Time Out says
Note: Prologue is now closed.
The sizeable number of Japanese expats in KL has contributed to a respectable variety of Japanese food, particularly in Sri Hartamas and Mont Kiara. It’s brave then that so many young Malaysians are turning comfort Japanese food into businesses, what with the likes of Mei by Fat Spoon and Shokudo booming to success in their first few months of operations. Taman Paramount’s Prologue is in the same league.
The space – run by the folks of Awesome Canteen next door – is deliberately designed like an updated version of a dai chow stall; a dai chow stall with taste, if you will. There’s a large frameless mirror that hangs over the restaurant like a watchful parent, and a mantelpiece below it that carries a potted plant and ceramic teapots. At a corner, a fridge with transparent plastic doors buzzes in the company of white florescent lights, and carries the ubiquitous bottles of beer. If Awesome Canteen’s general prettiness is anything to go by, the vision of the team shines once more.
This time, there is pork. There is ramen. There are rice bowls. Already, I’m a happy child. But the Pirikara Buta Ramen disappoints. It’s a large bowl of things like roast pork belly, spinach, bean sprouts, green onions and marinated egg that float in a muddy creek of pork bone broth. The broth is spicy and carries a good body, but it lacks the sheer porkiness of tonkotsu broth. Though passable, it doesn’t give one the culinary sentiment of a hug, like most good ramen do. But I make a mental note for next time to try the Sakana Sakamushi Ramen with a base of fish, and the Mabo Tofu Ramen, which, according to the waitress, is ‘starchier’.
My gyu yakiniku don fares far more positively, a deep bowl of caramelised onions, thin beef slivers and a large handful of green onions. The miso soup that pairs with the donburi is the kind you’d make at home – delicate, light in colour and low on sodium. The set is far more comforting than the ramen proves, and worthy of future weeknight dinners.
But Prologue doesn’t simply end at ramen and rice. The Japanese small-plates selection is a clever move by the team, and I talk of the koebi karaage, a plate of golden deep-fried shrimp (shells and all). With a squeeze of lemon on the shrimps, each thumb-sized piece crackles and snaps into nothingness, which will have you reaching for the next one. And the next one.
The shiromi yuzu zuke is less inspiring – the yuzu-soaked white fish requires great chew, which extrudes the juices that collect inside the meat, and the sharp cut of lime and raw red onion are too harsh. But the Taku Taka Natto Tofu picks up the pace with a slab of tofu topped with hot sauce, Japanese pickles, slimy natto beans and katsuobushi. Our only wish is for the tofu to be of the silkier, smoother kind. The takoyaki balls – an Osaka street food favourite – call out to us, and I look forward to answering its pleas in the near future.