Most of the ingredients they've got here are flown all the way from Japan, and the food is cooked by Japanese chefs. Aside from ramen, they also do a few rice-based specialities like donburi and fried rice, as well as a range of classic Japanese appetisers.
At Makotoya, you can customise your bowl of ramen. They have the standard items but you can pick the meat, choose extra ingredients, and adjust the spicy level of the broth, as well as the boiling level (hard, soft, medium) for the noodles. For this Akauma Gyu (Rs. 2300), we decided to go with chicken as the choice of meat, along with a soft boiled egg, hard-boiled noodles and as per the recommendation of our server, selected the level of spiciness as 3.
The broth was pure beefy goodness as promised and had a light texture. Slightly chewy as it had been hard-boiled, the noodles were incredibly flavourful, thanks to having absorbed all the flavours in the broth. There were generous amounts of chicken adding a hint of smokiness to the flavour profile, while the paprika spicing it up.
Coupled with seaweed and sliced up scallions which improve the texture and flavour even more, it was a bowlful of warmth that satiates both Sri Lankan and Japanese palates.
This is the Makotoya Tandan-Men (Rs. 1900) which was my personal favourite out of the two. Strong and aromatic, the flavour play here was simply brilliant, as it features a chicken bone broth that had been enriched with Tandan sesame paste, lots and lots of minced pork and a dash of paprika. Plus, it's texture was a lot creamier and heavier than the Akauma Gyu.
The Karaage Donburi (Rs. 1200) was simple. Producing the most satisfactory crisp, the batter on the chicken was perfect, leaving the meat inside to be all juicy and succulent. Dressed in Thai sweet chilli mayonnaise sauce, its flavours went well with the white sticky rice that was infused with a drizzle of soy sauce.
Makotoya does a few juices and also serves beer. We opted for the Apple Juice (Rs. 300) and Mango Juice (Rs. 300).
*Pictured above – Apple Juice (left) and Mango Juice (right)
Both of the drinks were refreshing but we couldn't help but notice how they taste and look a lot like cordial.
Ambience & Service
As you enter the restaurant, the first thing you're going to notice is the bar counter surrounded by wooden stools. If you need a glass of chilled beer to wash down your ramen, this is where you should go. Aside from that, they have arranged a bunch of more wooden chairs and tables catering to families, friends and couples.
Every customer who walks in and out of here is greeted with smiles, "hello"s and "thank you"s – sometimes in both Japanese and English languages. The food and drinks didn't take more than 15 minutes to arrive, which is quite impressive.
Makotoya is a welcome addition to the ramen scene in Colombo. It's a bit pricey, pretty much on par with the price range of Ramen Misoya, but a must-try because everything they whip up has an authentic touch to it.