In the past 2 years, there are a lot of ramen (Japanese noodle) restaurants opening in Jakarta. While many people in Jakarta are moslem, these restaurants serve pork ramen openly – some also provide separate cooking pots and serving bowls too (between halal/non-pork and non-halal/pork menu).
Here are the ranked list of my favorites (opinions may vary):
- Ippudo. What I like the most about Ippudo is the authenticity of the way they serve their customers – to the point that the waitresses would kneel when taking orders. What’s more is the soup they use (pork and seafood broth that is just right – not too thick, not too thin), the mildness of the noodle, and the toppings. My favorites are shiromaru motoaji, pork bun, and lasagna gyoza (Japanese-style dumpling). (Reference: Ippudo Ramen Indonesia)
- Ikkudo Ichi. Out of all ramen restaurants in my list, I think this is the most popular one with the most branches. The typical interior of the restaurants is false pink sakura (cherry blossom) and paper lanterns on the ceiling, with yellowish lighting. Compared to Ippudo, the soup is thicker. What’s more is that we can choose from 2 noodle options: curly and straight/mild, and 3 mildness options: hard, medium and soft. My favorite is Ikkudo Buta Kara (topped with boiled egg, pork loins and spicy sauce). (Reference: Zomato)
- Hakata Ikkousha. I tried this ramen because many friends are recommending it. I don’t really like it, though. The soup is not so thick, which is nice, but it is also a bit bland for my taste. The favorite menu there is ramen babi spesial/special pork ramen. (Reference: Ikkousha Ramen Indonesia)
- Ramen 38 (Sanpachi). This might be the oldest ramen restaurant available in Jakarta, and in fact, it’s not so famous as it was, say, 8 years ago. I guess to play it safe, the management of this restaurant only opens the pork-contained menu in a restaurant separated from shopping malls, which is not so necessary nowadays, given that many other restaurants would carelessly (well, they always inform upfront that they serve pork and people will be OK with that) open about serving pork, regardless of whether it is located in a shopping mall or not. My favorite menu in Ramen 38 is Chashu Ramen, which is topped only with pork loin chops and spinach. (Reference: Zomato)
- Menya Sakura. The special thing about this restaurant is they only use high quality pork bone for the soup base – hence creating ‘umami’ taste. However, I don’t really like this ramen so much. The best menu available is the kangkung. The tsukemen is also quite special, with thick seafood soup. (Reference: Menya Sakura Indonesia)
- Bariuma Ramen. This one is, in my opinion, the worst of all ramen restaurant listed here. The soup somehow tastes a lot like Indomie soup with additional salt. The noodle is also not so special. It’s still edible, though, but not recommended if you have other choices. For non-pork eaters, this restaurant is quite recommended, though, since they separate all pork and non pork dishes and cutleries: red for pork menu and black for non pork. (Reference: Zomato)