Jakarta may be feverish for ramen nowadays, but for me who has certain limitations, I still vouch for Marutama Ramen with its toripaitan broth. Last year I had the chance to see how everything works at this popular ramen joint and grasped the importance of perfection is for Mr Kudo – its benevolent owner. This year, it’s the consistency test and to also taste their newly found recipe, a ramen not using toripaitan broth for the first time!
Meeting up with fellow bloggers for breakfasting during Ramadhan has always been enjoyable, especially when there were so many gossips to share. You know what I mean right, foodies? By the way, Sentral Senayan outlet was the last year’s outlet for our breakfasting and it feels private after office hours yet more comfortable for me, but this Ramadhan, the busy eX Plaza Indonesia outlet became the host. What I really like about this outlet is that we can see clearly the bowling lanes downstairs through its windows, although at times the air feels humid.
So, we went through several dishes first before the unveiling of the new ramen. The breakfasting started with everybody’s all-time favorites for appetizer, chawan mushi (egg custard) and gyoza (dumplings). For me, the soupy gyoza has reached the desirable taste and standard like I find in many good Japanese restaurants but Marutama Ramen may want to play it better with the chawan mushi especially in terms of the content and the depth of its flavor. Additionally, the new kareraisu (curry rice) and the freshly fried chicken karaage brought more cheer for the hungry crowd. You know it so well that karaage is not your usual American-style or the hip Korean fried chicken. It’s boneless, it’s juicy, still crispy but a bit chewy thanks to the batter, and that distinct ginger flavor. Fantastic!
And now we’re back to that comfort zone that I used to know so well last year. The legendary toripaitan ramen returned to please us all with its rich, milky soup. My wife originally did not really fond of this type of soup but this time, its deliciousness brought her to a new level of appreciation that ramen is indeed a serious dish that requires patience in the process and meticulously standardized.
As we all already aware of, this toripaitan broth is prepared fresh every day by using 30 kgs of chicken bones for only one hundred serving and Mr Kudo gives no room for error on the soup quality. Personally as someone who used to work with in a Japanese company for a few years and saw Jiro Dreams of Sushi (a documentary about Jiro Ono, the perfectionist owner of famous sushi joint in Japan), it’s really admirable to see how Japanese people are willing to challenge themselves day by day with their kaizen principle and indeed, Mr Kudo is one among these zealots.
In addition to the springy noodles and the rich soup, now customers can also enjoy the chasiu and Marutama’s legendary half boiled seasoned egg on the same bowl at once! Of course, the ramen is also well equipped with fresh negi (onions) and aosa (sea lettuces) for maximum satisfaction. Consistency is something that not many restaurants can keep up with but Marutama Ramen is among definitely among those who could.
Finally, the time for truth came and Marutama Ramen unveiled its miso ramen, an alternative to their signature toripaitan and also as one of the classics among legendary ramen soups. Colorfully topped with vegetables and generous amount of chicken chunks, the miso ramen was actually well-prepared and has a powerful taste, however it was served right after we had our greatest time with the toripaitan. Certainly, this underrated dish must not be let hidden behind the shadows any longer and I will definitely urge myself to try this again for another occasion.
To wrap the day up, Doraemon’s favorite dorayaki cake with sliced fresh fruits and vanilla ice cream were chosen as our parting companion. Although with no real surprise, I concluded that Marutama Ramen has performed well to keep up with my expectations and that is to maintain its consistency with the ramen while also has been improvising with new creations. Now that the competition between ramen restaurants in Jakarta has become so fierce, Marutama Ramen will surely try to struggle for the win and kicking its dishes up a notch from time to time. They have survived well in many countries and surely, I don’t see why they cannot here.
MARUTAMA RAMEN (2013)
Halal-friendly (ramen broth uses chicken instead of pork)
Some menu suitable for vegetarians
Sentral Senayan I Building – BF, Jalan Asia Afrika no. 8, Jakarta – Indonesia
eX Plaza Indonesia – 2nd Fl., Jalan MH Thamrin Kav. 28-30, Jakarta – Indonesia
Jalan Pluit Putra Raya no. 15A, Jakarta – Indonesia
Puri Indah Mall – 2nd Fl., Jalan Puri Agung, Jakarta – Indonesia
Sentral Senayan: 11.30 am – 10 pm (weekday), 11 am – 10 pm (weekend)
eX: 11.30 am – 11.15 pm (weekday), 11.30 am – 12 am (weekend)
Pluit: 11 am – 11 pm (weekday), 11 am – 12 am (weekend)
Puri Indah Mall: 11 am – 11 pm (everyday)
Sentral Senayan: +62.21.572.4050
Puri Indah Mall: +62.21.582.3193
Facebook: Marutama Ramen
Spend: IDR 75,000 – IDR 100,000 / person