Hakata Ippudo, the famous Japanese ramen house, has opened several locations in Kuala Lumpur. The one at Pavilion is not inside the mall, but sits on the outskirts where many bars and restaurants are located.
Ippudo is known for their tonkotsu broth, which is pork based. Noodles from the Hakata region are also typically straight and thin.
I decided to go with the Shiromaru Motoaji (RM22.90), which included their original tonkotsu broth, thin noodles, pork loin, bean sprouts, kikurage (wood ear mushrooms), and spring onions. I added a salted soft-boiled egg (RM2.50) to my ramen. The broth has the familiar milky hue associated with stock made from pork bones which have been simmering for long periods of time. The broth had a nice porky flavor, but did not have a lot of residual oil that coated your mouth like many tonkotsu broths do. In essence, this was a somewhat lighter broth. It wasn’t too salty either. The pork loin was nice and tender.
The soft-boiled egg could have been cooked a tad less for a runnier yolk.
The famous Pork Belly Bun (RM7), which is served with their spicy sauce and mayo was a bit of a disappointment. The pork was tender and flavorful, but the bun was rather thick and “bready”, which seemed to envelope the pork too much. There was also way too much mayo for my liking.
Hakata Ippudo churns out some very good ramen. I can sort of see why lines at the New York branch can stretch for a couple of hours, but I would never wait in a line that long. A gripe that I’ve seen at the Kuala Lumpur branch is that the cost is way too much. For Malaysian standards I can somehow see where people are coming from, but compared to the New York branch where the same meal would set you back over $30 USD, this is a complete bargain at less than half the price.