Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kodawari Menya Udon & Menya Kamikaze Ramen @ 1 Mont Kiara

Japanese noodles are squiggling their way into the freshly revitalised 1 Mont Kiara mall; here's a peek into two new outlets that specialise in slurp-worthy strands, starting with udon upstart Kodawari Menya.

Kodawari Menya does things differently; it's something of a self-service eatery, with instructions for the uninitiated outside the entrance. First, step up to the counter, check out the menu & choose from the diverse likes of niku, bukkake, zaru, kamaage, kake, kitsune & kare udon. Mainly RM10.90-RM14.90 for a small serving or RM12.90-RM16.90 for more substantial portions.

Head next to the tempura section, where you can pick optional deep-fried accompaniments for your udon, ranging from prawns (RM4), chicken (RM3.50) & mixed veggies (RM2.50) to pumpkin, mushrooms, eggplant, sweet potatoes & lotus roots (RM2 each). Kodawari Menya is a no-pork restaurant.

After paying & collecting your food, mosey on over to the condiments counter & help yourself. And that's it; the entire process shouldn't take more than five minutes, potentially faster than ordering at a table & waiting for the kitchen to deliver.

We pondered whether to have our udon with beef, tofu pockets, bonito flakes, curry or various dipping sauces, but ended up with the wakame udon (with edible seaweed). It proved pleasantly tasty, pretty much what a decent bowl of udon should be.

The tempura squid isn't half-bad either, with an interesting savoury batter that's heavier than expected but still crisply enjoyable in its own right. All in all, the flexibility of customisation & the freshness of the authenticity-focused food makes Kodawari Menya a reasonable pit-stop if you're hanging around Mont Kiara.

Oh, one more thing: Return the food tray to help out with the clean-up before leaving.

Need more noodles? No problem - only a few paces away from Kodawari Menya, also on the first floor of 1 Mont Kiara, here's Menya Kamikaze, which serves big, steaming-hot bowls of ramen.

Menya Kamikaze's ramen is crowd-pleasing for sure, with basically all the broth varieties that customers in KL have become accustomed to in recent years. Satisfyingly hearty portions mostly cost RM20-RM25.

The pork broth is rich & resonant, blessed with a creaminess that's not cloying - plus, there's not too much sodium either that might spur some customers to complain. We added butter to make it even better.

The noodles boast a solid chew, but what might keep patrons coming back is the cha-shu - the meat's chunky & very tender.

 But the hidden gem at Menya Kamikaze seems to be the curry rice (RM8 for small), a luscious treat with succulent slices of pork belly piled with a confidently captivating curry over Japanese rice.

All in all, there's enough to like about Kodawari Menya & Menya Kamikaze; we'd love 'em even more if they served liquor, but even without, we're high on the noodles here.

 Kodawari Menya Udon, 1 Mont Kiara Mall

Menya Kamikaze Ramen, 1 Mont Kiara Mall

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28 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Happy walker: hope you get your fix for japanese food soon :)

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  2. It looks like a really neat place, Sean, and I love how you photographed the guy who was texting. LOL! :)

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    1. Linda: this mall is bursting to life with new eateries ... heheh, i was trying not to photograph him, but i wanted to take a shot of that part of the restaurant :)

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  3. Yep...butter makes the broth even more fragrant...chunky and very tender chashu? Let's whirl to Menya Kamikaze! =)

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    1. Ulric: they've got a good formula for the broth here ... even with the added butter, it didn't taste too greasy or too heavy :) heheh, the cha-shu recipe here is a nice one too :D

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  4. Menya Kamikaze Ramen was highly recommended by one of our friends too! Would go and try that, hopefully by end of Oct, hehe.

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    1. CK: yay, end of october is not too far away, ya! hope you enjoy your visit here, i think you will :)

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  5. Gosh!!! So many Japanese restaurants at your side. I can't remember any in particular now, will have to browse through all should I happen to hop over and pick and choose. Can't jolly well go to all. :D

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    1. Suituapui: heheh, the more the merrier, as far as japanese outlets are concerned! :D

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  6. This mall used to be quite deserted, glad to know there are so many new eateries popping up!

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    1. Choi Yen: ya, 1 mont kiara is quite happening now, and there are still some more outlets scheduled to open in the next couple of months :)

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  7. I saw both these stores at a Japanese expat blog last week. esp interested in Menya Kamikaze . damn , must make a trip down to Mont Kiara one of these days.

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    1. Jeffrey: yeah, it'd be good to kill two birds with one stone and have both udon and ramen in one visit! both were pretty satisfying :D

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  8. I do enjoy a nice fat udon noodle.

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    1. The Yum List: yeah, the ones here are good, they taste fresh and well-made, with exactly the right amount of firm bite in the texture :)

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  9. Yay! Three Japanese noodle places near me. The Kamikaze ramen looks good, and a self-service udon place has the potential to be fun

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    1. Footfringe: reasonably priced places too, considering their mont kiara location :)

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  10. Oh they have the exact setting like what i had in Japan! I remember the return kiosk where diners are expected to return the used utensils back to the kitchen! I like to add in lotsa spring onions and tempura bits on my udon!

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    1. Ken: ooo, thanks for the testimony for the authenticity of kodawari menya ... and yeah, we added lots of condiments to our udon too for that extra texture :)

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  11. Oh ya have heard many ppl complimenting the chashu at Menya Kamikaze Ramen. And omg, more butter in your ramen broth, must be so sinful!

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    1. Baby Sumo: i think you'd definitely fall in love with the chashu here ... and heheh, i guess i like my food extra-buttery :D

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  12. Curry rice with pork belly sounds slurpilicious! Definitely different from usual curry rice we have at most Jap eateries.

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    1. Missyblurkit: yeah, the curry was perfectly creamy and savoury, and the pork belly turned out to be a terrific ingredient for it! :)

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  13. Have you tried the udon at udon-ya san in pandan indah? They serve home made udon & price very affordable

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    1. City Girl: i haven't, but thanks for the info. i don't usually explore that area, but will try the place if i'm ever in pandan indah. thanks again :)

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    2. I have personally tried the homemade Udon at Udon-ya San in Pandan Indah. The best Udon I've tasted in KL. Go try it whenever you have the time.

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  14. Hi Sean, my sons and I love udon too.

    Udon-ya san do serve nice and delicious home made udon that both my sons loved. Worth trying.

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