i think you'll enjoy the ramen at both these places. i haven't tried enough varieties of tsukemen to really tell, but the one here was decent, though i prefer the regular ramen-served-in-soup :D

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  11. The noodles at Menya Musashi looks thicker than a lot of other ramen places. I missed going there when I was at SG but looks like I can still drive over to 1U to enjoy a bowl ;)

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    1. Baby Sumo: yeah, the noodles here are significantly thicker and chewier! quite a nice change from the regular ones. and they stay firm longer =) ya, and i bet after currency conversion, menya musashi's ramen in kl is cheaper than singapore's =)

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  12. ooo it is finally open..
    good another new japs food option for me when I shop around 1U...
    normally I will go to 1U 1x/wk... yeah..

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    1. Simple Person: heheh, hopefully will bump into you at 1U someday! but i only go once every month or so =)

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  13. At last its open...I should be there soon for some ramen goodness. One can never have enough of ramen goodness especially if they serve orgasmic eggs:P

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    1. Missyblurkit: ramen's the perfect comfort food, eh. got noodles for carb comfort, cha-siu for protein pleasure, a thick broth to soothe the soul, and those eggs for a decadent delight! :D

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  14. Ok, here's the plan. Seeing as to how the significant other does not have that big an appetite, order one bowl at each outlet to share. Hmmm...I wonder if they will notice what we are up to?

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    1. Unkaleong: that's a cool plan. it's kinda what i did here. my friend and i ordered two bowls at menya musashi, and after finishing, we hopped immediately next door to gantetsu for a third bowl :D

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  15. finally! you reviewed menya mushashi! been waiting for this review for a week!

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    1. Ivan: heh, feel free to drop me an email next time for review requests =)

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    2. can, can! It would be an honour and a pleasure, considering I only get to know most places once you review them.

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  16. YUMMERS!
    finally! I ate and im bored of every outlet in 1U already!! :DD

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    1. TNG: yikes! but there's so much to eat at 1U, i think i could spend an entire month just eating there everyday! :D

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  17. I wanted to try this tonkotsu miso ramen with king cha-shu not because of the cha shu but the egg...the medium cooked egg yolk must scrumptious...

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    1. Cindy: hope you manage to try it soon. The egg is excellent, very creamy :D

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  18. Wow, you've really tried many places! Both of the ramen places in Eat Paradise! We only managed to try one, which was the gantetsu ramen, we like it! Will post soon! =)

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    1. Eat Only Lar: glad to hear you enjoyed Gantetsu Ramen too! i think most people will head to Menya Musashi first, but Gantetsu is definitely worth trying too! :D

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  19. Good in KL maybe but never in Japan. Once you visit the land of the rising sun, you will see how far the yardstick is.. still i hold my breath and hope against hope, to be WOWed by MM! hehe

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    1. Ciki: ooo, hopefully you enjoy MM! they've flown in the chef and the noodles from japan, so there's a fair chance that the ramen here tastes at least 80 percent as good as what the good citizens of japan get to enjoy! :D

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  20. I notice that even many of the chains that originate in Japan, when it arrives at our shores, or our neighbouring republic's shores, seem to lose their spark. not sure what it is. the water? flour? air? haha

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    1. Ciki: good question! maybe we should check with the chefs. they might have an explanation for that! :D

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    2. I completely agree with you! I tried Menya Musashi in Shinjuku and it was absolutely divine! The noodles have the perfect chewy texture, accompanied by a shoyu broth that has a tinge of sweetness and hint of yuzu. The MM in Malaysia is good, but the original in Japan is a class above. Must be the water here.....

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    3. Joe: thanks, i look forward to trying the MM in japan someday! :D

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  21. GAWD! Menya Musashi... I am eternally yours! JUST as good as Shinjuku's! WHY DIDNT U SAY SO EARLIER!!!! :P hahaha

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    1. Ciki: yay! three cheers for menya musashi! :D

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  22. I have been there 2 days ago. I felt that Menya musashi have degraded and things are different now. Could you perhaps recommend me a few best ramens around ? Thank you :) Wanna go there with my girlfriend.

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    1. William: my preference is for ippudo ramen. The newer ones this year are Bankara ramen at avenue k and Bari uma ramen at jaya shopping centre

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