Review: Ajisen Ramen, Miri

This is finally my last food review post from my previous Miri Weekend Getaway. I had been to a couple of Ajisen Ramen in Shanghai and Nanjing when I visited China in July 2011 and April 2012. Back then, I wasn’t a huge fan of ramen. As a matter of fact, the only food I could think of in Japanese cuisine were sushi and sashimi. But ever since I tried Tatsuta Miso Ramen from Kaizen Sushi Waterfront, I fell in love with ramen. I even told myself that I am gonna try Ippudo in Singapore one day.

Ippudo is one famous restaurant for ramen in many different parts of the world. The nearest Ippudo that we have here in South East Asia are in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur (KL). The one in KL was only opened less than two months ago, if I am not wrong. And the queue was extremely long. I had tried the Gyoza Ramen from Excapade Sushi before. But unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectation.

But I got to get my ramen craving fixed last weekend with Alan after our unsuccessful dinner at Sushi King. I wanted to go Ajisen Ramen even before we settled with Sushi King, but Ing said that there is nothing much to eat at Ajisen Ramen. Hahaha … Perhaps she doesn’t know what exactly I wanted to eat at Ajisen Ramen. I am not going there for sushi rolls but ramen! There were lots of varieties on the menu. Took me quite some time to decide what I want to order before settling for their Spicy Cha-Siu Ramen.

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Spicy Cha-Siu Ramen | RM15.90

I specifically requested the waitress not to add in bean sprouts in my ramen. And she did the same with Alan’s ramen as well. Not sure if he eats bean sprouts but I don’t remember that he likes them anyways. When the ramen was presented in front of me, I knew for sure this is the kind of ramen with the right kind of broth that I am after. And I was so right.

The broth was extremely flavorful and sweet. The broth was brewed with pork for quite some time. Hence, it was able to make the broth tasting sweet and flavorful. The Cha-Siu were even better. They weren’t hard and dry but super juicy and tender. They melted instantly in your mouth, no need to bother chewing at all. Liked the boiled egg coz the egg yolk was runny. I only managed to finish all the ingredients but not the broth itself. The broth was good but I think it was tad bit spicy for my liking. But of course, it’s not that spicy to the extent that I have fumes coming out from both my ears and nose though.

Customer service at Ajisen Ramen was good. The waitress was friendly to us and our ramen was served promptly after ordering. I wouldn’t mind returning to Ajisen Ramen again when I am in Miri next time. But please be reminded that Ajisen Ramen is not a Halal restaurant as pork is served. If you are wondering the location of Ajisen Ramen, it’s the previous shop lot of Shiki Japanese Restaurant.

Ajisen Ramen
Lot 2410, Ground & First Floor,
Block 5,
Boulevard Commercial Centre,
98000, Miri,
Sarawak,
East Malaysia.
Tel: +6 085 432221

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Review: Sushi King, Miri

I am hoping that I have yet bore you all with all the repeating food pictures which I had been posting in my blog for the past couple of days. But please bear with me for another two or three days as I am already planning on what to review next for skincare products. So, this is the second last food review post that I am gonna do for my previous weekend trip to Miri. The dinner at Sushi King was supposed to be a belated birthday dinner for Ing and an advanced birthday dinner with Alan. The dinner was supposed to be of four but friend couldn’t make it at the very last minute as he had some businesses to attend to. So, it was only down to Alan, Ing and I in the end.

We arrived Sushi King some at about 7:00p.m. in the evening and the place was almost fully packed. And lucky for us, there was an empty table. Took us quite some time to decide what to order as the menu doesn’t look at all appetizing to me as compared to what I used to have at Kaizen Sushi and Excapade Sushi in Brunei. When I came back from Miri last Sunday, my colleagues at work asked me where did I had my dinner in Miri last weekend. Told her that I went Sushi King and she laughed at me. Of all restaurants to go, why Sushi King??!!! She must have thought that I was out of my mind to go Miri for Sushi King when we can have fresh and affordable Japanese cuisine in Brunei.

We ordered for about four small dishes and two main courses. In the end, none of the main course that we ordered came before we decided to cancel our orders. We waited approximately for about 30 minutes. And not even all small dishes were served. Ing ordered a hand roll for herself and it wasn’t even served to me after 30 minutes. Seriously, how hard was it to make a hand roll? Anyways, I am not gonna complain anything right now but leave it to later.

Let’s talk about the food quality first before anything else. I will try my best to get the right dishes’ names as I did not take any picture of their menu. I have gotten the names from Sushi King official website from the Internet.

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Spicy Salmon Ricewich | RM5

I ordered this for myself. To be honest, I find the presentation to be rather badly done. The whole thing just crumbled when I tried to pick it up with my chopsticks. The fried salmon fillets were dry and I am assuming that they had been cooked in large and left for a couple of hours. The rice doesn’t stick well with the seaweed sheet. In terms of flavoring, I think it was still pretty much acceptable.

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Spicy Salmon Roll | RM5

This was taken off the train belt by Ing. Did not have any of this as Ing said that one of the rolls were accidentally smeared with a bit of wasabi paste. I had never touched any wasabi paste since ten years ago when one of my ex-high school classmate spread too much wasabi paste into the sushi roll that she brought it to school for the rest of us to try. I can remember the time when I felt that fumes were coming out from both my nose and ears. This is how I ended up resisting wasabi paste. When it comes to eating raw salmon slices, I would just dip them into light soy sauce.

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Tobiko | RM12

Original serving came with two pieces of Tobiko only. But Ing requested for four pieces, so it’s RM12 for four pieces. Of all the sushi that we had the other night, this is the one only sushi which I was extremely satisfied with. The seaweed sheet was crispy and Ing claimed that the amount of “fish eggs” were too little as it’s even lower than the seaweed sheet. If you were to dine at Kaizen Sushi or Excapade Sushi in Brunei, I am pretty sure that the “fish eggs” would be on the same height as the seaweed sheet.

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Salmon Nishoku | RM5

This one tasted not bad as well. But there are still lots of space of improvements for presentation. Both Alan and Ing did not have any of this as I get to finish the whole thing off. Well, two pieces are kinda too little for me when I usually can get four pieces in one dish back with Kaizen Sushi or Excapade Sushi.

Overall Rating: 7 out of 10

Verdict: Food presentation were kinda horrible. Not much effort in making the dishes looking presentable. I know it was during rush hours but it doesn’t mean that you are allowed to neglect the quality and presentation of your food. The rice wasn’t that fresh in my opinion. They were pretty sticky when I had it the other night. Customer service was acceptable in my opinion. Though I find it quite hard to get the attention of their staffs at that point of time. We were seated extremely close to the counter whereby their staff would get clean cups and plates for customers. The restaurant itself was already noisy, and to make matter worse, one of their staff dropped and broke a cup.

We were grateful that one of their male staff came to us when he saw us waving for attention. When we told him that we would like to cancel the remaining orders since we only got four small dishes after 30 minutes, he was prompt with the procedure. When we proceeded for payment, the Cashier apologized to us for making us wait that long and our food had not been served completely. She even gave us additional 10% discount as an apology gesture despite we don’t have their loyalty card. In terms of pricing, I guess they were about the same price as what we had in Brunei. I wouldn’t mind returning to Sushi King again but probably during non peak hours.

Sushi King
Bintang Megamall

Lot G65, Ground Floor,
Lot 1264, Block 9,
MCLD, Jalan Miri-Pujut,
98000, Miri,
Sarawak,
East Malaysia.
Tel: +6 085 414589

Belated Birthday Dinner @ Fish & Co, Citis Square

I am feeling extremely sleep deprived right now. Slept at 1:00a.m. this morning and woke up 5 hours later at 6:00a.m. in the morning to send friend to the airport for his flight to Kuala Lumpur (KL) at 9:05a.m. in the morning. Treated him a way long overdue birthday dinner at Fish & Co. yesterday evening despite we originally planned to go Modesto Bistro & Grill. I reserved a table for two at Kaizen Sushi Waterfront earlier in the morning but he said that he doesn’t feel like having Japanese cuisine as he is gonna go for sushi buffet when he is in KL. So, I suggested Modesto instead which is located next to Shabulicious Restaurant at Batu Besurat.

When I picked him up from his office yesterday evening, he suggested that we have dinner at Pasta Mania at Times Square instead so that we wouldn’t be in a hurry to catch a movie show at 9:50p.m. in the evening. I don’t feel like having dinner at Pasta Mania so I chose Fish & Co. instead since he had never tried out the branch in Brunei since opening. So, dinner at Fish & Co. it is.

Couldn’t decide what to order at first coz I had tried some of their fish and chips dishes and I don’t feel like having any either yesterday evening. So, I ordered a Seafood Baked Rice for myself while he had Grilled Chicken with Peri-Peri Prawns.

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Seafood Baked Rice | B$13.95

Their Seafood Baked Rice came with a couple of shrimps, mussels, fish fillets and calamaris. There were about 4 or 5 pieces of shrimps, 2 pieces of calamaris, 4 pieces of mussels on top of the baked cheese and a couple of fish fillets. The amount of cheese spread on top of the rice were generous! The mussels weren’t exactly very fresh but edible enough not to cause me any allergy. The rice was previously cooked with pasta sauce, if I am not wrong. It tasted just like the normal pasta sauce we would use with when making Spaghetti Bolognaise. The rice itself tasted rather bland to me yesterday. Friend teased me saying that I had a “faulty” taste bud. But the mussels tasted extremely salty to me. It was probably because of the cheese.

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Grilled Chicken with Peri-Peri Prawns | B$18.95

He was surprised to see the portion when it was being served in front of him. He thought it was just like the usual portion we can have in any other Western restaurants. At first, he thought that B$18.95 was a rip-off but after seeing the portion, he said that it was reasonable. *sweat* His logic reasons … According to him, the chicken fillet was grilled to perfection. It was juicy and tender but not as good as the ones he had in Singapore. The sauce blended perfectly with the chicken. Prawns were fresh as well. Looked huge on the outside but as a matter of fact, edible flesh was a little only. He said that the chips were good.

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Walked around Times Square after dinner but nothing to buy. Watched Warm Bodies at Times Cineplex. It was my first time watching a movie show at Times Cineplex when I usually go The Mall Cineplex. The storyline of the movie is quite normal and it’s easily predictable in the end. If you wanted an easy and light movie to watch, perhaps Warm Bodies would be good enough for you as some of the jokes were lame and cold. But more than enough to make you laugh once in a while throughout the entire movie show.

Review: ZenQ Desserts, Miri

ZenQ Desserts is a franchise dessert company from Taiwan and it was opened up in Miri for less than a year. According to a friend, ZenQ Desserts was brought into Miri by a Curtin University Of Technology alumni. If you had been following the trend of desserts, you would have known that Taiwanese desserts had started to grow it’s popularity especially in the Asian markets. The first Taiwanese dessert brand which came into Brunei was Share Tea, located at Airport Mall. Wouldn’t say Each A Cup was originated from Taiwan as it’s brand was created in Singapore but ingredients used were from Taiwan. And Ochado wasn’t originated from Taiwan either but Singapore as well. Wondering if ZenQ Desserts will be brought into Brunei anytime soon.

Ing, Alan and I went to ZenQ Desserts last Saturday night after our dinner at Sushi King and Ajisen Ramen. We planned to try out some chocolate desserts at Citrus Restaurant & Cafe but Ing said that she was too tired to drive around and it was pretty late as well. Wouldn’t be sure if Citrus would still be open when we arrived. So, we decided to have our desserts craving somewhere near and we came around to ZenQ Desserts. Alan wanted to have supper at Dessert Master but both Ing and I beat him to it. But Alan still managed to get his craving fixed at Dessert Master the next day. Hahaha …

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ZenQ Desserts was extremely packed when we arrived. But fortunately, there was an empty table by the entrance of ZenQ Desserts. So, we quickly asked Ing to grab a seat so that Alan and I can proceed to the counter for orderings. As Alan was down with fever, he did not have anything chilly. So, he opted for Lotus Barley Seed and I ordered ZenQ Grass Jelly to share with Ing.

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Lotus Seed Barley | RM5.90

It came with generous servings of barley, lotus seed and some kind of white colored “cendol”. Alan said it tasted not bad but I assumed that it wasn’t a to-die-for dessert or else he would have been raving about it. Sometimes, it was hard to please his taste buds. And I guess Dessert Master was the only dessert shop in Miri which managed to satisfy his fussy taste buds. I am never a big fan of barley, so this dessert was definitely a no no to me.

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ZenQ Grass Jelly | RM4.90

For the price of RM4.90, this dessert came with three scoops of their ZenQ Desserts homemade ice-cream. There were three flavors for you to choose from which I couldn’t remember all three of them but I am pretty sure that two of them were Green Tea and Soya. Couldn’t remember what’s the third flavor though. Ing was surprised that I ordered this to share with her as she probably thought that I don’t like food sharing especially when it comes to desserts. Thing is, I was still full from my dinner at Ajisen Ramen at that point of time. So, I don’t see the point of ordering one each for the both of us when I knew half of mine would go into the dumpster by the end of the day.

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A small container of milk was served with this dessert. You have to pour the whole thing in for a milky and smooth texture. Honestly speaking, the milk blends perfectly well with the grass jelly and the green tea ice-cream. The homemade ice-cream was smooth and flavorful at the same time. I would say they did a good job with the making of homemade ice-cream. I only had a few spoons of the dessert but Ing managed to finish the entire thing, which means it was finger licking good for her! Hahaha … xD

In overall, I liked this place. But it could be extremely crowded especially during weekend evenings. Customer service was good and desserts were served very promptly after ordering. It could be considered a place for reunion gathering if you don’t mind the noisiness. I saw that majority of the patrons went for their shaved ice desserts. If you are a big fan of shaved ice desserts, perhaps ZenQ Desserts would be the right place for you. To me, the pricings were pretty much reasonable based on the portion offered.

ZenQ Desserts
Ground Floor, Lot 2515,
Jalan Boulevard 3B,
Boulevard Commercial Centre,
98000, Miri,
Sarawak,
East Malaysia.
Tel: +6 085 419979
Website: http://www.zenq.my

Review: Silverspoon Cafe.Restaurant

As I mentioned previously in my Miri Weekend Getaway post, I would be doing separate reviews posts despite the pictures had been posted earlier on. So, here comes one of the food and restaurant review as promised.

Silverspoon Cafe.Restaurant is located at Waterfront area which is a couple of blocks away from Citrus Restaurant & Cafe. Not sure if I gave you the right idea but it’s definitely located around the same area as Citrus Restaurant & Cafe. The interior of the cafe is nicely decorated with different sizes of white round lanterns hung on the ceilings. The table seating arrangements were designed about the same as Citrus though. If you were familiar enough with the eateries around Miri, you would definitely had known that Silverspoon Cafe.Restaurant is operated under the same management as Citrus Restaurant & Cafe.

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So, Ing and I made it to Silverspoon Cafe.Restaurant after our hair wash at Hair Clipperz. We were both famished when we arrived but never gotten round to finish completely what we ordered in the first place. Lesson learnt for being greedy and ordering what my eyes laid on when you are feeling down. Hahaha … We ordered an appetizer and a main course to share.

Here comes the pictures of what we had the other day.

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Seafood Basket | RM15.90

This is a basket of different types of fried food in breadcrumbs. There were french fries, squids, fish fingers and shrimps. To be honest, I did not really like the fish fingers as I had been having too much of it all these while at work. They came with a sauce but I couldn’t be sure if it’s sour cream or tartar sauce. But it went well with the deep fried food. The shrimps were not extremely fresh to me but considering acceptable. But they turned hard and rubbery couple of hours later. Liked the squids though. Well, squids are basically my favorite food when it comes to deep fried.

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Breaded Pork Mustard | RM11.90

Ing recommended this. It’s wrapped with deep fried pork cutlets along with different types of raw vegetables as salad. The original sauce was supposed to be mustard but I requested the waitress to substitute it with salad cream instead as I am not a big fan of mustard sauce. Couldn’t bear with the smell and taste of mustard sauce. The dish came with a side dish of french fries at the side. Both Ing and I had an overdose of french fries the other day. Hahaha … This dish is best eaten when served hot as the wrap would go dry and hard a while later when it gets exposed to cool air. I would recommend this dish to be shared among two if you aren’t a heavy eater. Both Ing and I couldn’t even finish half of the wrap.

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Almond Jelly & Longan | RM3.50

Ing and I ordered this one each for ourselves. It’s made out of almond jelly with those preserved longan from canned food. It’s a very refreshing dessert when the weather is hot. But honestly speaking, I would very much prefer if it comes with coconut pudding instead of almond jelly. As a matter of fact, I did not really like the taste of almond despite it being one of the most expensive dried foods. But still, their Almond Jelly & Longan is worth a try if you are looking for something refreshing in a hot weather.

In overall, I think this is not a bad place for reunion gatherings with friends or maybe birthday celebrations. The pricings were reasonable for me based on the portion and the generosity of the ingredients offered. But please bear in mind that Silverspoon Cafe.Restaurant is a non-halal restaurant as pork is served.

Silverspoon Cafe.Restaurant
Lot 1160, Jalan Sri Dagang,
98000, Miri,
Sarawak,
East Malaysia.
Tel: +6 085 413603