Posts Tagged ‘asian’
It took a while for me to write this review because it was quite hard to assess my emotions with this restaurant. When it comes to talking about restaurants, I always have two reactions. First, the restaurant is great and this reaction is always something that’s clear to me after the first bite. Second, it’s horrible and it’s possibly something I’ll never recommend to friends or even spend some time writing about. Again, that’s a reaction garnered from the first bite.
Somewhere in the middle was this restaurant which everyone who had gone with me, and everyone who has blogged about it were singing praises for and for me… I just couldn’t seem to sing the same praises.
I’m not saying Ramen Bar is bad but if it claims to be an authentic Japanese ramen and put it against the best ramen in Japan, it’s not good enough to cause a Ramen boom.
I first met Mr. Sugawara when he invited me to join them for a family dinner at Kikufuji. His daughter and I had been good friends by then and while our brand of fun seemed to have finished early (and they had room for one more) I would assume that he thought it was possibly nice to join them for dinner. What happened afterwards was a mouth-opening experience as he showed me a whole new flavor palette for Japanese food. Fresh fish, a great balance of rice, wasabi and vinegar makes amazing sushi. Of course, there was also balance in terms of textures, colors, and flavors that by the end of the evening, I could never imagine myself eating at any other Japanese joint.
Out of all the holidays, I’ve grown to love the New Year.
It must be the hope that comes with the unknown. The fact that it’s new, the year’s bound to have something good to offer. Old troubles from the previous year disappears and everything is a clean slate again.
I’ve had the luck of spending my New Year differently for the past three years. And it’s interesting how each New Year brings a new experience for me. This year was rather laidback compared the previous year. Perhaps I’m starting this year with clearer head and a calm compared to last year.
Last year was filled with excitement as it was my first New Year to spend with a Japanese family. A close friend of mine, the Sugawaras, decided to share this holiday for me and spend that time, Japanese style.
Now I’m not saying that this is what Japanese people usually do. It’s best to say that this is what Japanese people spend the New Year’s when they’re far away from home. While they may not go to temples, play badminton, and all that jazz, some New Year traditions never change. The joy of having to eat an osechi and ozoni is still a staple in this Japanese home away from home.
Yosh! See! I’m really doing my best to make this a weekly thing, okay! It’s just my Sundays have been really precious. I really should consider writing these things a little earlier. I’ve also been irritated by these dots on my laptop. I couldn’t take them out.
Noodle for this week: Lucky Me! Native Chicken Instant Mami!
When I was a kid and chickens were still bought in the markets rather than the supermarkets, my mother would occasionally get some native chickens for us to eat. I honestly don’t know what entails a native chicken. I think any chicken that’s home raised and free range counts as a native chicken. Either way, the only difference that native chicken has over regular supermarket chicken is a very deep chicken flavor without having to use those Knorr bouillons and the likes. It may take forever to cook but once it’s done broiling in the broth it has one of the freshest chicken flavors ever. Nowadays, it’s hard to get native chicken without having to think of bird flu and the likes. So one day at the supermarket, I thought of giving this Instant Mami a chance. Since then, I haven’t bought any other chicken instant mami.
Where to buy
It’s pretty much everywhere. I’ve seen it in all the groceries. It’s a Lucky Me! product after all. It costs around 5 pesos to 6 per pack. Maybe cheaper in Shoemart’s Hypermart since you buy it in those tipid 5pc. packages.
I think you guys might see that I went the distance in this noodle and placed some corn. But you guys don’t have to do that. Cooking our local noodles should be easy that even if you tend to overboil the noodles to 4 minutes, it’s still got a bite. Past five minutes might be stretching the noodle so follow the instructions and it shouldn’t be any problem at all.
This noodle came with one packet for the seasoning and yet I’m a little surprised that it has those nice chicken oily bubbles on top. Where that came from, I don’t know. It does taste awesome though.
Suffice to say that this was one noodle that didn’t disappoint. We’ve had our fair share of salty MSG-ridden noodles before, but for the Native Chicken Mami, it truly has the fresh flavors of a native chicken broth. It was clean, fresh, with the right amount of saltiness and that deep chicken flavor that warms the heart. The flavor is like a really good tinola on a really good day. And yet it ain’t exactly like tinola since it doesn’t have that ginger taste. It has that really good chicken taste.
I’m trying to describe how chicken tastes like but if everything is supposed to taste like chicken, then perhaps this one is closest to the real thing. At most, I can say it ain’t one of those salty type of chicken noodles. For me, it’s a very flavorful chicken noodle that really takes me back to my childhood and those days brewing free range chicken in the province. The broth is light and heart warming and perhaps like me, you’d be sighing with satisfaction after having finished a bowl.
It’s truly a chicken soup for the soul and I cannot count how many times this noodle has made me smile. Even when the noodles got soggy, since they have this really good taste of the broth, I won’t complain at all.
I… overslept last Sunday and today was… I got busy, I daresay. I apologize for the delay but don’t worry! Our first noodle is here!!
The featured noodle for week no. 1: Koka’s Laksa Singapura Flavor noodle.
As some of you may know, Laksa’s my favorite noodle ever. So there’s a reason why this is the first and why this one caught my attention. God. This noodle had me by the red globs of oil on its broth. But that’s just the start. There’s a reason why this is the first noodle I featured.
Where to get it
I’ve seen Koka packets like these in groceries such as Landmark, Shoemart and Rustans. They are sold around 34-38 pesos, depends on which grocery you go to.
Preparing this noodle was easy. Instructions at the back were in clear English and granted that you have no problem reading English (or Malay) you should have no problem preparing this noodle. Sort of.
The noodle for Koka’s one of those noodles that get really soggy after the 3rd minute. I suggest you follow the instruction on the packet and leave it in the boiling water for 2 minutes. After that, turn off the stove and then add the soup packets.
There are two packets for this noodle. One has the seasoning and the chilli oil and the other is the coconut powder. Oh yes, this is one noodle that didn’t forget that all good laksa should come with the fresh flavor of coconut milk.
Once I added the seasoning and the coconut powder, I was immediately caught by the fragrant smell of curry and coconut. It really took me back to Singapore although once I bit some of the noodles, I had to remind myself that this ain’t the real thing and was just a good compensation for it. If you didn’t cook your noodles right, the noodles might be too soggy for you to enjoy the bite of noodle.
On the other hand, the broth is spectacular. I was too eager to have a taste of the broth that it was a test on my patience to try to cool the broth down with my breath. The laksa broth may not be as thick as those sold in stalls in Singapore but it has a nice refreshing zing to it. It might be due to the hints of lemongrass and kari leaves. The curry flavor was not too prominent on this one but the coconut flavor is and it’s quite amusing how it slightly thickened the broth. If you added too much water, it won’t taste as good.
The chilli only hits you when the broth has coursed through your throat and it has this leftover warmth enough to tickle you to a cough. With just the broth, it was almost as good as the real thing. Almost. When you realize that you don’t have the tofu or cockles or shrimp or fish cake or the slivers of chicken, it’s almost heartbreaking.
I must add though that while this had a good laksa broth, this ain’t the best yet and was just good enough to let the tongue remember what laksa even tastes like.
If you’ve got time to visit your grocery this week, it might be fun to try out this noodle. One thing I can say is that for it’s price, it’s a good cheap way to have a taste of laksa. If you add some fishballs and fried tofu in it, it’s almost like the real thing!