Ichiban Ramen (一番拉面) @ AEON Seberang Prai, Penang.
I am not a frequent patron at AEON Seberang Prai/ Bandar Perda (Bukit Mertajam) due to its location but if I ever get to travel to Bukit Mertajam, I'll be sure to make it one of my destinations. We were there wondering what to eat for our lunch and we stumbled upon this restaurant which located at first floor of AEON Bandar Perda, right beside S&J souvenir shop and Sushi Queen. Ichiban Ramen has more than 9 outlets in Malaysia and this is their only outlet in Penang. As the restaurant's name suggested, Ichiban Ramen offers some of their most exquisite ramen and related Japanese dishes. Surprisingly, the place is always empty (I have no idea why either but their Ramen were okay to me). Price-wise, slightly pricier due to the Service Charge and Government Tax.
They do have some lunch/ set promotion going on, you may find all these promotional sets at the end of their menu. This was their Seafood Ramen Set (海鲜拉面套餐, Rm 21) and it comes with some deep fried Gyoza (description will be included below) too. As you can see from the photo, the Ramen was loaded with seafood, namely Prawns, Squids, Mussels, Crabsticks, Clams etc...... Most of the seafood were very fresh, except the clams, where they have greatly shrink in size. The soup was flavorsome and delectable to my liking, I have added some of the Japanese Seven Flavors seasoning just to spice things up too. The portion was very big and it serves me well. As for the noodles (Ramen), they were pretty springy and bouncy to my liking, although I've used up some time for photo shooting, the noodles did not turn soggy and still remained firm. Recommended.
We have had their Sapporo Ramen Set (札幌拉面套餐, Rm 19) which comes with some deep fried Gyoza either. The Ramen broth was sweet but was too buttery to my liking. It has some butter melted into the soup, but I find it too oily and the butter was too over-powering. The Japanese Roasted Pork (Char Siew) was so-so either. I have had some other better Char Siew at other eateries.
These were the complimentary Gyoza (Japanese Pan Fried Dumplings) that came together with the set lunch. The dumplings were extremely oily for me, the plate was filled with oil the moment they served to me. I just had one and find it pretty normal and nothing to shout over. They should have at least included some shredded ginger into the vinegar too.
This was their Japanese Fried Rice Set (日式炒饭套餐, Rm 11) was a very good value meal indeed. The portion for the rice was very big for me, moreover, it comes with a piece of Deep Fried Chicken Chop (topped with Chili Sauce). We can even smell the aroma of the Fried Rice before it reaches to us, although it does not have much mouth-watering ingredients but it was really good, the texture of the Japanese rice does add some extra marks for it too. As for the chicken chop, it was rather dry and it makes no difference from the ordinary chicken chop since they were complemented using Chili Sauce and not some Japanese sauces. Nevertheless, it was decent.
Macha Blended with Red Bean (红豆抹茶冰沙, Rm 7) was flavorful, every single sip of it was robust with the flavor of Japanese Green Tea (Macha) and Red Beans. They do have a scoop of Red Beans topped on the drink either. It was not too sweet and was just nice for me.
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 6.5/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: Yes 6%
Address: Lot F76, AEON Seberang Prai City, Jusco Bandar Perda, Penang.
Business Hour: 10:30am to 9:30pm. Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 537 3199