Qian Ri Ramen (千日拉面) @ Bukit Mertajam, Penang.
Experts believed colors do help to trigger one's appetite, probably inspired by this, the owner of Qian Ri Ramen has came out with various kinds of colored as well as flavored Ramen. Diners are given the freedom to mix and match the chosen soup base with their own desired flavored Ramen. The flavored Ramen are available in Spinach, Beetroot, Wheat Flour, Black Sesame, Chili, Green Tea as well as the traditional Chinese Herbs infused Ramen (Dang Gui/ Radix Sinensis and Shou Wu/ Radix Polygoni Multiflori). It should not be too hard to locate Qian Ri Ramen if you know where is Bukit Minyak's Carefour (probably less than 10 minutes drive away from Autocity) located at as Qian Ri Ramen is just right opposite to Carefour. Prices-wise, I find most of the dishes here economical and worth of trying.
I had a quick look at their menu and this Stew Beef Soup Ramen in Stone Pot (Rm 14.90+) has immediately caught my attention. After asking for some advises on the flavored Ramen, the owner told me this is best to go with their Dang Gui Ramen but unfortunately, it does not make its appeal to me. No denial on the flavors but since both flavors are so strong, they are "fighting" with each other and none of the flavor stands out. It would be better to match with some mildly-flavored Ramen in my opinion. Moreover, the noodles turned soggy after I took a while to shoot a couple of photos. Anyway, the broth was good and flavorful to my liking but I would personally prefer it to be spicier. I like the fact that they have added a generous amount of Beef Tenderloin into the broth, making it superbly delicate and savory. I'll definitely come back for this.
Kimchi Pork Belly Soup (Rm 12+) with Spinach Ramen was just okay. The soup has a very pungent Kimchi flavor and you will not like it if you are not a Kimchi-lover. There might be some improvements in terms of the spiciness, as well as the overall taste. It lacked of some "kick", not a good combination to go with Spinach Ramen too.
We had tasted their Teriyaki Pork Dry Ramen (Green Tea Ramen) at the price of Rm 13+ too. To my surprise, this dish actually turned out to be very good although with an inclination towards the sweeter side. We simply like the Ramen to be springy (most of our orders were soup-based and the Ramen has turned soggy) and al-dente. The Teriyaki Pork, on the other hand, was tender and juicy too. However, this might be still too sweet for some to accept.
Deep Fried Fish with Chili Sauce and Chili Ramen (Rm 14+) tasted very similar to the Mee Udang which can be found at Gertak Sanggul minus the natural sweetness inherited from Prawns. This plate of Ramen has a very strong Chili-Tomato Paste flavor which makes it a rather disappointing one. I'd say the Deep Fried Dorry Fish was okay, given that the fish gives no "fishy" smell and the outer layer was still crispy upon serving to us but I would not recommend this dish to my readers.
We wanted to try for something unique and I'd say their Tian Qi Ginseng Chicken Soup was somewhat unique since its not too commonly found in Penang. They are having this promotion until the end of March where by you may purchase this bowl of soup at a promotional price of Rm 16.90+ which was what we did. However, we were rather shocked with the pathetic size of the soup and the Chicken has shrink to its miserable size too. Flavor-wise, no Ginseng flavor can be tasted nor sweetness from the Chicken. Things would be better if they could add more Ginseng and some Wolf-berries to further enhance the flavors.
For every single order of their main course (be it Ramen or Rice set), diners are allowed to purchase for some drinks/desserts at cheaper prices. Simply top up Rm 1.90+ for Chinese Tea (hot) and Pearl Milk Tea (cold) while top up of Rm 3.90+ is required for the Sea Bird Nest dessert.
Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7.5/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good) *You may park at Carefour and have a short walk to the restaurant*
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: No
Address: No. 10, Tingkat Bukit Minyak 9, Taman Bukit Minyak, 1400 Bukit Mertajam, Penang.
Business Hour: 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm for Tues to Fri; 12pm to 10pm for Sat and Sun. Closed on every Monday.
Contact Number: 604- 501 7888