When Ma Maison Ebisu at Lot 10, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur opened, I was first introduced to tonkatsu. What is tonkatsu? A Japanese dish of meat coated in breadcrumbs and fried.
All set meals come with rice, tonjiru (miso soup with pork), cabbage, and pickles:
Rosu Katsu (Deep Fried Pork Loin)
Hire Katsu (Deep Fried Pork Fillet)
Okonomi Katsu (Variety Katsu)
Iroiro Katsu (Assorted Katsu)
If you’re coming from Lot 10 parking lot, take the escalator or lift from the 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th floor down to the 4th floor. But if you’re coming from the Bukit Bintang MRT or monorial, take the escalator or lift from the ground floor up to the 4th floor. The 4th floor is also known as Js Gate Dining, where there are only Japanese food on this level in Lot 10.
Then in 2019, when I was holidaying in Japan, I ate the tonkatsu at Tonkatsu Wako Pole Town, Sapporo, Hokkaido.
Pole Town is an underground mall in Sapporo. As for Tonkatsu Wako Pole Town, it is very near to the Susukino Station.
Also known as Shi Shi Do Ramen Bar (to me), is in the Gasket Alley. The Gasket Alley is not hard to miss, as it is directly opposite Jaya 1 shopping mall and behind Columbia Asia Hospital – Petaling Jaya.
The Gasket Alley is a small warehouse with restaurants, dessert outlets, an IT store, and Harley-Davidson of Petaling Jaya. Head right to the end where you’ll find the authentic Japanese Tonkotsu Ramen in Section 13, Petaling Jaya.
If you’re not Grabbing to the restaurant, within the compound, there is a short row of visitor’s parking. Alternatively, you can park at Jaya 1 or the office complexes down the road, and walk up to the Gasket Alley.
During lunch hours or rush hours, there can be long queues outside the restaurant. So it’ll be best to go early and time yourself beforehand.
Inside the Ramen Bar
Instead of going to Japan, Japan is brought to you. And you’re transported back into time inside the ramen bar.
There is a ground and mezzanine level. On the ground floor, it feels like you’re eating in the streets of Japan in the old days of history’s past. You’re surrounded by “shophouses” and an old street lamp post in the middle.
Ramen Bar Shi Shi DoFood
The pork broth is delicately boiled and skimmed up to 48 hours to bring out the natural yet rich flavour of the finest pork bones. On top of that, the meticulously custom-made springy noodles are perfect to be slurped up with the creamy soup, alongside the tender braised pork shoulder, soft boiled egg, black fungus and spring onion. With a 9 years of history, the artisans have been focusing on serving the ultimate tonkotsu ramen, from the stove to the serving table, only for you.
Orders are made with the touch screen tablet on the table.
There are three types of ramen to choose from. Each mainly with a different meat given: pork shoulder slice (1 piece), Yakibuta (2 pieces), and Ippon Yakibuta.
Then you can choose and mix the flavour, from single, to double, and triple flavours. Single flavour consists of either pork soup, black garlic pork soup, spicy pork soup, curry pork soup, basil pork soup, and pepper spicy pork soup. From these selections, you can mix and match to double or triple flavours.
If not ramen, you can make your own hot pot. There’s Shishido Original Tonkotsu Hot Pot and Shishido Original Spicy Tonkotsu Hot Pot.
They also have three types of Tsukemen to choose from: Tonkotsu Tsukemen, Yakibuta Tsukemen, and Ippon Yakibuta Tsukemen. Like the ramen, you can also mix and match the flavours. The single flavours are black garlic pork soup, spicy pork soup, curry pork soup, basil pork soup, and pepper spicy pork soup.
Japanese food is no stranger to Sea Park and Taman Paramount. There are Shokudo Japanese Curry Rice, Waffurus, and Kakiyuki @ Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya. A new addition to the family is Washoku Japanese Restaurant.
Washoku is no stranger to Malaysia, as it already has outlets in Sunway, Bandar Kinrara, and USJ Taipan. Washoku Sea Park is a new addition to the Washoku family.
Washoku Sea Park is located in a strategic location in Petaling Jaya. Sea Park is a mature neighbourhood.
The restaurant itself is located at a cross junction. It is the intersection where Jalan 21/12, Jalan 20/7, and Jalan 20/14 meets. Many cars wait at the traffic lights and cross the junction. Hence, heavy traffic and excellent visibility.
Furthermore, the road is slopping up – giving the restaurant a commanding view and presence.
Parking is not really an issue as customers can park along Jalan 21/12 and Jalan 20/7 and walk to the restaurant. As it’s a corner shop-lot, customers can park below as the shop below is currently vacant. Alternatively, customers can also park along Jalan 21/14, Jalan 20/16, or Jalan 20/16a.
Washoku Sea Park Restaurant
Washoku Sea Park officially opened its doors to Sea Park on 8 August 2020.
As Sea Park and Paramount Garden are matured neighbourhoods, the customers are mixture of young and old ages.
It is a sushi train restaurant, and the spread offered is reasonably affordable. There are 4 types of plates, denoted by the colour of the plates. The sushi train plates start from RM1.70 to RM4.70. Blue is RM1.70, Red is RM2.70, Purple is RM3.70, and Yellow is RM4.70.
It has an interesting spread of sushi offered on the train and Japanese food in the menu.
Located in the heart of Fremantle Market is a popular Japanese ramen shop – Dosukoi Ramen. Considering its popularity, the best time to eat their ramen is before lunch hour – 11-ish. Furthermore, its a small shop, it can get very cramp. This is especially true during lunch hour, when hungry people are queuing for your spot.
However, if you opt to skip the wait or have a take-away, Dosukoi Ramen has a good mobile customer service. Leave your mobile number with them and they will send you a text message when your order is ready or when there is an empty spot for you. Hurry, because you don’t want to miss out on the delicious Dosukoi Ramen!
Tired and in need of a change? Head up north to the city centre, Perth CBD. There are more Japanese ramen shops in Perth CBD. Nao Ramen, newly opened, also offers good ramen as Dosukoi Ramen. Similarly, go early to avoid the lunch crowd or you will be queuing in the (hot summer) sun. What’s different at Nao Ramen is the choice of ramen. You even get to mix-and-match your choice of soup flavour with your preferred ramen.
Sushi. Sashimi. Raw food. Bento set. Green tea. Sushi King. Sushi Tei. Pasta Zanmai. Sushi Zanmai. Hokkaido Sushi.
All things Sushi mah…
Growing up, this was the equation for Japanese food:
Japanese = sushi
When we go into a Japanese restaurant, we go for the table; not the set. Conveyor belt sushi or sushi train, I mean. It’s fun to see the food coming to you. But it is not fun when its always, ALWAYS the same food choice: salmon sushi, egg mayo sushi, prawn sushi, and tuna sushi.
Anyway, after countless plates of sushi, this is the end result.
Eat first and count last is what we normally do. It gets even interesting when we compare the different coloured plates at the end. We would count and see how many pink, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple plates we ate.
All that changed in 2014 when I went to Perth. I had a food shock. If you think culture shock was worse? Wait till you experience the food shock. There was no conveyor belt, no sushi train, no rotation sushi, and no sushi-go-round. Then, what Japanese food did people eat?
People mainly ordered bento sets. They were value for money. The reason being was that sushi on conveyor belts were expensive.
Nevertheless, I discovered a variety of unique bento sets: Teriyaki chicken/fish/beef set, Tempura fish/chicken/prawn set, Unagi set, etc.
If discovering and exploring bento sets were not enough, there is more to come…