I have never been a big fan of Ramen but there are times when you are eager to see what is the fuss about all about. Among the many ramen restaurants that have opened up in the past one year, I picked Hokkaido Ramen Santouka at Pavilion first because I feel it is the one that really kick-started the trend for ramen in KL. Besides, Santouka is also one of the larger ramen chains in the world.
I went straight for the best in the menu – a bowl of Tokusen Toroniku Shoyu Ramen @ RM36 (regular portion). It is Santouka’s signature ramen in which the toppings are served separately. The Chashu is a cut from some of the rarest part of a pig – the cheek. From what I read in the menu, only 200-300g of cheek meat could be taken from each pig so that makes it quite valuable.
Although Japanese Chashu sounds similar to the Chinese Char Siew, the preparation is totally different. Instead of being roasted, cha-shu is rolled into a small log shape then slowly braised to a soft, tender texture that is said to resemble tuna. The taste is a simple mix of sweet and salty flavors, nothing really mindblowing but the melt-in-your-mouth texture even with so little fat, it is quite something.
Express Teppanyaki is located around Food Republic at Pavilion and they serve some pretty good teppanyaki. Set menus consisting of a pan fried meat, bean sprouts, vegetable, rice and soup start from RM15. After hearing some good things about them, we decided to have our lunch there one weekend.
Customers sit around the iron plate and get to enjoy watching the chefs prepare the food skillfully. Food aside, this has got to be the biggest attraction of teppanyaki.
After placing your orders, a piece of aluminum foil will be placed in front to put the meat and vegetables. Vegetable is fried first, followed by the meat and bean sprouts last.
Chicken Teppanyaki stir fried with chili flavored sauce.
And Sirloin Steak Teppanyaki – tender and bite sized meaty chunks with amazing flavor. I don’t know what type of sauce was used to fry the meat but it certainly wasn’t something normal. It was aromatic with black pepper and goes very well with rice.
Express Teppanyaki is one of the better teppanyaki I have come across that didn’t need to be in a classy Japanese restaurant. Very recommended. Price wise it’s affordable as long as no seafood is ordered.
Food Republic (right side)
Pavilion, Bukit Bintang
I have been eyeing to try Toast Box for a long time because it has managed to attract a beeline of customers constantly. Unlike J.Co, where the queue dies off after the donut craze went down. Besides, their toasts looked really tempting because they prepare them openly. Good tactic to create buzz and attract customers.
Anyway, this thought of trying remained as a thought for a long time, and I never even thought of queing for it. Why? Simply because I was put off by the crowd. I never liked crowded places, especially if it’s a restaurant. Remember my Foh San experience?
But one morning I was at Pavilion for some business and noticed there were very little customers at Toast Box. So, what better opportunity to have their toasts as my breakfast. There were a couple of sets available but I was particularly attracted to the Traditional Toast Set @ RM6.80. Continue reading