Early May, whilst I was waiting for my gift to be wrapped at Isetan 1Utama, a flyer announcing the opening of Isetan Eat Paradise on 11 May caught my eyes. I took one and oh myyy... I'm very excited over the possibilities of so many delicious food places right inside Isetan 2nd floor. Looking at the floor plan, the eating places seems to be spacious but in actual fact, they're just postage stamp size. I can imagine the crowd during peak hours.
The non-halal outlets consisted of Menya Musashi (Tokyo Ramen) debuting in Malaysia; Gantetsu (Hokkaido Ramen) also making its debut in Malaysia and Won Korean (not visible up front, just walk right to the end).
Meanwhile the pork-free outlets are Senya (Udon & Soba); Ichiro Sushi (sushi bar debuting in Malaysia); Puran B (cafe) which is actually Plan B where The BIG Group laid its first baby foot step in 1Utama; Gyu-Kaku (Japanese BBQ) also debuting in Malaysia. Then there's Caffe Gino over on the Ground Floor serving gourmet Japanese coffee.
With Capt'n Hook being a big fan of porky ramen, I guess we don't have to look any further than checking out Menya Musashi which has already gained wide publicity by the bloggers.
Apparently Menya Musashi with its flagship store in Shinjuku is one of the legendary ramen in Japan. It's owner, Yamada Takeshi is amongst the 3 ramen industry icons apart from Kawahara Shigemi (Ippudo) and Furuya Ichiro (Nanttsutei). Unlike Goku Raku Ramen's porky broths, Menya Musashi has a subtle broth based due to it's usage of dried saury (a type of fish that is usually in season during autumn) other than pork and chicken bones. Ramen used is thicker than Goku Raku Ramen, about medium thick I would say.
One of the characteristics of Menya Musashi is the interior decor which is samurai based with quite a number of art pieces of some kinda of samurai heros, samurai and sword themed lampshades, black pillars, tables and chairs. I'm no expert in this but while waiting for our ramen to arrive, Capt'n Hook peppered me with info about Miyamoto Musashi. Gee, I've no idea Musashi is actually a legendary swordsman!
There's no table service here. One has to place order and pay at the cashier upfront at the entrance. Then take a seat and soak in the art pieces. I've asked for a glass of cold green tea (RM2) and it really came ice cold, very very refreshing. It's also great to note that they serve drinking water FOC without even asking!
Menu is small and there are 3 steps in ordering a bowl of ramen, very simple as stated in the part pictorial menu. Just take a pick of your choices.
Step 1 - Oil
- Shiro (white) - Onion Flavored Oil/Original
- Kuro (black) - Special Oil of Fried Shallot & Garlic
- Aka (red) - Homemade Musashi Chili Oil
Step 2 - Ramen and Ingredients
- Musashi Ramen - 2 pieces of Chashu, Menma (fermented bamboo shoots), Ajitama (flavoured egg) and Negi (spring onion)
- Ramen - 1 piece Chashu, Menma and Negi
- Ajitama Ramen - 1 piece Chashu, Ajitama, Menma and Negi
- Chashu Men - 3 pieces Chashu, Menma and Negi
Step 3 - Served in Broth or Tsukemen (Broth on separate bowl)
Options to "kar liu" (Cantonese to add on extra) Chasu, Ajitama, Menima or Negi at extra charge. There are also a few of side orders such as gyoza.
I've opted for the signature (according to the cashier) Musashi Ramen (RM26) with a Shiro base of original flavour. I liked the texture of the thicker bouncy ramen. The broth is simpler in flavour. Chashu piece is humongous in size so far as compared with the rest of the ramen places I've been to. However, the texture of the pork slices is kinda coarse. The yolk is not runny at all for my Ajitama :(
Capt'n Hook as usual went for a full body broth of Kuro Chashu Men (RM30). He seems to enjoy his broth till the last drop. I did have some of the broth and find the fried shallot and garlic oil way too overpowering as I prefer to enjoy and taste the natural flavours.
Other than the ramen as the draw, at the moment Master Chef Yamaguchi is around. You can't miss him as his photo appeared on the menu and his imposing fiercesome aura (kekeke) is hanging around the restaurant klik klaking on his wooden clogs. He was looking at us at the corner of his eyes while I snapped pics using my tiny mobile phone. So fiercesome that I did not dare to approach him :p
Not sure how long he's going to be here but there were a couple of Japanese chefs in the kitchen. I guess if one really would like to have a genuine taste of Menya Musashi ramen, it's really a good time to taste it now. Once the chefs left... let's just hope things will maintain but as far as my own experience thing's won't be the same. So do go now.
On a note, we went for a show after our dinner here and we both felt thirsty in the midst of the show... the only day I left my water bottle at home duh! We scrambled to the supermarket to grab some cold drinks before heading home.
Oh ya, there's 10% service charge and 6% Government tax because it's opened under Isetan Malaysia.
2nd Floor Isetan 1Utama
Tel: +603 7713 7777
Sun - Thu 11.00am - 10.00pm (last order 9.30pm)
Fri, Sat & Public Holiday 11.00am - 10.30pm (last order 10.00pm)