I bet you have heard of the new section in Pavilion; Tokyo Street. With its section filled with Japanese goodies, restaurants and what’s not, it is hard to miss this part of the lavish shopping mall. Besides, I bet that the blogosphere is filled with writings about this place and the restaurants in it. And I bet that you must have heard, read or even tried the much-raved ramen restaurant named Santouka Hokkaido Ramen.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Well… as always, each to their own thoughts and here are my thoughts about it… and I’ll put it short and simple.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

The queue is known to be unusually long during peak hours with customers are willing to wait for their turn at the entrance of the shop. And this somehow plays against me (or my patience) as I, for one, never bother to join any queue of sorts. But the good thing is that the turnover is high and you might just need to wait for a short while before your turn is up.

The ramen dishes come in various sizes (small, regular and large). The cheapest of the lot, which is the small size, is approximately RM20 or so depending on the type of broth you choose/like. The service was commendable but it took awhile for the dishes to arrive.

Shoyu RamenShoyu Ramen (RM22.50)

Despite the ramen was being springy and nicely cooked, and not forgetting the decent portion for the small size, my only complaint about it is the ingredients that came along with the noodles. For RM22.50, I would expect something more than just a measly thin slice of pork cutlet and a negligible slice of naruto (fishcake – more like a decoration purpose than contributing to the taste). I reckon that if they are going to charge at premium rate, the least they could do is to give another slice or so… although the main stars of the dish are the ramen and broth.

Miso RamenMiso Ramen (RM22.50)

Taste wise, despite being a pork broth, it was alright although it didn’t really knock my socks off. I had better one like this one, which wins by a mile! Oh… if you are not a big fan of bamboo shoots, make sure you tell them ahead as mine came with it.

Chicken GyozaChicken Gyoza (RM10)

Since there’s only one slice of meat in the noodles, ordering a side dish became a compulsory option… for meat lover like me. The Chicken Gyoza (RM10) was a-okay but there were more vegetables than minced chicken meats in it. A disappointment? Not really since the skin with decently thin and fried to perfection but I’d like my gyoza to be packed with more meat.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

All in all, does it worth the wait for all the hype of it? It is a ‘No’ from me at least. The taste was just alright but the price is definitely not justifiable for the given ingredients. Will I ever go back again? I will… that’s if I have to. But then again, as I mentioned early, different people have different preference. What works for you might not work for me. It might though… if there are more proteins in the noodles. Yes, I love my dishes to be filled with meat.

Address:
Lot 6.24.03, Level 6,
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur,
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.

Telephone Number : +603 2143 8878




When it comes to associating food to a place or location, chicken rice ball to Malacca (Melaka) is like assam laksa to Penang or siew pao (crispy BBQ pork bun) to Seremban. Somehow or some odd way, they are automatically linked due to their popularity since aeons ago. But of course, there is also Nyonya food which is yet another popular delicacy in Malacca but that’s another different story to be told.

Huang Chang Chicken Rice Restaurant, Batu Berendam

Spotting a restaurant/shop selling chicken rice ball in Malacca (or at least around the hotspots area) is even easier than looking for a 7-11 shop. They are everywhere to be seen with the popular ones like Hoe Kee and Chung Hwa located along the Jonker Walk.

Chili Sauce

Condiments

I’ve been to both on different times and they were more or less the same with slightly different style. It all depends on the person’s favourite/palate on which is the best. There are, of course, other restaurants that sell chicken rice balls along Jonker Street but those two mentioned earlier are really popular that tourists are willing to queue under the hot sun just to dine there.

Staffs at Huang Chang Chicken Rice Restaurant

However, on my recent visit to Malacca, I didn’t bother to queue nor fancy them at all. Instead, my friend took me to other restaurant which is said to be famous too amongst the locals. That said, the journey to this restaurant is not as easy as the ones in Jonker Street and hence, my friend’s guidance.

Staffs at Huang Chang Chicken Rice Restaurant

Although we were there early close to 12PM, most of the tables, even the ones outside of the shop, were mostly occupied with a few being filled with dirty dishes. Nevertheless, that and the vast crowd didn’t dampen our enthusiasm as we persisted and surged ahead waiting patiently for our orders to arrive.

Lobak

Whilst waiting for our food, my friend bought a plate full of fried stuff at nearby stall (a motorbike, to be exact) as appetiser. Prawn crackers, fishcakes, beancurds, pineapples and cucumbers were all sliced into smaller pieces before drenching them with sweet spicy sauce.

Chicken Rice Balls

There are various old stories/theories behind these rice balls but I shall leave it to you to search for it. These balls are pretty small in actual size. To put into perspective, 5 of these are equivalent to 1 bowl of rice… and that also varies to different restaurants as they have different measurements.

Chicken Rice Balls

That said, they were delicious and to consume them is up to one’s approach. Eat it as its own, soak them in chilli sauce or soak them in chilli sauce and dark soy before consuming it will bring different results. I’ve learned the latter way and I’ve got to say I like it although I prefer to have my rice on its own. Soft and mushy at the center yet filled with chicken essence, they were delightful to go along with the poached chicken.

Poached Chicken

There’s nothing to shout about for the poached chicken though. Although I do give credit to them for chopping the chicken nicely in piece unlike Chung Hwa’s version which sometimes looked like a train wreck, they were served cold but not ice cold though. Being a Chinese in me, I prefer my dishes to be warm but I understand that there’s a reason why poached/steamed chicken can’t be sliced when it’s hot. Nevertheless, they were pretty tasty and tender.

Chicken Rice Ball

Overall, we paid RM 17.20 for a half portion of chicken, 20 rice balls and two cups of teh-peng (teh ais/ iced milk tea). Price wise, I think they are much cheaper than the famous ones I mentioned early but in terms of crowd, they are no better as the queue was formed outside the shop when we left around 1PM.

Address :
Huang Chang Chicken Rice Restaurant
BB-376 Taman Melaka Baru,
Batu Berendam,
75350 Melaka.

GPS Coordinates : 2.237917, 102.259464

Telephone Number : +606 317 0299

Business Hours : 645AM to 3PM (Close on Thursdays)