Japan Tsu Shin -Ramen Series – Menzo Ramen

Red, White, Black And Green – Ramen

In the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Koreantown in Solaris Mont Kiara, Menzo Ramen has a most unique offering in their Midori or Green Ramen but to get to it we really need to look at the other colours on offer.

The Shiro or White Ramen refers to the core tonkotsu or pork bone broth which is bolied for 16 hours to extract out all the flavours, body and collagen from the meat and bones. Menzo’s tonkotsu is by far the most intense I have had in KL and it has a full mouthfeel that is lip smacking. It also has a very long finish with the flavours lingering long after the last mouthful. For many, the broth is the key element to a great bowl of ramen and Menzo’s does not disappoint.

Of course the ramen itself is also important and this is made in house. The noodle has a medium thickness square profile and is straight. The default is medium hardness unless you specify otherwise. I found this to be quite good, though I personally prefer more bite to my noodles, so remember to tell them when you order.

The menya or ramen restaurant offers most of their ramen with a choice of toppings and add ons. The two standards are of course the Shio Tamago or soft centred egg and Chashu, the Japanified char siew or barbecue pork. Menzo Ramen does a great job on both, their eggs are not overly salty and have beautiful translucent yolks that are viscous but not firm. The Chashu is a big chunk of melt in your mouth meat and rendered fat with a beautiful top char. The flavour is quite strong but very clean.

When ordering the Shiro(White) Ramen, one really must opt for the Special, which adds a big dollop of the house secret condiment which has minced pork and sesame paste along with other ingredients that chef Kenzo holds close. This really enhances the already top notch tonkotsu and turns the dial to 11 for the experience. You won’t need reminding because the flavour lingers on and on.

In addition to the Shiro, there is also Aka(Red) and Kuro(Black) Ramen based on the same tonkotsu broth. The former adds a spicy chilli paste and is available with increasing levels of heat while the latter adds black garlic that turns the soup black. I recommend starting with the Shiro on your first visit and then venturing further into the ramen menu on subsequent visits.

Finally we come to the Midori(Green) Ramen that I have never seen in any other menya. It starts with the same tonkotsu bone broth base but adds ground edamame beans and basil to it to give a bright green broth that is visually unusual. It is a thick broth since the edamame adds more body to the already full base. The basil however is what makes the biggest difference by totally taming the gaminess of the tonkotsu broth. This makes the tonkotsu approachable to even the most delicate of palates but retains good mouthfeel. Chef considers this a gateway or easy introduction to the lure of tonkotsu broth.

Tokyo style Shoyu Ramen differs from the rest by using a clear chicken broth base prepared with shoyu or soya sauce. The result is a lighter ramen that still packs a terrific punch and this makes it a favourite for après drink. It has chashu, corn, bamboo shoots and most notably negi(leek) which adds a lot of aroma to the experience. An excellent delicate alternative to the fearsome tonkotsu.

Menzo Ramen also has a very extensive menu that is well beyond your classic menya items like gyoza (dumplings), notably their yakiniku or self-grilled BBQ for which they are very well known. This is in the context of being in the heart of Koreatown with at least ten Korean BBQ joints within 100 metres. It will surely be the subject of a follow up visit and article!

Menzo Ramen
Solaris Mont Kiara, 2, Jalan Solaris, Solaris Mont Kiara, 50480 KL
11:00 AM – 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM – 11:30 PM
03-6211 2749
FB: Menzo-KL