Zen Noodle Cafe (Shop 6, 7B, Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island)

PhotoGrid_1402673952146Date visited: November 2013

What we ate:

Osaka Beef Udon (~HK$70) and Curry Sirloin Steak (~HK$90) (~PHP1200 total)

 

Taste = 4/5

–          When we visited HongKong, one of the places that we had to visit was the Lantau island and ride the cable car. It was a relatively long ride and when we landed on the island, we were really hungry. We chanced upon this restaurant because we were really low on blood sugar at that time. The Udon was okay. The restaurant was a Japanese-themed restaurant but the broth of the soup tasted very Chinese. The egg in the Udon was not even the Japanese marinated soft-boiled egg that is a staple in Japanese ramen. It was just a plain hard-boiled egg. The taste was good and the beef was cooked nicely but the whole taste was Chinese. The Steak dish was good and the meat was tender. The sauce tasted like the Japanese curry that we know, good thing. We finished the Steak dish easily but we had taste fatigue with the Udon.

 

Service = 3.5/5

–          We are used to the Filipino-style of service and we were not used to servers that do not smile or express some degree of hospitality. But to be fair, the servers were fast. The method of payment was the same as with most HK noodle places where you pay at the desk near the door before exiting.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The place looked good and everything was clean and the dining area was well planned and people didn’t have to squeeze into anything even if there were a lot of seats and tables. However, it looked very Chinese and we didn’t even know that they were a Japanese-themed restaurant until we looked at the options in their menu.

 

Value for money = 3/5

–          The dishes were expensive considering the prices of the other restaurants in HK. Granting that they were in a tourist area, their prices were still relatively higher than some of their neighbours. When we walked towards the Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha), there was a small inconspicuous store that sells noodles and rice meals at a much more reasonable price. Unfortunately, we were already full so we were not able to sample some of their dishes.

 

Sorry, we could not find an FB page or website for this restaurant.

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Ajisen Ramen (Level 2 North East Square 47 Connecticut St. Greenhills, San Juan)

Date visited: September 2013

What we ordered:

Shitake Ebi, Ajisen Ramen and Seafood Ramen

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          The Shitake Ebi (stuffed shitake mushrooms) was really good. The shitake flavour was not overwhelming and it was cooked tempura style including the dipping sauce.  The Ajisen Ramen tasted very good. The broth’s meaty taste was just right and it really went well with the barbecued pork, which in itself was very soft, delicate and the fat was almost jelly-like. Yum! The Seafood Ramen equally tasted very good. It had fresh shrimps, crab sticks and scallops but the scallops were a little rubbery. Even if broths were essentially the same for both ramens, the ingredients blended so well they gave each ramen distinct tastes. The noodles in both dishes looked like spaghetti and they were “al dente” throughout our stay.

 

Service = 4.5/5

–          The waiters knew how to serve their customers well enough. The place was almost full but they still were able to quickly accommodate our requests.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The dining area was small but it didn’t feel cramped inside although the place was almost full. The seats were comfortable and everything was neat and tidy.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          The prices were a little too high but considering the good quality and taste of their food, they could justify their charges.

Click here for their website.

Miso-Ten (2/F Robinsons Magnolia)

Date visited: August 2013

What we ordered:

Miso Ten Original and Excellent Set Meal (Ebi, Eggplant, String Beans, Pumpkin, Kani Salad, Miso Soup, Rice and Fruits)

 

Taste = 4/5

–          We were looking for good ramen at Robinsons Magnolia and we chose to try this restaurant first. Their ramen was miso-based but there was a sesame flavour to it which made the taste different from their miso soup. The pork slices were very tender and tasted like good asado which complimented the dish very well. The noodles were cooked nicely and were soft but not doughy. The egg (ajitamago) was interesting: it had the umami taste and was nicely soft-boiled. A really good compliment to the broth and ramen. Lyn appreciated the crunch when she took a bite off one of the tempuras (Ebi). Their tempura was one of the best we have tasted. The prawn meat was thick and the crust was very crunchy and yummy. Our only disappointment was that they didn’t use Japanese mayonnaise on the Kani salad.

 

Service = 4.5/5

–          The servers were attentive and were mostly smiling plus the food was served quick enough.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The restaurant had an indoor dining area and an al fresco area. The indoor are was a little cramped and cold. On the other hand, it was quite comfortable on the alfresco area when we ate there.

 

Value for money = 4/5

–          The prices were above average considering the quality, taste and serving sizes of their food. They should have at least used Japanese mayonnaise and also improved on the serving size of their ramen. It just looked large but it felt like a meriyenda size of other establishments.

 Click here for their Facebook page.