Review: Ichizo Ramen

Sister had returned to Singapore this evening. Mom and I will be traveling to Miri tomorrow morning for a return day trip as I had a dental appointment at 10:30AM. I had intended to drive to Miri today afternoon after dropping Sister off at the airport.

I was so exhausted yesterday evening after coming home from Kota Kinabalu (KK) and dinner at MeetUAll Korean Restaurant, I hit the sack shortly after I had showered. I even fell asleep on the couch before I went to shower.

San Diann, who was also in KK earlier this week tried Ichizo Ramen but I think he wasn’t impressed of the food as much as I was. Prior to going KK, I did my fair share of homework on food hunting and I focused quite a bit on non-Halal Japanese ramen because Mom loves Tonkotsu ramen.

I had originally planned a dinner at Ebizou Japanese Restaurant & Bar but it was no longer in business. Hence, it explained why I ended up at SAKAGURA Japanese Restaurant instead. I am not complaining because the food at SAKAGURA were good! Halal Japanese ramen had never been my priority as Mom preferred Tonkotsu ramen until Thanis Lim recommended me Ichizo Ramen.

I never had high expectation on Halal ramen as I thought Halal soup base would never be as good as Tonkotsu. However, Ichizo Ramen proved me otherwise. Halal ramen soup base can be as good as non-Halal ones too.

Sister and I went Ichizo Ramen twice, once when we were on our own for dinner and we brought Mom for lunch the next day. Without further ado, let me show you what we had at Ichizo Ramen on both of our visits!

Ichizo Ramen Special | RM25.30

Ichizo’s signature soup, mixed seafood and chicken stock served with noodle, 4 pieces of chicken meat, soft boiled egg, kikurage, spring onion, spinach and seaweed

Sister and I had this to share on our first visit to Ichizo Ramen and it was really good. The soup base was extremely addictive despite being slightly salty for our liking.

The main highlight of Ichizo Ramen Special was the soup base. All of Ichizo’s signature soups were made with chicken collagen and boiled over 10 hours. So, you can imagine how rich and thick the soup base was. Despite the thickness and richness of the soup, it didn’t leave you feeling “jelak” but wanting for more.

The second thing which I loved of Ichizo Ramen Special was the texture of the noodle. It was springy or “Q” by Chinese way of saying. LOL! Our dish came with a perfectly done Onsen egg and good amount of black fungus. However, we weren’t being served spinach but Di Wang Miao. The chicken meat were juicy and tender.

I don’t normally do this kind of shot with noodle dish but I must say it looked good and pleasant to the eyes and tummy! The only downside was that the bowl wasn’t centered in the picture. According to Sister, it was good enough and she complained that I have an OCD syndrome when it comes to food photography.

Chicken Ramen | RM15.85

rich and thick chicken soup stock, served with noodle, 2 pieces of chicken meat, kikurage, spinach, spring onion and seaweed

As I mentioned above, Sister and I brought Mom to Ichizo Ramen for lunch the next day before our return flight to Brunei. We ordered Chicken Ramen for her as she didn’t want Onsen egg and wanted nothing fancy. Chicken Ramen sounded just like the perfect fit at the time.

The soup base for Chicken Ramen was a lot thicker than Ichizo Ramen Special. It tasted exactly like chicken oil drips from steamed chicken. It was rich in collagen but definitely health hazardous to the arteries in my opinion. LOL!

Unlike Ichizo Ramen Special, the soup base did leave us feeling “jelak” towards the end of the meal. Having said so, I still think it was a flavorful soup base. The ramen noodle was as usual “Q” in texture.

This was better but it would have been better if the chopsticks were straighter in position. LOL! I had sent this and the above picture to King and he commented that it looked good.

Curry Rice | RM18.90

Japanese traditional curry sauce with rice, carrots, chicken meats, onion and potato

Sister and I ordered Curry Rice to share as we did not want to load ourselves with more gluten as our gluten intake for the past few days had exceeded our daily quotas. As a matter of fact, I think it had exceeded my weekly quota.

The consistency of the curry sauce was a lot watery than the ones I used to have in Brunei. Having said so, it was still good and flavorful in my opinion. The chicken meat were soft and tender. They were the same chicken meat from the ramen dishes.

Verdict: The Halal ramen dishes from Ichizo Ramen certainly left me with a different perspective. I am so used to Tonkotsu to the extent that I thought Halal ones would never be as good. Sister on the other hand commented that she prefers Tonkotsu ramen over the Halal ones at any time. Having said so, she agreed with me that the ones from Ichizo Ramen were equally good.

Customer service at Ichizo Ramen was good. Our food came promptly after we ordered. Pricing was considerably affordable given the currency exchange. However, I do think that it was on the pricier side for the locals.

Ichizo Ramen
Unit #1-37, First Floor,
Suria Sabah Shopping Mall,
Kota Kinabalu 88000,
Tel: +6-088276456

Review: Scoopee

After dinner at SAKAGURA Japanese Restaurant on our first night in Kota Kinabalu (KK), we met up with San Diann for supper at Scoopee as it was one of the cafes which I was interested to try.

I knew of Scoopee via eatnhopsabah, one of the local foodies whom I followed on Instagram. Some time before Chinese New Year (CNY), Scoopee had introduced D24 Durian Soft Serve and that was the main reason why Scoopee caught my attention.

Without further ado, let me show you what we had the other night at Scoopee!

Matcha Soft Serve | RM15.90

Being a Matcha fan, I wouldn’t miss the chance to give this a try. The cup may looked tall but only half of the cup was filled with soft serve. Corn cereals were added to fill up the remaining space inside the cup.

Crushed corn cereals were sprinkled on top and sides of the soft serve for an added crunch. Texture wise, it was smooth and milky in my opinion. It didn’t taste overly sweet which was good. However, it lacked the bittersweet aftertaste which I crave in a Matcha soft serve.

The main highlight of the soft serve at Scoopee is that it came with smoke/fume like in the picture above when served. The smoke lasted for about two minutes or so. Hence, the three of us were able to take turns to take pictures. LOL!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Base Soft Serve | RM13.90

In comparison of both Matcha and Salted Caramel, the latter looked sharper and pleasant to the eyes in terms of appearance. The soft serve was served with two pieces of waffle biscuits which Mom ate.

Sister liked this better than the Matcha soft serve as it tasted very much alike Hershey’s. As a matter of fact, the amount of cocoa in the soft serve was to her liking. The salted caramel sauce drizzled over the soft serve was salty for me but sweet and salty for Sister.

Verdict: Scoopee was rather quiet at the time we walked in but filled with more teenagers shortly after. The ambiance of the cafe was cozy with a touch of creativity. Aside from soft serve, Scoopee also serves coffees and light bites. If you are looking for a cozy and quiet place to hang out with friends, I do think Scoopee fits the criteria.

Unit 1-0, Ground Floor, Block H,
Lorong Lintas Square,
Lintas Plaza,
Kota Kinabalu 88300,
Tel: +6-088341960

Review: SAKAGURA Japanese Restaurant

Good morning! I am currently in Kota Kinabalu (KK) and just woke up not long ago. The view from my hotel room is scenic as it faces the sea. Next to the hotel is Jesselton Terminal, the access point for the islands nearby KK.

Anyways, I had actually planned for a dim sum breakfast at Hang Ho Wan this morning but San Diann commented that he and his parents went and came back with diarrhea. So, I decided to skip Hang Ho Wan and maybe go for Sarawak Laksa at Yee Fung Laksa if it’s open.

Prior to arriving KK, I had planned some of the food itineraries and even called in for reservation in case the restaurants I had in mind would be fully booked for the day given the festive season.

Dinner was at SAKAGURA Japanese Restaurant yesterday evening as recommended by Thanis Lim on his blog. According to my research on the Internet, SAKAGURA focuses on Hokkaido cuisine. So, the cooking methods may be different from the usual Japanese food that we were familiar with.

Without further ado, let me show you what we had for dinner yesterday evening!

Salmon Belly Sashimi | RM23

SAKAGURA has weekly promotion whereby you would get discounted rates for certain meats at different days of the week. As it was a Thursday yesterday, salmon was the offered meat. It was really a good bargain. We were being served thick slabs but Sister commented that it would be nicer if thinner. LOL!

Japanese Fried Chicken | RM25

Both Sister and I were craving for Chicken Karaage and hence we got their Japanese Fried Chicken to share. It was served with about 5 to 6 pieces of boneless chicken chunks, served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.

The chicken skin was the highlight in my opinion. It was extremely crunchy, as if you are eating pork skin but in the form of chicken because SAKAGURA serves no pork. The boneless chicken chunks were juicy and tender in texture. They went well with the dipping sauce too!

NAGOYA Utanamadon Hitsumabushi | RM48

This set came with a rice bowl of grilled eel (Unagi) and Japanese omelette (Tamago), mixed lettuce salad, miso soup, Chawan Mushi and tea. The mixed lettuce salad was good and it came with a tangy tasting salad dressing. It tasted a bit like Italian dressing to me.

Here’s a closer look of the rice bowl. It was served with two slices of Tamago in between three slices of Unagi, Japanese rice and seaweed flakes.

The Unagi was well done with a melt-in-the-mouth kind of texture. On the downside, it was rather salty for our liking. The Tamago was smooth and silky, definitely the best that I had eaten so far. As per some other recommendations I found online, majority recommended their Tamago as it was one of their specialty food.

As you are finishing the rice bowl, pour in the tea provided at the side to tone down the saltiness of the dish in overall. Sister commented that she liked the flavor more with the tea mixed in the rice.

TERIYAKI Chicken Rice Bowl | RM30

Mom wanted rice for dinner as opposed to her usual favorite for noodles. She requested for TERIYAKI Chicken Rice Bowl as that was the first dish which she saw on the menu that wasn’t deep fried (she’s not a fan of salmon, both cooked and uncooked).

TERIYAKI Chicken Rice Bowl was served with Japanese rice, topped with five slices of Tamago and grilled Teriyaki chicken. The grilled Teriyaki chicken was on the dry side despite they used the meat from the chicken thigh. The Tamago as usual were good but on the sweeter side.

Verdict: Both food and customer service were great in my opinion. We were impressed with the food served. However, it would be nicer if the grilled Teriyaki chicken weren’t that dry. Food were served promptly after we ordered. The pricing above subjects to a 6% service tax.

SAKAGURA Japanese Restaurant
G-23A & G-25,
Oceanus Waterfront Mall,
Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens,
Kota Kinabalu 88000,
Tel: +6-088273604

18022018 / Patpong Night Bazaar

Patpong Night Bazaar or commonly known as Patpong Night Market is the nearest night market located near to Siri Sathorn. It is located in within 15 minutes of walking distance. There are aplenty of night markets in Bangkok and Patpong Night Bazaar is one of them. Upon entering the main entrance into Patpong Night Bazaar, you will be greeted with at least two nightclubs.

Imitation products are widely available at the night market too. Some of them looked almost original like the real deal while some are obviously knock off.

We came across this stall selling Pad Thai and ordered one to share among the three of us. The noodles were precooked beforehand so that they would be done faster upon ordering. They serve Thai Spring Roll too and it was pretty decent in my opinion.

Pad Thai | ฿40

This was the spiciest Pad Thai that I had when in Thailand. The chef asked if I would like some spiciness to go with my Pad Thai and I nodded. Little did I know that it was so spicy. Despite the spiciness, it was addictive. Both Mom and Sister complained of the spiciness and I ended up polishing the rest of the Pad Thai.

Mango Sticky Rice

Which I find it to be average for my liking. The sticky rice was a let down as it was rather undercooked in my opinion. The diced mangoes were sweet though. There were quite a few stalls selling the same thing along the same street but it just happened that the one Sister bought from wasn’t that great.

Green Tea Red Bean Mascarpone | ฿135

Before returning to our hotel, we stopped by Starbucks Coffee to rest our legs and ordered ourselves a slice of Green Tea Red Bean Mascarpone to share. I think this particular flavored of cake is exclusive for Starbucks Thailand. It was good. The Green Tea flavored sponge layers were soft and fluffy with a distinctive Green Tea taste. The red bean and Mascarpone blended real well together.

18022018 / Chatuchak Weekend Market

On our way back from Khao Yai, we requested our driver to drop us off at Chatuchak Weekend Market for two hours before sending us back to Siri Sathorn. He was nice enough to agree despite having to pay for extra toll fee as compared to our originally planned itinerary.

Our driver dropped us at JJ Mall and we explored the area ourselves as it was hard to find parking spots around Bangkok. On our way to Chatuchak Weekend Market, we stopped for lunch at a stall in one of the alleys.

Pork Soup Noodle | ฿50

We had three bowls of this. The glass noodle came with a springy texture which I love and the broth was flavorful. It was spot on in my opinion. The soup noodle came with generous portion of pork balls and few slices of pork meat.

It was a Sunday the day when we returned to Bangkok from Khao Yai. Chatuchak Weekend Market is only available on every weekends. The place was surprisingly a lot less crowded than what I anticipated in the first place.

I got myself a passport pouch made at one of the stalls at Chatuchak Weekend Market. There were at least three stalls offering the same service nearby each other. The standard pricing for one was ฿80 but I think there was a stall which offered ฿70 for one?

Durian Thai Ice-Cream | ฿15

Sister went ahead to order this when they saw a stall selling various flavors of ice-cream in a stick. I like that they hold the ice-cream in a cone shape holder so that the melted ice-cream doesn’t drip messily. However, both Mom and Sister commented that this ice-cream didn’t taste any different than the Durian flavored ice-cream that we can get from home.

Lime Juice | ฿20

The weather was extremely that day so I resorted to getting a Lime Juice from one of the stalls. I find that most of the beverages sold in Thailand were extremely sweet for my liking. This one however was too sour for me but it did quench my thirst. LOL!