Friday, September 2, 2011

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka @ Tokyo Street, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Ramen, oh ramen, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways..

Your noodles so springy and firm to the bite. Your broth utterly delicious to the last drop.

I love eating all types of noodles, be it Chinese, Italian or Japanese. Ramen is one of my favorite noodles.. not only is the noodle tasty, the broth is also fantastic. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka reached our shores recently and have opened their first Malaysia branch in Tokyo Street, Pavilion KL. I have read so much about it, so I prayed it would be good.

Since opening there is always a queue outside this restaurant. I've been to Tokyo Street three times and on each visit there was a queue at this outlet. On the day we decided to eat here, we arrived at 12.15pm and had to wait 15-20 minutes before we got to the front of the queue. We were offered a laminated menu to look through while waiting and placed our order before we got to our seats. For some reason, the pork cheek ramen (Tokusen Toroniko) was not listed on the laminated menu hence I totally forgot about it until I saw the display of dishes at the front.

Inside, the restaurant was packed to the brim. Customers come, sit down, wait for their noodles, eat for their noodles and then leave. Not really a place you'd wanna bring your date. Since we did not want to wait another 15 minutes, we were asked to share a table with other diners.

Packed at all times

They serve complimentary ice water with the ramen. I still remember the Japanese chef from GokuRaku Ramen telling us that the only drink we should have while eating ramen is cold water, just like they do in Japan.


Shio ramen (salt flavor) is the signature ramen here. The mild, pearl-colored tonkotsu soup is made by simmering pork bones, vegetables, dried fish, kelp, and other special ingredients for 20 hours. Apparently, the soup is never boiled and only simmered since this is the perfect temperature for a delicious soup. I certainly had no complaints about the soup. It was light and creamy, and filled with porky goodness. I almost licked my bowl clean.

The ramen noodles here are medium-sized and are like the ones I am accustomed to. The noodles were served with bamboo shoots, jelly ear, cha shu, fish cake and a pickled plum. The cha shu (pork) was lovely, with the right proportions of fat and lean meat, as well as being very tender and well marinated. I ordered the small portion and was only given 1 piece of cha shu. Overall, I enjoyed this bowl of ramen very much. Even as I left the shop, the delicious flavours of the soup still lingered in my mouth. Simply fabulous.

Shio ramen (RM22.50 for small)

The noodles come in 3 different sizes; small, medium and large. I would say that the small portion of ramen here is just nice for me.

They did a very good job with the Komi Tamago (Flavoured Boiled Egg); it was flavoursome and best of all, the egg yolk was still runny. How beautiful is that.

Komi Tamago (RM2)

Hubby had the Miso Ramen (Soybean Paste Flavor), which apparently is made from a different pork broth to bring out the flavour of the miso paste. The ingredients are the same as the shio ramen, except that this doesn't have the pickled plum. I had a taste of the soup and this was slightly saltier and more earthy than the shio ramen.

Miso ramen (RM22.50 for small)

Firm and springy noodles

The display at the front of the restaurant to tempt you

Always a queue, this was taken when we left the restaurant

Verdict: I really liked the shio ramen, however the queue and seating arrangements can be a little off-putting. But for you ramen, I shall return...

You can read about the history of Hokkaido Ramen Santouka here. Join their Facebook page here.

For full set of photos and menu, click here.

Opening times: 11.00am to 9.45pm daily.

Service: Good.

Location: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Lot 6.24.03, Level 6, Tokyo Street, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2143 8878


  1. Oooh I've never read romantic poetry dedicated to ramen before! Perhaps you could consider ramen for your next valentine's day dinner, heheh (but maybe not here at santouka, since the atmosphere isn't so conducive for couples) :D

  2. I was there recently... just done organizing my photos for the post ;)

  3. Not sure the small size ramen can satisfy me or not but it's a bit pricey ~~

  4. Sounds like an interesting place and yes, the egg look so wonderful, esp the way its served.

  5. i swear to god, this is the first time i see a tamago done in this way in a restaurant. most ramen places i've dined in just cheat on the tamago which infuriates me a lot!

  6. PureGlutton: Ooooo, cant wait to read your post. :)

  7. Choi Yen: Well, you can always order a large one - RM29, just a bit extra to satisfy your ramen cravings :)

  8. Nava.K: Yeah the egg is definitely a must-try side dish. Lovely to look at and lovely to eat.

  9. Michelle: Was really impressed at how runny the yolk still was... tasted damn good too.

  10. Sean: Haha just thought of using that line since Ramen rhymes with Romeo.

  11. We like this place very much too. So far this is our favourite ramen place in KL. :D

  12. ckiong: I'm gonna go try Marutama Ramen next... since I've heard quite good things abt it too. Santouka has set a very high standard.

  13. Hehe, I just went to Santouka for lunch today. Probably my 4th or 5th time so far. It's my fave for pork broth ramen in KL.

    Marutama does a good job with its chicken-base ramen broth but I do prefer something porkier. (Note that this doesn't mean Marutama is halal; still got charsiu, hooray!)

    For the best in this region, try Ippudo in Singapore. Now if only they would bring that one into KL... :D

  14. Kenny: Haha you're a die-hard fan :P I didn't realise how recognisable the noodles here were... posted a pic on my Instagram, and a guy from Japan asked if it was Hokkaido Santouka Ramen. No other ramen in the world serves it with a pickled plum? (You shd know better than me I think)

  15. Ooh, it all looks good! Perhaps a little pricey as the portion doesn't look that big from the photos, but still definitely worth a try. We'll be sure to check it out now that we're back in KL!

  16. Eat Only Lar: Most ramens in KL are around this price anyway. You can always go for the medium or large portions.... RM29 for the large shio ramen.

  17. D mildly spicy Kara Miso ramen is also good and...

    Awwww...u din order d Tori's very good...plump n juicy...served with a dip made from mayo, chopped egg white and chopped zucchini :D

  18. ulric: Came here for the noodles and wasnt sure how big the portions were. Maybe try next time! :) Thx for the recommendation.

  19. Try the Toriniku , the meat is awesome :D
    but heard very limited quantity everyday

  20. LF: You are referring to the pork cheek right? That is next on my list to try - the menu they offered us during this visit didnt have toroniku on it hence I totally forgot abt it until we finished.

  21. The pork is amazing! However I think the ramen is just decent. But I can't forget how amazing the pork tasted in my mouth!


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