Japan Tsu Shin -Ramen Series – SANZARU IZAKAYA

Ramen at a Japanese Izakaya

A place “where everybody knows your name.” Remember that? This is from the opening theme song to the 1980’s sitcom Cheers. Spending time in your neighborhood is the best way to get to know and appreciate your community. Parks, libraries, schools and even cafes and restaurants are valuable to help bring people together. Sanzaru Izakaya is a great example. This feels like the kind of neighborhood establishment that wants to get to know you. Open for about 7 months at the time we visited, they already are encouraged by support from many local regulars. Bukit Jalil is no stranger to competitive f&b establishments. Sanzaru is a warm classic atmosphere neatly tucked away in this comfy corner of Kuala Lumpur. And although ramen is not their main focus as an izakaya, they deliver a solid bowl of the iconic noodles.

Come on, let’s step inside Sanzaru and feel transported to what could easily pass for a slice of Osaka or Tokyo. The owner Ben and his extended family have cultivated a space that nurtures their souls. With two seasoned chefs that are long-time friends, they have organized their kitchen to highlight each chef’s specialty. One delivers the rich yakitori options while the other abundant versatile fried goodies and the reason for our visit, the ramen.

Although this is to review ramen, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to indulge in a flavorsome mix of yakitori. All were seared to perfection and would have paired well with a nice cold beer. Another izakaya item is their special fusionesque succulent pigtail marinated in an intense miso sauce and deep-fried. This was so succulent; we imagine it could be a great accompaniment to a tsukemen offering. Another rich twist was the sizeable cheese-filled croquette.

Any lesser shop may ride the high notes of their main menu and skimp on something like ramen. The local market tends to shy away from a bowl of noodles when they are imbibing. We understand that it is difficult to offer everything in one place. Impressively Sanzaru serves a rich creamy bowl. The size is a bit smaller than traditional fare, but they make up for it by loading it up. And you can always top up with some more perfectly chewy noodles. If you prefer your noodles a certain way just ask if they can accommodate. Practice your ramencabulary and request katame, futsu or yawarakame, firm, regular or soft respectively. Add the kakuni, braised pork belly, to level up the aromatics. So rich and tender it’s a shame to miss.

Whether you live in the Bukit Jalil area or desire a classic style izakaya in Kuala Lumpur, Sanzaru Izakaya manages to satisfy our craving for ramen. While most may not consider it from an izakaya, or slurp down noodles to close out a night of imbibing, it is typical to find many in Japan doing just that. So, whether it’s lunch, dinner or a late-night snack, Sanzaru’s ramen is an appealing end to a great time with friends.

No: 12-22-G, Ground Floor, Jalan Jalil Perkasa 13, Aked Esplanad, Bukit Jalil, 57000 KL ​
11:00am- 2:30pm, 6:00pm – 11:30pm
03-8999 0268