[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 刘大人]
Watching how Ms. Koizumi loves her ramen noodles in《Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san》and consumes it with ravenous delight, we couldn’t help but felt inspired to scour Johor Bahru and the country in search of the perfect bowl of ramen, one we could hear screams of “shiawase”.
Mention ramen, the staples that come into mind are tonkotsu, shoyu, miso and shio. In recent years, there is a boom for a new flavour in Japan, and it is getting so huge this past couple of years that we can now find many newly opened eateries, particularly ones owned by young masters are focusing on this new trendy soup type. Ladies and gentlemen, may we present Toripaitan Ramen, a fresn new ramen broth that took Japan by storm that’s setting a new standard for how rich ramen broth can be. Instead of adding to the bevvy of tonkotsu-broth ramen joints in Johor Bahru, a low-key ramen restaurant located just below the Great Eastern branch in SouthKey has quietly open since early August 2019.
Drawing inspiration from the guardian gods which signified a source of blessings and protection, the 65-seater Shinsho boasts a warm and brightly-lit interior inspired by the traditional Japanese style of decor with the prominent usage of neutral colours and wood furnishings. We can get up close with the chefs if we choose to sit at the long bar table surrounding the kitchen, while we’re seated intimately with other patrons.
A native of Penang, Raymond became interested in Japanese culture after working in a Japanese restaurant back home and decided to pursue his culinary interest in Japan at the age of 19. Fluent in Japanese, the restauranteur is also the proud chef-owner of a few notable contemporary Japanese restaurants in Singapore, before turning his attention closer to home with his first F&B venture in Malaysia. Considering that much of the Japanese ramen we had stemmed from a pork broth, those who do not consume pork will be missing out the chance to enjoy this popular Japanese cuisine. Taking this into careful consideration, Raymond opts to come out with a series of ramen speciality where chicken would occupy a strong foothold in its new menu, with much of the ingredients such as the noodles imported directly from Japan!
总是在两岸间奋力冲刺的 Raymond，坦言新山的料理选择确实需要注入更多新元素与特色，边享用着香脆炸鸡皮 (Crispy Chicken Skin, RM5) 的大人我深表认同，「话说当我将此鸡皮靓照寄返府中聊天室时，一伙饿人盛赞这鸡皮未免也炸得太好了吧，油色好干净！你们真是好眼光！这鸡皮不油不腻，脆口宜人，大人都快沦陷了！」
Serving ramen on a strictly no pork and no lard circumstance, especially in a multi-racial country like Malaysia, meant that virtually everyone and anyone can get to enjoy this delectable favourite from Japan. As the latest ramen fad in Japan, Raymond is quick to capture this new trend and bringing it into the local scene with its paitan-based offerings. Now having just ramen seems too plain without any side dishes, so if you’re a chicken skin lover like us, you’d probably agree the greasy goodness of these aromatic Crispy Chicken Skin never fails to hit the spot, except that they managed to fry the chicken without as much flour batter, giving that skin more crunch but with less grease.
Now if you are game for something new or love pure chicken goodness, look no further than this new kid on the block. For all you know, you might love this so much that you would make good of this tori paitan as your preferred ramen choice from now on!
Shinsho Chicken Paitan Broth
For the uninitiated, chicken paitan broth is the chicken-based cousin of the ubiquitous creamy and rich tonkotsu ramen broth made from pork. The thick soup which is favoured by Shinsho comes with absolutely no poultry smell brings out the savoury flavours using large amounts of whole chickens, chicken bones with meat, chicken legs and several kinds of vegetables with only pure water slow-cooked over a long period.
Simmered for over six hours, the broth isn’t offered there and then. Instead, it is served the next day after being chilled overnight to heighten its rich and gelatinous quality to achieve a milky and flavourful broth that’s good to the last drop. In addition to being delicious, white soup is also rich in collagen.
Chicken Meatball with Raw Egg Yolk
鶏つくね (Chicken Meatball with Raw Egg Yolk, RM9) 味鲜咸，口感既扎实又弹嫩，蘸点生蛋黄与特调酱汁，你这鸡肉串真是嗨翻了大人我的唇齿，「在美食的世界里，自私无罪。」
Chicken Meatball with Raw Egg Yolk? Yes, please and just look at its sheer size! Loaded with plenty of meat, the raw appeal of eggs is also an invitation for us to dip the meatball to give it a slippery smooth texture. Oishiiok ne!
自家製 味付け雲 天口
Homemade Flavoured Wanton (4 pcs)
以鸡肉自制而成的饺子自家製 味付け雲 天口 (Homemade Flavoured Wanton, 4 pcs, RM9)，不论是内馅、酱汁还是铺顶的葱丝，都被大人我一扫而尽，脆咸多汁的非凡滋味，让我至今还记得送入嘴后小鹿乱撞的口感，「一般人或许很难想象大人我吃个饺子也那么感动是怎么回事，其实自小便不吃红肉的我，总是与饺子无缘，今天居然能大口大口吃着不含一丝猪肉的饺子，眼泪都要滴入饺子馅了。」
Interestingly, Shinsho does not serve pork at all, so the wanton’s stuffing is made of chicken that is fresh and seasoned in a homemade sauce that leaned to the lighter side. With the natural sweetness coming from the sufficiently juicy and flavourful filling inside, we can keep devouring these beautifully shaped crescents without being too sick or having the taste becoming too monotonous. So if you’re someone who doesn’t fancy pork, these Homemade Flavoured Wanton might be just the fit for you. And despite its gorgeously bronzed bottom giving that satisfying crispness, we could still snack on them all we want without feeling too unhealthy too.
Soy Sauce Broth Ramen
熬制了12个小时的酱油汤底，酱油拉面 (Soy Sauce Broth Ramen, RM23) 里那瞧得见的胶原蛋白，让人眼里发光，大人我化身小泉同学的好日子要来临啦！「这里没有叉烧哦！取而代之的是以低温慢煮的超软嫩鸡胸！」
Left to simmer for over 12 hours, the Soy Sauce Broth Ramen was light and savoury with some sweet notes. No chasu, no problem. In their place are the chicken slices prepared sous-vide to perfection and were evidently soft and tender, which we thoroughly appreciated.
Having joined Yoshiko on various “find-dining” expeditions for authentic tastes of Japan in JB, we’ve more or less acquired the Japanese tastebuds for “umami”, but there are still a lot of people out there who just can’t handle that massive hit of salty grease. If super salty ramen remains too much umami for your taste, the soy sauce version at Shinsho is excellent for those who enjoy the taste of savoury broth, yet prefer something lighter on the palate.
追加 Add On
- 鶏 チャーシュー Chicken Breast (5 slices) RM 12.00
- 味つけ卵 Japanese Flavoured Egg RM 3.00
- 海苔 Japanese Seaweed RM 2.00
- ともろこし Sweet Corn RM 2.00
- メンマ Bamboo Shoot RM 3.00
- もやし Bean Sprout RM 2.00
- 白ご飯 Steam Rice RM 3.00
- 鶏 にんにく炒飯 Chicken Garlic Fried Rice RM 12.00
Signature Black Garlic Broth Ramen
While we prefer to say that there are no rules as ramen is meant to be enjoyed and not fussed over, it pays to learn how to slurp ramen without looking silly, especially in front of our Japanese counterpart. It is also completely acceptable to take photos of our food, but if we want to take pictures of the ramen master cooking or anything inside the shop other than our bowl, we should politely ask for clearance.
After all, watching our food being prepared right before our eyes is a feast on its own, agreed?
这碗特製黒ニンニク拉麵 (Signature Black Garlic Broth Ramen, RM29) 的零味精汤头层次分明，黑蒜居功至伟，是大人今日的心头好，「玉蜀黍、食蔬、溏心蛋、嫩鸡胸… 还有浓郁的汤头与弹嫩的拉面，难怪连主人家也将之列为最爱。」
其实被这汤头给掳获的何止主人家呢？大人真想请小泉同学也来大快朵颐一番啊！芳子还盛赞，「这溏心蛋 is so perfect!」
For those who want your ramen to have a little more kick, this Signature Black Garlic Broth Ramen will satisfy your craving. Using the same paitan broth and toppings, the only difference was a dollop of black garlic oil. But oh, what a difference it made! If you prefer intense, pungent flavours as we do, a good stir of the oil into the broth will result in an aromatic and fragrant slurp with a long-lasting garlicky aftertaste.
The ajitama was spot on, with the marinade permeating the entire egg while the yolk had a nice gooey, lava-like consistency as well. Perfect!
Spicy Bean Paste Broth Ramen
稀薄的汤底在这里无立足之地啊！端上桌的每一碗拉面都搭配着醇厚的汤头，即便是辛味噌拉麵 (Spicy Bean Paste Broth Ramen, RM25) 也不例外，颇有本土浓郁咖喱的影子。「夹起面条时，还能瞧见汁液紧紧不离面条呢！」
To us, a meal would always be better with a spicy kick to it, so the Spicy Bean Paste Broth Ramen is a no-brainer for us, with the noticeable differences being the addition of chilli oil and a little mound of bean paste.
Initially, all we could taste was the curry-like creaminess that came with the dish. As the seconds ticked by, however, the spiciness from the chilli oil started to spread throughout our mouths. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the ramen a lot as underneath the heat of the dish, we could still taste the umami flavour from the broth. Our stomach felt a little bit hot, but it didn’t leave any after-effects for us to suffer through even after wiping our bowl clean.
Another of our recent favourite is the Tsukemen, where the teriyaki chicken with a sweet honey-like glaze along with the other components of the dish are placed neatly above the noodles, and it comes with a separate dipping bowl containing the broth for the noodles.
照り焼き沾麵 (Teriyaki Tsukemen, RM31) 的蘸汁其实也以鸡白汤的汤底制成，只是这在日本近年风行的沾麵食用法可非人人皆知，这下子大人当然得有请芳子为我们示范 (上图)，「只需夹起适量的面条蘸入汤汁即可，与荞麦面的食用法雷同，万勿将汤汁都倒入拉面里拌搅哦！」
For best enjoyment, do what the Japanese do and dip our noodles into the bowl, and the chewy noodles will be coated with the rich creaminess of the paitan broth, each bite is a delightful combination of flavour and texture. Like Japanese soba, never pour the entire bowl of soup onto the noodles!
经过了胶原蛋白的无私洗礼，大人深感进门前与进门后的颜面相差了十岁！若非亲眼目睹 神将拉面 Shinsho Ramen 碗里盛着的香浓乳白汤汁，绝对想不着这满满的胶原蛋白竟是出自于鸡肉们的前世今生精华，在这颜值当道的时代，若不定期来补充，似乎说不过去。「让嘴里愉悦，脸上添光，大人的一石二鸟之计，绝对事半功倍！」
Chicken isn’t usually as flavourful as pork, but at Shinsho Ramen they do it just right. In our opinion, the paitan broth is equal to a tonkotsu broth in terms of hearty flavour, and it’s a welcome change from the pork-based ramen but equally satisfying and delicious. With only a handful of variations on the menu as of now, Shinsho Ramen will be looking at introducing new items very soon. Frankly, we don’t think they need any more.
Do us, and your skin, a favour and make sure you get this.
Shinsho Ramen 神将拉面
📍 #01-02, Block A, Komersil Southkey Mozek Persiaran Southkey 1, Kota Southkey, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
📞 +607-338 2307
🕙 Daily from 11:00am to 10.00pm
💻 Shinsho Ramen 神将拉面
🍽️ NO PORK, NO LARD