[Non-halal] We might be late to the game, but we finally tried Kanbe Ramen!
Located in 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara – Kanbe Ramen offers authentic Hakata-style ramen (with 8 different broths) and tsukemen that remind us of the ones we tried in Fukuoka.
Kanbe Ramen in 163 Mont Kiara
Since Kanbe opened in Feb 2021, we’ve never failed to see a long queue of people waiting to taste their wholesome broths (when dine-in was allowed, of course).
Our early arrival at 6pm on a Saturday evening paid dividends as we only queued for 15 minutes. Service was prompt as the food arrived about 7 minutes after our order, and we were out by 6.50pm! Well, one shouldn’t wait too long to slurp a freshly prepared bowl of ramen.
Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen
Kanbe offers two styles of noodles – Hakata-style Tonkotsu ramen where noodles are served in thick, cloudy pork bone-based broth, and Tsukemen – thicker noodles served with a richer broth for dipping.
For the former, there are eight broths available: Shiro (pure pork bone broth), Aka (blended with doubanjiang chilli paste), Kuro (darkened with squid ink and garlic), Kohaku (mixed with dried bonito, mackerel, and sardines), Sakura (ebi prawn stock), Yuzu (added citrus), Goma (with chilli oil), and a Seasonal broth.
Like a true ramen bar, almost every element of the bowl is customisable – from how firm you like your noodles, richness of the broth, and how much porky oil to add.
Shiro, fo’ sure!
Let’s start with the foundation broth – Kanbe’s tonkotsu broth is made after simmering for 48 hours to extract the requisite pork bone essence and eliminate all the unwanted impurities.
In our bowl, the Shiro soup is wonderfully rich, aromatic, and full of umami. We definitely tasted the lovely pork essence without the unpleasant pork “odour” when the impurities are not properly removed.
Ming enjoyed her bowl of Shiro Ramen (RM34) – topped with tender chasu slices, handmade noodles, negi, and seaweed.
Tender chasu, firm noodles
The chasu is flavourful and tender as the meat is marinated overnight in a salt-based sauce before it is slow-baked in a convection oven. We found the chasu to be nicely-seasoned – not too salty with a nice 50:50 meat-to-fat ratio.
Our noodles were also on point, which is to be expected as we got to choose our preferred firmness after all.
Max’s choice of “Hard” yielded a firm bite similar to al-dente, while Ming’s choice of “Normal” provided enough softness to slurp the noodles effortlessly.
Kanbe’s special sauce
Each bowl comes with a dollop of Kanbe’s secret sauce on top. Slightly sweet and spicy on its own, the sauce adds more complexity to the ramen when mixed together with the broth.
Sakura – prawns on steroid
Max’s bowl of Sakura Ramen (RM34) is the ultimate bowl for those who enjoy prawns.
Made with a prawn-pork broth with added prawn oil, we would describe the soup as “Ipoh hor fun” on steroids due to the strong prawn essence taste.
Max enjoyed this a lot! The broth was very appetizing and blended well with Kanbe’s secret sauce, with nice counterpoints from the negi and black fungus.
Surprisingly, it never got too cloying toward the end, and Max even finished the soup to its last drop. But this could be Max’s personal affinity for prawn taste, as Ming did find the prawn taste rather too rich.
Superbly tender kakuni
Instead of chasu, Max opted for the Kakuni (additional RM5), which is a bigger slab of braised pork belly.
We were really surprised as we found the Kakuni to be more tender than the chasu despite it being a thicker cut. The fat was also more melt-in-the-mouth, and we did find it to be a tad more flavourful than the chasu.
We would definitely recommend choosing the kakuni over the chasu.
Finally, the added egg was perfectly cooked as well for a molten yolk and firm white.
Overall, we enjoyed the two ramen bowls here and would return again to try their other offerings.
We also enjoyed the lively atmosphere of the restaurant – our seats at the bar provided us a front-row view of the two chefs (and team) preparing all the orders with flourish!
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Address: GF – 08, 8, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Hours: 11am-9pm Daily