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THIS week, my quest for cheap Japanese food continues with a trip to Gantetsu Ramen shop at Isetan’s food court in 1Utama shopping centre in Petaling Jaya.

An appetite for noodles led me to a corner shop located on Level 2 of the department store and the first thing I noticed was the decor ? an open kitchen where customers can see cooks at work in true Japanese style.

There was also a Japanese man at the cashier?s counter, whom I think was the quality-controller. Truth be told, this fella looked more like a rock star than a noodle seller.

Okay, getting down to the crunch, I ordered a bowl of the highly recommended King Charshu Miso Ramen.

This came at a price of RM26.90 and a side order of grilled Gyoza (meat dumplings) at RM8.50, along with a glass of iced Green Tea (RM1.90).

So, how did the Ramen fare?

On the Samo-scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 3. Why? Because it was pretty bland for my taste.

I ended up bombarding the bowl of Ramen with some nanami togarashi (flavoured pepper) to jazz up the flavour.

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Simple decor: The noodle shop in Isetan’s food court.

As for the King Charshu (Japanese roast pork), I’d say it fared pretty badly. Technically-speaking, it was tasteless.

The saving grace was the Gyoza, which was pretty good.

There are other set meals on the menu worth the try at this makan place which specialises in Japanese noodles.

Gantetsu Ramen (non-halal) opens daily from 11am to 10pm.

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