Cold ocha is served in tall glass I’d love to come back here to try the other menu
Cold ocha is served in tall glass I’d love to come back here to try the other menu
Keisuke Takeda, founder of Ramen Keisuke, also created several other brands: Tonkotsu King, Tori King, Tonkotsu King Four Seasons, Tonkotsu King Matsuri, and Gyoza King. Gyoza King and Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King are located within 2 minutes walking distance.
To compliment the waiting time, Keisuke Ramen offers free Japanese Barley Tea.
To accompany my exotic Black Spicy Ramen, I ordered a bottle of Wasabi Ginger Ale. The wasabi was too mild, but I like all kinds of ginger drinks.
Yoshinoya recently opened a new outlet at Meli Melo Sentra Kuliner 3, Kota Harapan Indah, Bekasi. It is located in the same area as one of our business units, the 3-in-1 outlet of Barnival, Bakmi Naga and Seaside Suki. There are many other branded restaurants over there, including Sate Khas Senayan, Old Town White Coffee, XO Suki, Tekko, Duck King and Iga Bakar Jogja. If people ask me what I love the most in Yoshinoya, I’d answer without hesitation: hot chilli! The texture is very watery, almost looks like chilli sauce at traditional noodle restaurants.
According to the official website, Tampopo literally means Dandelion, which is a strong and resilient flowers that survive in tough environment. Maybe I should create an illustration for my favourite quote using Dandelion flowers.
Tampopo is the pioneer of Kurobuta (black pig), and it is nominated as one of the best ramen in Singapore. On our first visit, my dad tried the Tampopo BP Koumi Fry Ramen. My dad ordered another dish of black pig for sharing: Deep Fried Black Pig Gyoza. The rest of us also ordered ramen, but I couldn’t remember the specific names. There were three big categories of ramen: Black Pig Ramen, Kyushu Ramen, and Hokkaido Ramen. Moreover, there is a very unique ramen, the Triple Black Ramen, with a very catchy name: NIB (Noodles In Black). After spending some time to read the menu over and over again, I finally understood that Tampopo offers two types of noodle: Hokkaido and Kyushu ramen. Hokkaido Ramen is made of imported flour from Hokkaido, which may be the reason why it is $1 more expensive than Kyushu Ramen. However, additional soup for Kyushu Ramen is $1 more expensive than that of Hokkaido Ramen, because Kyushu Ramen uses pork bone that takes 2 days to make. The rich broth of Kyushu Ramen goes along with the noodle texture that is thin and hard.
The Hokkaido Ramen category is further divided into subcategories of Hakodate Ramen and Sapporo Original Ramen. You may easily upgrade the Hokkaido Ramen by replacing the normal BBQ pork to black pig with additional SGD $2.What an extremely complex ramen menu.
Me and my brother decided to hunt Japanese food while we were in Singapore. We decided to go to Tonkatsu Ma Maison in Mandarin Gallery, because it was very near to our apartment and it was recommended by Riri.
What a cute piggy mascot
As clearly indicated from the mascot, Ma Maison specialises in Mille-feuille Katsu. I have heard the word “katsu” long time ago, but I never really care what it actually means. Now that I work in F&B industry, I learn to pay more attention to details, such as terminology. One may guess that “katsu” means “deep fried” or “breaded with panko”; apparently, “katsu” stands for “katsuretsu”, which means “cutlet”. Fried pork cutlet is called “Tonkatsu”.
There are three categories of pork katsu: Rosu Katsu, Hire Katsu and Miso Katsu. “Rosu” is the Japanese term for “pork loin”, whereas “Hire” is the Japanese term for “pork fillet”. Miso Katsu is either Rosu or Hire that is polished with miso sauce. In addition, there is a special pork, the black pork aka Kurobuta.
For those who cannot decide which ingredient to pick, you may choose the mixed platters, including Iroiro Katsu and Okonomi Katsu. My brother picked the Mille Feuille Katsu Set – Deep fried multi layered slice pork cutlet, which comes with a drop of yellow mustard, a huge pile of shredded cabbage, a bowl of steamed white rice, a bowl of tonjiru, a small plate of pickled daikon and an empty three-section sauce plate.
Each slot of the sauce plate is indicated with the name of condiments, which are salt, sweet Tonkatsu sauce and another unknown sauce. Tonjiru is actually miso soup with pork and daikon, the soup is much richer than regular miso soup.
Ma Maison claimed that the rice is very delicious, because it is made with a traditional Japanese rice cooker called Kamado.
My mum was curious to try the ramen at Chabuton, whose chef was the first ramen chef to ever receive a Michelin Star, Mr. Yasuji Morizumi – the “King of Ramen”. I wonder why the word “ramen” is written as “rahmen” on the logo.
As stated on the history above, Chef Morizumi opened CHABUYA restaurant in Tokyo in 1996. The saucer used in Chabuton is printed with this information: Chabuya since 1996. There are four main types of ramen broths: Tonkotsu, Tonkotsu Shio, Tonkotsu Miso, and Shoyu. My brother ordered the original version of tonkotsu broth, the one with the recommended sign. My dad picked the spicy version of tonkotsu broth: Chabuton Kara Kara Ramen, with an additional of soft boiled egg. My mum selected the shio broth. I wanted to try the difference among the three versions of tonkutsu broth, so I had the Miso Ramen. They offer two portions, small and large, but we all ordered the small size. The seasonings for the ramen were a bit unusual, as there were black pepper and fried shallots.
The ramen didn’t taste as good as we expected, but the Hitokuchi Gyoza was nice. The size of the gyoza is smaller than usual, which is maybe why it is called 一口饺子 (One Bite Gyoza). My mum liked how the gyoza skin is very thin. The staffs at Chabuton didn’t have good knowledge of the menu, as they mixed up our orders. They couldn’t tell the difference among the tonkotsu, shio and miso broth. They also forgot to ask us to customise the ramen to our own liking, including the hardness of noodles, oil level and saltiness.
Although the Takashimaya shop doesn’t have complete collections of cakes, but it’s good enough for me since it has the Blue Donut and Ice Cheese Tarts. The Blue Donut (side view) The Blue Donut (top view)
The very bottom of the cake is sponge cake, it is so moist that it almost melts in my mouth. Sorry the picture looks very messy. But believe me, the cake tastes superb. I will definitely come back for this.
Let’s move on to the second dessert: Ice Cheese Tart Green Tea & Yuzu. I wasn’t familiar with the term Ice Cheese Tart; apparently, it almost resembles cheesecake. The composition of Ice Cheese Tart are almond powder, butter, cream cheese, egg, flour, fresh cream, milk and sugar. The matcha (Japanese green tea) flavour was very intense, but I couldn’t taste any yuzu. Maybe it would be perfect if the yuzu concentration is increased by a little.
I really love the Tamago Yaki in here, and I bet Riri would love it too. I ordered Torimomo Teriyaki for main course, which is a fancy term to call Chicken Teriyaki. The teriyaki sauce is very rich in flavour, I really liked it. All members of our family are fish-lovers, so we ordered three kinds of fish menu. My brother had the Gindara Misozuke Yaki – marinated charcoal grilled silver cod with miso flavour. It is the most expensive fish menu among the three. My dad ordered the limited item menu: Kama Shio Yaki – grilled fish cheek of the day with sea salt. It is written that this dish will take about 20 – 30 minutes to grill, but turned out that it only took around 10 minutes.
My mum asked me to pick a dish for her, so I ordered Tsubo-tai Ichiya Boshi – charcoal grilled dried Tsubo snapper. Unfortunately, my mum didn’t really like the fish, as it has so many fatty layers. This fish is known as Kakap in Indonesian.
Apparently, this restaurant is part of a big group, Daisei Group, who owns many other brands, including Kira Kira Ginza (right next to Daiktokyo), Yellowfin, Jurin, Ramen 38, and a Japanese bakery La Mouette.
Yaki Tofu Chanjya – the topping was a bit strange, tasted kind of like a mixture of jelly fish with something else. I did research afterwards. It turns out that “Chanjya” is Korean style dish, made of stomach of codfish.
Yaki Tori Don – The rice set consists of all chicken parts, including skin and liver. I prefer chicken meat only. The menu is very creative, uncommonly seen in other Japanese restaurants. Sadly, they do not have Tamagoyaki. I was a little bit annoyed when there was suddenly a cat inside the restaurant.
Wooden plates decoration in front of the restaurant, which I also implemented on Java Java.
Time of Serving ●●●○○
Nankotsu Karaage = IDR 33.000
Tsukune = IDR 25.000
Yaki Tofu Chanjya = IDR 45.000
Gekikara Age Tofu = IDR 28.000
Yaki Tori Don = IDR 60.000
Sake = IDR 90.000
Subtotal = IDR 281.000
5% Service Charge = IDR 14.050
PB1 10% = IDR 29.505
Total = IDR 324.555
Kikugawa is the first Japanese restaurant in Jakarta, opened in 1969 by Kikuchi Surutake, a Japanese soldier who got sent to Jakarta during the World War, fell in love with a Manado woman, and returned to Jakarta after the war was over. He also opened the first Indonesian restaurant in Japan called Bengawan Solo. I assume Mr. Kikuchi is fond of river since he named both of his restaurant with river – Bengawan Solo is a river in Solo, whereas ‘gawa’ from Kikugawa means river, and he added his own name, ‘Kiku’, in front of gawa.
Kikugawa is hidden in Cikini residential area, which is used to be called Jalan Kebon Binatang, a few houses away from Gado Gado Bon Bin [Bon Bin = keBON BINatang].
Thatha had the Kikugawa Set A – chicken teriyaki, gindara teriyaki, agedashi tofu, mini oden, salad, rice and miso soup. I asked the chicken and fish to be grilled, and to replace rice with salad. I like the salad dressing, some kind of yuzu soysauce. I really liked the agedashi tofu, as the sauce contains ginger.
What made the special dish became more special was the super spicy chilli powder. Riri asked for togarashi, but turned out that this restaurant offered Thai chilli powder, which fits more to Indonesian taste.
After the free fruit dessert, the waitress gave us a comment form to fill. I gave full marks for each criteria, but I wrote a suggestion to add sake and dessert menu. And maybe it could be much more interesting if they write the history of Kikuchi on the menu book. Thanks to @efenerr for the valuable information.
Kikugawa is truly a hidden gem. People come here to enjoy unpretentious Japanese soul food, not to enjoy luxurious interior in many famous Japanese restaurants in Jakarta. There are more unpretentious Japanese restaurants in Little Tokyo Blok M, which was developed a decade after Kikugawa, around the 80s. I was a bit worried that there was nobody when we entered the restaurant, but after we ordered, more and more people came.
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