Monday, May 13, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Ippudo Ramen is one of the mainstream franchises from Japan that is taking the world by storm. With its first Australian shop running on a high in Westfield Sydney, there is no doubt that we will see a similar trend happening in Perth. But before it comes, is Ippudo Ramen really all that good? Well, I was in Hong Kong last Christmas and had the opportunity to try the franchise a little closer to the home of ramen, Japan.
Pork belly buns is an appetizer bun that seemed really popular,so I followed and decided to order one! The pork was soft but to say “OH! It melts-in-your-mouth” would be an overstatement. Steamed buns were soft and fluffy. I found myself not understanding the hype. Back in Malaysia, I would sometimes see a generous slice of pork belly sandwiched between fluffy buns that really hits you like BAM! This was nowhere near that in comparison. The meat was just so little! But for most people, it must have been enough. If not Momofuku would not even be half as famous as it is now.
The little darling ordered some Gyoza for us to share too. It was perfectly cooked on the outside as the picture shows. But what it does not show is the filling which were OK but it could have been juicier on the inside.
Ramen is what we were here for and for their December special, Ippudo HK had a special Ramen on promotion. The soup tasted great and noodles still had enough resistance when clipped out using chopsticks. To make it easier maybe I should just call it Chinese Al Dente? haha. The oozy center of the egg was very yummy but when I look at the ramen package as a whole, what is so special about Ippudo? I struggled to find my answer.
From this bowl of delicious noodles, I did not see how it differentiates itself enough to make an impact in town. I would rather go to Nao or Dosukoi over this anytime. However, if we had something more unique like Menya Musashi or Santouka Ramen in Australia, then we are talking! Conclusion? Ippudo is OK only.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
If you look around the internet, there is no doubt that wantons are easily one of the most popular things to try in Hong Kong besides yum cha and roast meats. So where do you find the best bowl of noodles? Well, I have been to a few place but none gets more rave reviews than Mak’s Noodles. Located just opposite Tsim Sai Kee (TSK)which also provide similar offerings, Mak’s Noodles and TSK are fierce competitors which are dividing the locals. Ok maybe not all the locals as most prefer TSK for its good bang per buck ratio. But how can I say that I have traveled to Hong Kong without eating the most raved about noodle shop?
The prawn wanton noodles $30 HKD.
Needless to say, when the noodles came in a bowl no bigger than a small soup bowl I was shocked. It was really tiny! But where substance was concerned, the springy noodles cooked just right were an absolute joy to slurp. The broth used was rich and tasty. Chopped scallions too, gave the noodles a great fragrant! My favourite part of the noodles were undoubtedly the wantons. The prawns were fresh and bursty just the way it should be! Perhaps that was why the place is always packed. But if you had asked me whether I was mind blown by the overall dish, I would say not really. Great eat but not a mind blowing one.
As the little darling do not like prawns, she ordered Mak’s dry noodles with pork chutney.
Noodles again were cooked spot on without question. I had a little of the chutney and found it very flavorful. It had a few spices which elevated its taste but what let me down was the meat itself. I was expecting something a little more melt in your mouth but the meat was just lean right through. The little darling enjoyed this!
The meal at Mak’s was no less impressive as the debate it causes among the online community. It was cooked well, the noodles really nice with a really nice bounce as you clip it with your chopsticks and wave away the heat. The prawn wantons were faultless and broth really tasty. Conversely, would this little charm be many times better than its across-the-road rival TSK? I would say not. How about the ones I have in the most random places in Hong Kong? I reckon if I had given Mak’s a full 30/30, TSK runs in close at 28 and most that I have eaten would be a 24 easy. So would I come back? Definitely yes! In a rush? No.