Well, that is the impression I get when I look at all the sparkling new eateries opening their doors all over town. In the past, people would close shop and move to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah or Kuching or elsewhere, anywhere where they would be able to make a whole lot of money. These days, it seems that they are all moving here…and I wonder why.
According to their website, this place originated in Taipei, Taiwan, founded by six Taiwanese and Malaysian partners engaged in the catering industry. To date, they have 3 outlets in Kuching and 1 here in Sibu. Towards the end of last month, they started serving what they called the Kiyokawa Ramen at their restaurant.
I gathered from their Facebook page that this tonkotsu ramen was the specialty of a certain Chef Lai who would take more than 30 hours just to cook the soup which, of course, would be very rich. This Chef Lai from Taiwan, it seems, is a Chief Ramen Master KYOKAWA. He has had many years of experience in ramen research. Before his debut, he studied at a three-year ramen champion store in Kyushu, Hakata City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. His credentials sure looked mighty impressive so of course, we wasted no time at all in dropping by the place to give it a try.
I asked for the Signature Tonkotsu Ramen (RM27.80)…
…with two thin slices of the charsu pork belly…
If I remember correctly, if you want four pieces, you will have to pay some RM32.00 a bowl. Gosh!!! That works out to around RM2.00 a slice. Ouch!!!
My! My! The spoon provided certainly was HUGE, I must say!! LOL!!!
I tried the soup – I am more into clear, refreshing soups, not so into such thick, rich ones and this one turned out to be somewhat bland, quite tasteless except that it was rather strong on the sesame oil added and I am not a fan of the oil…in anything!
I mixed everything together thoroughly including the seaweed and also the chopped raw shallots! Gee! I never saw the latter in any dish before except when we open a can of sardines and serve without any cooking. There was a bit of taste after that, very very mild and not anything I would get excited about. I suppose that is what it is supposed to be…like the time when I had a bowl at this Miri branch of a very famous Japanese restaurant in Brunei – that did not get me jumping with delight either.
My girl had the roasted garlic tonkotsu ramen (RM28.80)…
…which turned out to be more or less the same except that hers had the fragrance of the roasted garlic. I had the instant noodles version once and I was not really that impressed either – the Tokyo Shoyu one that I had around that time was nicer but we never bought anymore after that. I guess that speaks volumes as to how much we actually loved the noodles…but yes, to give credit where credit is due, we would like to extend our compliments to the chef for a job well done where the onsen eggs were concerned.
The mum did not want any ramen and ordered their braised pork belly dry noodles (RM14.80)…
The pork belly slices…
…sure looked very good but no, she did not think they were anything to get excited about and she said she certainly would think twice about spending that kind of money on that bowl of noodles when she could derive a lot more pleasure from our own “homegrown” kampua or Kuching kolo mee. I certainly would say the same about the ramen that we had.
The prices, I must say, were shocking and when I mentioned that on Facebook, a West Malaysian friend said that was cheap compared to what they would have to pay over there. Goodness gracious me! Kus semangat!!! I can go for the very much nicer seafood aglio olio spaghetti here or the absolutely awesome fish & chips here or the kacangma chicken with rice here, not once but twice, and a whole lot of nicer things here, there and everywhere with that kind of money and derive a whole lot of pleasure and enjoyment.
To be fair, however, it sure looked like they had a whole lot of followers of their own. No, there were just a sprinkling of customers around the whole time we were there but we saw an endless stream of food delivery people going in and out to collect the orders and deliver them promptly. Obviously, there ARE a lot of people who enjoy what they serve here. Perhaps we should drop by again sometime to check out what else they have on their menu…but no, I don’t think we’d have another go at the ramen, thank you very much.
RICE KING SIBU (2.300910, 111.843590) is located at No.34, Ground Floor, Lorong Dr. Wong Soon Kai 4D.
5 thoughts on “So good to be here…”
Sad to hear that you dont like it the picture looks like a legit ramen, specially that cloudy broth.
Obviously the soup is supposed to be like that and many seem to like it so much, but not me! See my reply to Ireme’s comment below. Other than that, the price, by our local standard, can be considered shocking!
Well, I am not a fan of Ramen and it certainly didn’t tickle my fancy looking at the pictures above. As much as I love the braised pork belly dry noodles but the pork belly is a bit too fat for my liking. Like your missus I think I will derive more pleasure from our Kuching kolo mee.
The colour of the pork belly looked a bit pale – I am more used to darker ones and having it with rice. We have braised pork belly with kampua at some places here but if the noodles are tainted with the sauce, I am not a fan! The original kampua mee taste would be drowned out completely.
As for the ramen, I don’t see why people seem to be crazy about those – I have had a few, not many but enough to come to my conclusion that they are not anything that I would enjoy. I don’t like the “lor lor”, thick and rich soup – I prefer clear refreshing soups…and I am not a fan of sesame oil. The Japanese and Koreans seem to like it a lot!
The bowls of ramen certainly look the part but a pity that the broth was not exciting. The ones here tend to be on the savory and salty side. It’s rather strange that raw onions were added to the ramen. The prices at your end are a lot more friendly and yet it can be shocking LOL!
You call that “friendly”? Kus semangat!!!
I can go for something really nice at a western cafe with that kind of money and enjoy it a lot more.
A Big Breakfast at a decent cafe (not some cheap coffee shop) will be so much nicer!!! Only RM26.00 at Plan b…and my missus had their Egg Ben, RM17.00 only and my girl’s poached egg avocado-feta mash was only RM21.00, all cheaper than that ONE bowl of not-so-nice ramen.
Certainly makes more sense to go for these than those Japanese noodles!
I am not a fan of ramen or the Japanese rich broth as I do not know how to enjoy them. But I think the younger generation loves Japanese ramen and their type of rich thick broth. I much prefer our local type of noodles and clear soup.
That is the problem with us, old folks! I also feel that exact same way as you – honestly, I cannot see what is so nice about these Japanese noodles!!! AND AT THOSE PRICES??? Absolutely ridiculous!!!
Always amazes me the number of eateries that open up all over this country. Just back from KLIA2 and there must be close to 100 eateries there now. (Maybe not 100, but a LOT!)
…and yet people keep saying the economy is bad, we are heading towards a recession and what not. If people can afford those shocking prices at these new eateries, they must be VERY rich!