It is a long overdue blog, as I had lunch at this place almost a month ago. Nevertheless, here it is.
This was actually my second time eating Ramen Sanpachi. Although the first did not left me an impression, the second one definitely did. So what makes this second visit a bit more special?
Well, my first Sanpachi experience was at a prestigious mall – in a semi-foodcourt landscape. Ramen was good, though not excellent by my standards.
This ramen joint was recommended by many friends, with most of them agree that Sanpachi Ramen is the best ramen in Jakarta, hands down. It’s only natural that I had big expectation then.
So out of curiosity (and the obvious fact that the original place is located near to where I live), I decided to try it again.
This time, it was a completely different experience from the get go. The place, how it was set up, the kitchen, everything was different. The authenticity of the place is remarkable. I have not been to Japan yet, but I have experienced similar atmosphere and ambience from a few authentic ramen places in the US which are run by Japanese natives. Even the TV at the kitchen corner was showing NHK.
As I recall, they only had two types of ramen: the pork ramen and a spicy version where you can control the spiciness level on a 1-10 scale. Not much of a spicy guy, I decided to go with the pork ramen with gyoza on the side.
There you go. A classic combination of pork ramen and gyoza, reminding me of the good times in the US. It is probably worth mentioning that I had the exact same meal (minus the gyoza) at the other location during my first visit.
As I waited, I took a zip of their tea and the taste was original. You can tell it’s a Japanese tea. Free flowing Japanese cold tea is always a good start any meal! 😉
First up, the ramen itself. In my opinion, the truest way to taste a good ramen is by having a zip on the soup. People may have different opinions on this, but I think the secret of a good ramen is the broth. I picked my spoon and slowly scooped some of the soup, there was a pause in between before I carefully put it into my mouth. The result? It was very good. The soup has the right density and flavor, but not too intense for your tastebuds. The noodle is a bit on the chewy side, with good texture and consistency overall. The pork is surprisingly good as well. Had this been a ramen joint based in California, I’d give it a 7-7.5 out of 10. But for Indonesia where ramen joints are few and far between, I give the ramen a solid 8.5 / 10.
Next up, the gyoza. I did not expect much when it comes to gyoza. Having a good ramen was my sole purpose of visit, so I was surprised when the gyoza actually taste very good as well. The skin and the crust underneath it is a definite sign of a home-made gyoza. Moreover, you can tell by the overall texture that this was not the one you found on the frozen section of a supermarket. In fact, I can even compare the quality to the ones I’ve had in the US. It was that good! 8.5/10.
Overall, I had no regret visiting Ramen Sanpachi. The original place, which located near Blok M area, is obviosly better than the one in Pacific Place. I also learned something from this particular visit: good, authentic atmosphere/ambience is almost as important as the taste itself.