KANBE @ 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara
Here comes my review on the recent hottest ramen place – KANBE.
豚麺処 官兵衛 KANBE
Located in 163 Retail Park, this newest ramen restaurant has drawn a long queue over here every day, especially on the weekends; patrons may have to queue for at least 30 to 40 mins (if you are lucky) or up to one hour plus for a bowl of piping hot Hakata style tonkotsu ramen. And some of the days, they sold out quite early too.
I was there quite early on one Sunday, around 11am and there was already a queue on the line. Glad to have my friends who managed to reach earlier at around 10.40am, grabbed the ‘seat’ on the queue. We weren’t the first round sit-in patrons, but definitely the second round, perfect time for our lunch.
Before being seated, we were given the menu to study, fill in the preference on the paper for our bowl of ramen.
KANBE offers 8 types of soup flavours but with tonkostu (pork bone broth) as the base. The broth is simmered for 48 hours using KANBE’s cooking method to bring out its original flavour of the pork. The 8 types of flavours are Shiro (the original), Aka (blended with doubanjiang, spiced and umami), Kuro (garlicky flavour with charred garlic), Kohaku (flavoured with dried bonito, mackerel, and dried sardines), Sakura (with ebi prawn stock), Yuzu, Goma, and Seasonal (using best seasonal ingredients of each season to blend into their tonkotsu).
By looking on the menu, the photo of the tonkotsu ramen reminded me of one in Ichiran. Maybe I miss Japan too much. LOL
How to eat enjoy the ramen.
This piece of illustration has a little shadow of Mashi no Mashi, the famous wagyu tsukemen in Hong Kong which is co-opened by the team behind Wagyumafia, and it has been lying in my eat list for the longest time. Only if I am travelling to Hong Kong, I will be able to try it out.
Before finishing the bowl of ramen, do try adding the condiments available such as Spicy Miso Paste, Karashi Takana (spiced mustard greens) and Karashi Moyashi (bean sprouts with sesame and grated garlic mix) for a change of flavour.
Black Oolong Tea is FOC for all diners
I had the KANBE Tonkotsu Ramen (Rm 31.20) in Yuzu.
The soup broth appeared in whitish colour, milky and creamy rich. As my pick was yuzu flavour, it was hinted with the sweet scent of Japanese yuzu. Hakata style slurp-y thin noodles adsorbing the flavourful sweetly-hinted rich creamy broth.
See that yuzu peel
I like it at the beginning, but after slurping up halfway, I found it quite jelak and I couldn’t consume more soup and struggled to finish the last few bites. Perhaps I was too greedy and made a huge mistake for choosing the ‘rich’ in richness of taste instead of normal one, and also ‘heavy’ in garlic to match the sweet yuzu scent of the soup. Next round I am going to ‘normal’ all the options.
Chashu was not the kind of melt-in-mouth texture as you may find in other ramen place. But these are pretty good to me. Came in 2 thick chunks of chashu and the texture was good enough to absorb the soupy rich broth, so you got to savour the broth on the pork, double up the porky flavour.
You may switch the chashu to thick pork kakuni by topping up Rm 5. Just look at this extremely thick chunk of kakuni! Are you on it?
Oh, one more thing, don’t expect this Yuzu is some clean refreshing tangy kind like the one you find in AFURI Ramen as they are both totally different thing.
KANBE Tonkotsu Tsukemen (Rm 39) in Kohaku
A bowl of thick noodles with chashu, seaweed and a flavoured egg (top up) and comes with its dipping sauce that is flavoured with vegetables. My friend had the Kohaku version, the dipping sauce was in thick glue-liked, very rich and flavoured with dried bonito, mackerel, and dried sardines, served piping hot. You can see lots of dried fish chunks in the dipping soup. My friend loves the chewy thick noodles and the umami-rich dipping broth.
Here is how to enjoy tsukemen.
Use your chopstick only, allow an enough amount of flavourful dipping sauce (not for drinking on its own) to adsorb on the thick noodles, then slurp it up. Ask for ‘soup wari’ when you have finished eating your noodles, so that you taste the drinkable dipping soup.
We went greedy on their side dishes and ordered a few of the fried dishes.
Nanban Karaage (Rm 20 for 5 pieces)
Juicy fried chicken soaked in vinegar sauce and topped with pink tartar sauce. Not my favourite kind of karaage due to its thick batter but that pinkish tartar sauce gimme the feeling of spring.
Ultimate Buta Croquette (Rm 18)
Deep fried breaded mashed potatoes and minced pork stewed in sukiyaki sauce, served with special croquette sauce. We wished there were more pork inside the croquette as all we had in the mouth were only the mushy mashed potato texture.
Brussels Sprouts Cheese Katsu (Rm 24)
Brussels sprouts breaded with breadcrumbs and coated with parmesan cheese deep fried into perfection, served with the refreshing yuzu aioli dipping sauce. This has my vote! Love its crunchiness outer layer along with the very hot juicy vegetable.
So, verdict? Some find this ramen place not nice at all, some find this place overrated, not worth the time for it. But then again, taste is pretty subjective according to individuals and everyone has their own preference. I will revisit again to build my own perfect combination but maybe not when the queue is still this long. I like the tonkotsu here and I find this a lot creamier, rich and nicer than the very famous one in Jaya One (which I found that one overrated).
If you do not want to queue, hop over to Yokohama style Ichikakuya Ramen which has just recently open its door at Shoplex Complex Mont Kiara. The tonkotsu and its aromatic chicken oil are something to shout out about.
豚麺処 官兵衛 KANBE
GF-08, 163 Retail Park, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara,
50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Opens daily from 11am to 9pm.