Ramen Reincarnated: ONY Japanese Ramen

Where Passion and Creativity Collide

Guest Commentary:

The article below is a repost of SeeFoon Chan-Koppen’s previous review of ONY Japanese Ramen. Before we get to SeeFoon’s review proper however, ONY has since updated their menu and I’d like to share my impression of one particular item, the “Spicy Chillie Pan Mee”, which is priced at RM15.

This dish’s aroma conveys a feeling of freshness and the generous helping of minced chicken enhances the colours of its presentation. After mixing everything up and taking my first bite, I soon found myself almost vacuuming up the entire bowl. I had to force myself to slow down in order to gather my thoughts for this review.

The texture and chewiness is spot on, it’s neither too hard nor mushy. There’s an enjoyable bite to it. But it’s the egg that does it for me. The egg bonds the noodles, minced chicken and other ingredients, giving the noodles an almost glutinous feel that’s just so addicting! If I hadn’t stop myself, I would have devoured everything in under 5 minutes.

I’m actually not a fan of spicy food, so for me, there was a kick afterwards, but it didn’t linger particularly long and was totally worth it for the experience. Even now, I’m craving for another bowl of those noodles. – KT Leong

by SeeFoon Chan-Koppen 

Who hasn’t heard of Ramen? Ever since this Japanese staple became a hit outside of its home country,  its been the darling go-to for jaded palates tired of our iconic Kai Si Hor Fun (KSHF) or Curry Mee. Still hankering for the taste of noodles without resorting to the ubiquitous spaghetti, try ONY, a relative newcomer to the Ramen Scene.

Calling  Dante Cheah’s ONY a Japanese Ramen restaurant may be a misnomer. Yes the name and the noodle pay lip service to its Japanese origins but the menu offerings are straight out of this brilliant young proprietor’s prolific culinary mind.

Trained as a lawyer in the UK, Dante ( name which he gave himself and which prompted the question of how much hell fire he plans to create)  it’s a gastronomic journey, a testament to passion, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to perfecting the art of Ramen. With its roots firmly grounded in Dante’s love for Italian cuisine, ONY Japanese Ramen emerges as a unique and captivating addition to the local culinary scene, an establishment that fuses the best of both worlds.

The Ramen Revolution: A Quest for Perfection.

In the midst of the challenging times brought forth by the Movement Control Order (MCO), Dante Cheah’s craving for an exceptional bowl of Ramen led him on a transformative journey of culinary exploration. Frustrated by the lack of recipes that met his exacting standards on YouTube, he embarked on a personal mission to craft his own, delving headfirst into the intricate world of Ramen. What sets ONY apart from the myriad of Ramen establishments is the unyielding devotion to detail that underpins every dish.

Each bowl of Ramen at ONY Japanese Ramen is an orchestra of flavours, composed of five distinct components: the noodles, the soup, the toppings, the sauce, and the oil.  The Tare (the broth) takes a minimum of 10 hours of slow simmering to be perfected. Added to a perpetual broth which is kept alive since his opening of ONY last year, Dante ensures that he keeps evey drop of Umami in his kitchen.

A Symphony of Flavors: Unveiling ONY’s Culinary Repertoire

The menu at ONY Japanese Ramen reads like a culinary odyssey through the diverse and complex flavours of Ramen. The O.G. Paitan Chicken Ramen with Imperial Soup is a classic rendition that offers a delightful twist with the inclusion of Japanese radish. The Imperial Soup, characterised by its depth of flavour, is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into every pot.

O.G. Paitan Chicken

Dante Cheah’s spirit of innovation shines through in his La Jiu Chicken Ramen with Smoked Imperial Soup  and is a revelation. Dante’s experimentation with wood smoking elevates this dish to an entirely new level. The secret wood used, imparts a seductive smokiness that sets it apart from its peers. Dante’s  technique of using the precise lid for the smoking further enriches the sensory experience. Immediately mixed with his Dan Fu Fa , a quivering soft egg cooked to a precise temperature, (served together) the dish is exquisitely smooth with a sultry earthiness pthat gives the noodles its divine texture. This Dan Fu Fa ( borrowing its name from the velvety Dow Fu Fa, our popular smooth bean curd dessert) was perfected after many hours of experimentation and hundreds of discarded eggs.

La Jiu Chicken

Clear Soup (Ching Tong) Ramen beckons to umami aficionados with its rich, savoury flavours that dance on the taste buds. Meanwhile, the Spicy Umami Ramen strikes a delightful balance between spice and umami. Though the scallops may not be entirely authentic, the dish more than compensates with its robust flavour profile.

Smoked La Jiu Chicken with lid still on
Smoked La Jiu Chicken with lid removed


Elevating the Experience

To complement the Ramen offerings, ONY Japanese Ramen presents a selection of accompaniments that shine in their own right. The Dan Fu Fa eggs as mentioned earlier are a rare gem, laid by chickens nourished with sesame seeds, imparting a unique flavour profile that pirouettes on the taste buds. A dash of soy sauce further enhances their exquisite taste.

Dan Fu Fa

For those seeking an extra kick of flavour, the Spicy Fried Bamboo Shoots offer a crunchy and spicy delight that pairs seamlessly with the Ramen. The Pau (2 Pieces), handmade and filled with love, are a testament to Dante’s unwavering commitment to quality. Likewise, the (Gyoza) Dumplings (4 Pieces) offer a satisfying bite, though a tad more juiciness could elevate them further.

Bamboo Shoots

Don’t miss the opportunity to savour ONY’s Perfect Yogurt, a homemade delight that is an absolute must-try. The strawberry flavour is thick and creamy, while the pineapple flavour offers a sweet revelation that rounds off the meal on a high note.

And then there is the Truffle Ramen. The noodles are made with a special blend of tare sauce, that perfectly compliments the earthy aroma of truffle oil, Each bite of the chewy noodles bursting with Umami and the addition of fresh spring onions and crispy seaweed add a delightful crunch.

Truffle Ramen

A Commitment to Excellence: Craftsmanship Beyond Compare 

In a world where shortcuts often prevail, ONY Japanese Ramen stands out as an oasis of culinary dedication and craftsmanship. Here, every element of every dish is not just considered but meticulously crafted to perfection. It’s not merely a meal; it’s an immersive culinary experience that transports diners to the vibrant streets of Japan. ONY offers a taste of Japan’s finest flavours without breaking the bank, all the while maintaining its commitment to being pork-free and avoiding artificial MSG, mirin, or sake.

Dante Cheah’s ONY Japanese Ramen is a culinary gem that deserves to be celebrated for its innovation, quality, and dedication to the art of Ramen. Each visit to ONY is a journey into the heart of Dante’s passion and creativity, a testament to the extraordinary heights that culinary craftsmanship can achieve. In Ipoh, this is where the soul of Ramen finds its reincarnation, and where diners embark on a culinary pilgrimage that leaves a lasting impression. As Dante himself might say, ONY Japanese Ramen is not just a restaurant; it’s a symphony of flavours, a masterpiece in every bowl, and a culinary experience that transcends ordinary dining.

ONY Japanese Ramen is Muslim friendly. Every month a different special is on offer. Do ask for it and check that out.

ONY Japanese Ramen
Address: 45, Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, Taman Ipoh Timur, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Operating Hours: 11:30 am to 9 pm (Closed Tuesdays)
Contact: 012-2372118

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