The Toripaitan Ramen Extreme at Ramen Seirock-ya has a well balanced broth. — Pictures by Ethan Lau
By Ethan Lau
Tuesday, 25 Apr 2023 8:48 AM MYT
PETALING JAYA, April 25 — Of all the varieties of ramen one can enjoy, tonkotsu broth-based ramen is far and away the most well-known and popular here.
Its characteristically opaque, intense and rich broth is achieved by cooking down pork bones and getting every last bit of fat, marrow and all sorts of little bits into the soup.
But what if you long for something a little less intense and cloying, something that doesn’t have that sticky-lipped effect? Enter Toripaitan ramen.
The word paitan will sound familiar to some, as it is reminiscent of and originates from 白汤, which is Chinese for “white soup.” It is, of course, referring to the cloudy, thick broth that’s usually a pale cream colour.
This has to be one of the more low-key ramen joints I’ve been to recently where nothing is over the top.
Toripaitan Extreme Ramen, with the complete works from the squeezed lemon wedge and topped with tableside condiments of chilli and black garlic powder.
Like tonkotsu, which is also a variety of paitan ramen, this is a chicken-based broth that utilises everything, bones and all.
Chicken carcasses are packed full of collagen and flavour, especially in the wingtips, and this results in a similarly flavourful and rich broth, albeit with a different textural experience to tonkotsu.
My go-to spot for Toripaitan ramen is Ramen Seirock-ya in Damansara Utama. Originally from Tsukuba, Japan, the brand is halal certified and has five locations in Malaysia, including this one.
The Toripaitan Ramen Extreme with egg (RM26.90) is the signature here, though they also have shio, shoyu and miso varieties.
Despite the extreme moniker, the broth is actually surprisingly well-balanced. It has a rich texture and is bursting with clean and delicate chicken flavour, but isn’t overwhelmingly fatty like some broths tend to be.
The thin noodles are my preference that offers a satisfying chewing and slurping experience. (left) I love the piece of tender and juicy chicken you get with the ramen. (right)
I would say the croquette is the better snack, I get it every time I come here.
The wedge of lemon served with it further tempers the flavour profile, providing a measure of acidity that keeps your palate from feeling all chickened out.
You can customise the noodle thickness and level of saltiness — I like it thin and with the standard level. With thinner noodles, I find the chewing and slurping experience more satisfying when they’re cooked to perfection, as they are here.
Instead of chashu, you get a piece that resembles a roulade of chicken thigh that’s tender and juicy.
It’s not quite the same as the strong flavours in pork chashu, instead, it’s a much lighter experience that I think suits the dish well.
There are standard toppings like nori, chopped negi and ajitama, but there’s also the addition of crispy fried onions that I think adds an aromatic dimension to the dish.
The Ramen Seirock-ya sign here is pretty high up, you won’t miss it from a distance.
On the table, there are two jars, both filled with powder: one is fiery red and spicy, the other is dark and carries an intense garlic aroma.
I’m a fan of adding both to my bowl, there’s just something about the oils and the fragrances hitting each other at high temperatures that makes it come alive.
Because I’m a growing glutton, I also got a snack combo of three pieces of grilled gyoza and a croquette (RM12.60) when I was there recently.
The gyozas are okay, nothing outstanding but the croquette is really rather enjoyable. It’s not the most technically brilliant croquette in the world, but it’s got everything I want in little bites: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and dipped in a semi-sweet and savoury demi-glace-like sauce, what more could you ask for?
After every meal I have here, I find myself longing to come back sooner rather than later. It’s convenient plus I don’t feel glutted and above all, the ramen here is delicious.
Ramen Seirock-ya @Uptown
6-G, Jalan SS 21/35, Damansara Utama (Uptown), Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Open daily 12pm-9pm.
Tel: 03-7492 7509
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