Written by @Joehairie
Serving real Japanese Ramen from Japan
Located on the first floor of Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, Ichizo RAMEN serves authentic, delicious and well-portioned ramen. Known as the ultimate Japanese comfort food, ramen is indeed popular among diners in this city. Realizing this, Akira Nagata with all the help he can get from Sota Harigai, established Ichizo Ramen on 4th January 2018. Ten months later, we’re both here; savoring the best of Ichizo Ramen.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the enthusiastic, jovial and polite staff of Ichizo RAMEN. They welcomed us warmly, brought us swiftly to the dining area where we were given liberty to choose our preferred table. Being Muslims, we’re indeed glad to know that this eatery serve no pork.
While waiting for our friends, we did browse Ichizo RAMEN’s official Facebook page. Apart from looking at those slurp-eliciously, alluring photos and menu, we’re indeed impressed with the positive reviews from previous diners. At that particular moment, we’re pretty sure that we’re in the right place.
The dining area itself is more to the setting of a food court with most tables seats four, some for two diners as well as two types of communal tables, U-shaped and long respectively. The open live kitchen enable diners to observe the action inside it; where staff and Chef religiously and meticulously prepare meals. That’s not all. They even spontaneously participate in greeting incoming customers. Color us impressed.
On the floor, at each table, lies a basket and it is meant to store diners’ personal belongings. Printed menu is on each table so that diners will be able to immediately browse the offerings. Ichizo RAMEN is next to some the eateries but proper walls are there to ensure privacy.
Sota Harigai is always at the live kitchen, just in case you are looking for him to observe his skillful ‘performance’, delicately preparing your preferred meal. Most of the time he’s preparing that delish ramen. Born in Sano City, Tochigi, Sota Harigai gained his valuable working experience at Hatsugai, a famous ramen shop. He’s later destined to meet Akira Nagata, the owner of Sakagura Japanese Restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It was in 2017 that Sota came to Sabah hence the establishment of Ichizo RAMEN.
Sota’s collagen chicken soup, the base for his ramen dishes, is said to be cooked for more than 10 hours! That’s such an intricate effort, ensuring diners that they will have tasty, delicate and with super-rich flavor soup. We were made to understand that ramen dishes at Ichizo RAMEN are limited to 150 bowls per day; thus prioritizing quality over quantity.
We’re impressed not only with the ramen’s deliciousness but with it’s portion, as well as the ingredients’ freshness. The elements inside the bowls that we had were fresh! The Noodles, Kikurage, Spring Onion, Spinach and Seaweed were not only fresh but added amazing texture and taste. The runny yolk of soft boiled eggs was really something that we both really love looking and consuming!
The Hokkaido Miso Ramen Special was our favorite. Priced at RM27.35, this highly recommended dish is about Traditional Miso Soup with Dashi and Chicken stock, served with noodles, chicken mince, soft boiled egg, bean sprouts, kikurage, spring onion, corn, seaweed and 3 pieces of chicken meat. We’re absolutely impressed with the dish’ portion, taste, textures and freshness.
We also had another two kinds of ramen, Ichizo Ramen Special and Chicken Ramen Special. Both dishes were equally tasty and definitely in big portions! The Ichizo Ramen Special (RM25.30) is Ichizo’s signature soup that consists of seafood and chicken stock, served with noodles, 4 pieces of chicken meat, soft boiled egg, kikurage, spring onion, spinach and seaweed. The Chicken Ramen Special (rich collagen chicken stock soup) which is priced at RM22.45 is served with noodles , 4 pieces of chicken meat, soft boiled egg, kikurage, spring onion, spinach and seaweed.
Our taste buds took us to another level as we opted for this delicious Curry Rice (RM18.90). This particular dish is about Japanese Traditional Curry Sauce with Rice, carrots, chicken meat, onion and potato. The gravy was thick but tasty. As in other Japanese Curry Rice that we had at other places, Ichizo RAMEN’s version had similarities in terms of taste and texture.
The Chicken Gyoza (Grilled Dumplings) was indeed a memorable side dish. It’s delicious, juicy on the inside; crispy but tender at the same time and fully filled with diced chicken. We opted for the 10 pieces set, priced at only RM12.80. The Gyoza by Ichizo RAMEN are made of pre-fabricated delicate wrappers and the filling; amazingly finely textured. Be warned that you might be ordering another set as it’s so amazingly delicious.
For the noobs, Gyoza is almost equivalent to Chinese Dumplings. At Ichizo RAMEN, it’s grilled which explains the golden brown color on the outside. Condiments are prepared on the table, in mini bottles; from soy sauce to vinegar. Create your own dipping sauce and enjoy the dumplings by dipping as you please. It’s a dish that is perfect to consume at anytime of the day, be it for breakfast, lunch, teatime or even as side during your dinner.
Our lovely and charming mate; Nicole.
While all dishes were great in taste, texture and portion, we especially love that alluring Hokkaido Miso Ramen Special, followed by the Gyoza. It will be these dishes that we are to have in our next visit. Our dinner mates especially Nicole, had the same impression. She was so into Hokkaido Miso Ramen and that Gyoza. Ichizo RAMEN serves another great options that is readily available for you to view in their official Facebook page.
The dining experience at Ichizo RAMEN was indeed memorable. Service was efficient and fast with the staff clearly showing their utmost sincerity, politeness and passion. The food; amazingly well-presented, delicious and absolutely above satisfactory level when it comes to the portion part. There was no flaw whatsoever and we regard our dining experience at Ichizo RAMEN as one of the best that we have ever had.
Unit Part of 1-37, 1st Floor
Suria Sabah Shopping Mall
1 Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens
88000 Kota Kinabalu
Contact: (+6) 088-276 456
Official Facebook Page: @IchizoRAMEN (Click HERE)