How would you react to a bowl or ramen with IDR 98,000++ price tag? Before you start to lampoon any profanities already at the tip of your tongues, do hear out this fact first: the average price of a ramen bowl in NYC is USD 9.85 (this digit is taken by averaging the 11 best ramen as picked by Serious Eats with prices ranging from USD 7.50 - 14). That's about IDR 97,761, based on the exchange rate on the day I'm writing this post.
I know some would still argue that the price is just unreasonable for Jakarta's standard. I stand by my opinion, that Jakarta is as metropolis as NYC gets and the Purchasing Power Parity in the world's capital cities tend to be more or less uniform. Again, touching about economics, scarcity will cause prices to hike up. This 98k ramen is exactly that: scarce. Chef Chomei's ramen may be the most expensive I've encountered so far, but for the quality of imported ingredients and considering the logics I mentioned above, in my opinion, it's all worth it.
|Complimentary Appetizer: Salad, Wakame & Tuna chunks|
This 98k ramen is not just any ramen you find at food courts or ramen wannabes around schools. Nishimura of Shangri-La Jakarta presented the Ramen Crave promotion only for a limited time period from 15 - 30 May 2013. So even though you're willing to pay 10x the price, you can't possibly find it anymore, because the promotion is over. While I'm deeply sorry for writing this post too late, as I had more pressing issues back then, I still would love to share my experience dining at Nishimura. It won't be only about ramen, so keep reading :)
Nishimura Japanese Chef, Hideki Chomei prepared nothing less than 8 variants of ramen to satiate any type of palates and preferences. The toppings can be chosen from the chicken, beef, curry (for vegetarian) or seafood.
Our group sampled:
- Ebi Chile Ramen Spaghetti (prawns with noodles in spicy sauce)
- Tomato Chicken Ramen (chicken & noodles in tomato soup)
- Niku Yasai Ramen (US beef with mushroom and bean sprouts in soy sauce soup)
|Top: Niku Yasai Ramen | Bottom: Ebi Chile Ramen Spaghetti|
|Tomato Chicken Ramen|
The ramens tasted nothing like the ones I've had at other places such as here, here or here. Firstly, the noodles is different, Chef Hideki imported the noodles from Japan and these are not the springy, chewy or thin type, but thicker and more tender. Besides that, the noodles did not appear to be drenched in the broth, my guess is that the noodles absorbed the broth. The Ebi Chile Ramen Spaghetti and Tomato Chicken Ramen tasted like spaghetti because of the dominant tomato taste. I tend to like the more savoury flavour, which the Niku Yasai Ramen has.
Nishimura is a Japanese restaurant, so there are other classic Japanese cuisine here, like a few that we had:
We had the simplest and most classic of Japanese sushi: Jyo Sashimi Moriawase (5 kinds of Sashimi) - tuna, scallop and salmon, etc. Absolutely fresh, it's just too bad that I'm not a massive fan of sashimi. But I was curious with the scallop and it was very fresh. From the Nishimura Specialty Roll: Dragon Roll (shrimp, cucumber, avocado, lettuce, flying fish roe & mayonnaise) & Spider Roll (soft-shell crab, cucumber, flying fish roe & mayonnaise).
|Jyo Sashimi Moriawase IDR 490,000|
|Dragon Roll IDR 120,000|
|Spider Roll IDR 120,000|
Soon, a chef appeared in our room and he was going to cook before us, our next dish: Teppanyaki. At Nishimura, the teppanyaki is A la Carte Style, pay for what you order. We had King Salmon, Gyuniku Moyashiitame (sauteed beef & bean sprouts) and Yakimeshi (fried rice). A note when eating Teppanyaki, ladies, make sure to tie your hair up, unless you want your head to smell like a kitchen.
|King Salmon IDR 148,000 / portion | Gyuniku Moyashiitame IDR 98,000 / portion|
From the Yakimono, we tried the Hotate Butter Teriyaki (Grilled Scallop with Butter Sauce). Four pieces of beautifully grilled scallop, comes served with green asparagus and wakame (seaweed).
|Hotate Butter Teriyaki IDR 148,000|
Japanese style dessert: Matcha pudding for and ice cream with ogura and matcha flavours to end the whole deal.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the complimentary salmon skin crackers, which everyone truly enjoyed and even fought for to the last piece.
*) Prices subject to 10% Service Charge & prevailing Government Tax
Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta
JL. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1 (Wisma Kota BNI 46)
Ph: +62 21 2939 9580
Everyday: Lunch: 11.30am - 2pm | Dinner 6pm - 10.30pm