Humble Review: Aji Noren Japanese Restaurant 味暖簾 @ Prima Tanjung, Penang

It's not surprising that Korean cuisine is in higher demand by the consumers under the great leading influence of Korean entertainment  late these years, however, Japanese cuisine that led the fame earlier once upon a time is still everyone's all time favourite, after all.

I'm glad that Aji Noren Japanese Restaurant leads Japanese cuisine of the humble review series on my blog. Being one of the favourite dining place for the authentic Japanese, it is persuasive enough that Aji Noren is a must-visit Japanese restaurant in Penang. Worry no more, Aji Noren provides the customers a high degree of dining satisfaction with relaxable dining ambience and most importantly, all these come with reasonable price. If you happen to be there around or Gurney Plaza yet no idea what's up for meal or perhaps, tired of having the franchise Japanese cuisine restaurant in the mall, this would be a good alternative to go.

Aji Noren is located at the ground floor of Prima Tanjung, it is easily spotted on on your right hand side once you turn left before the traffic light (as well as the junction in front of Island Plaza)
It takes around 15 minutes car journey to reach from Gurney Plaza anyway.

It was full house again as usual by the time we reached there around 8.30pm
We rang them earlier on to place our reservation but they refused to accept reservation after 8pm due to the peak hour of business time.

We did walk-in instead. The restaurant is considerable in providing the waiting customers a long wooden bench while you could see the big menu that displays as partition at the same time.
If you were in the waiting group, kindly be reminded to give your name and number of people at the cashier, shall they seat you when there's empty table.

This menu is quite effective and works on me! We waited for about 20 minutes till our turn and I'd already selected what to order later on.

It was quite windy during our waiting time hence the air ventilation is fairly good, at least you are more pleasant in waiting to be seated.
Oh ya, Aji Noren is also proudly recognised by Foodsion, a local magazine that mainly features food and beverages that has a number of readers in both Malaysia and Singapore.

Upon stepping in the restaurant, I've fallen for it (to be honest). I love the effect of dim light that provides a calming environment.
As you could see, it's full house and waiters as well as waitresses were busying serving customers.

Element of wood is heavily used in the house as evident on the furniture layout.
They are all in rather high density where there's only one aisle to walk.

The samples of alcoholic beverages are displayed at the cashier for the drinkers' convenience to place an order later.

This is the narrow aisle I'd mentioned earlier.
We were lucky to have Zashiki style seating to have a more authentic dining experience. As usual, shoes were removed before stepping into the sitting area.

There comes the menu section.

Appetizer section

A variety of sashimi, sushi and temaki sushi
Salad and tempura
Fried food

Pan friend food
Teppanyaki and ramen/udon

Not to forget, a list of beverages

Katsu Kare (RM 26)
White rice served with chicken katsu (cutlet) and potatoes, filled with Japanese curry sauce
First thing to be impressed is the generous portion. As you could observe from the photo above, the cut steamed potatoes are also come in rather bigger ones. Curry sauce is rich and I assume this is a good one to go as my friend didn't give any negative comments on it.
Yaki Gyoza (5pcs/ RM 12)
We had this Japanese fried dumpling as appetizer.
(which actually came after our first main)
It tastes fair however the portion of each is indeed out of my expectation, smaller than I thought it'd be. I would love to stuff a bigger size one into my mouth. Minced pork is marinated well and balanced which we didn't find any element of the ingredients is overly prepared.

Tonkotsu Ramen (RM 21.80)
Homemade ramen in pork soup broth served along few sliced of marinated braised pork belly, half cut of boiled egg, cuts of thin sheet nori and the assist of sliced tsukemono (pickled food) as well as cut spring onion sprinkle on top.
The first thing I tastes on this bowl is the soup broth. Well, it is fantastic over the clear, sweet and slightly creamy flavour of pork marrow. It looks sort of miso soup but it tastes totally different than what you would thought at your first sight.

. Personally, I prefer to stuff in together with the nori that gives me a little bit of salty taste.

There are 4 to 5 slices of marinated braised pork belly served along provides a maximum satisfaction in my dining experience, simply awesome.

Cha Shu Men (RM 19.80)
Homemade ramen topped with few slices of Japanese braised pork and half cut of hard boiled egg. Soup is clear and brown broth flavoured with soy sauce (shoyu)
Perfect bowl for diner who opt for lighter taste yet filling meal.
A little highlight goes to the slanted bowl that serves Cha Shu Men.

We like Aji Noren in whole. From dining ambience to service as well as food quality, everything is presented pleasantly to us. Free flow of green tea would be topped up from time to time, or in case the service attendants are busy working, inform them and they come to you shortly after. Our waiting time for our meal is below expectations, the first one served at around 15 minutes and the followings came one after another. Due to the full house, I noticed that few of them acted quickly to stuff some buns in a short time at a corner side. Therefore, this is simply evident that Aji Noren has been gaining diners' heart to be one of the favourite Japanese cuisine restaurant in Penang.

Feel free to communicate in Japanese language with them if you are able and would like to as I see there are some service attendants are fluent in speaking Japanese (few are authentic Japanese) and the cook is also Japanese, according to my friend. I'm greatly looking forward for my next visit. 

You could save the location for your own convenience.

Summary:(Scaling point: 0 - lowest; 5 - highest)
Price: 3.5/5 (Slightly higher than franchise Japanese restaurant but no GST and service charges)
Taste: 4/5 (By far one of the best homestyle Japanese cuisine restaurant in Penang)
Dining Ambience: 4/5 (Personally like the effect of dim light)
Vehicle Parking: 2.5/5 (Quite tricky especially lunch and dinner hours)
Business Hour:  12pm - 2pm ; 6pm - 10pm (Closed on Mondays)
Address: 98-G-35, Prima Tanjung, Jalan Fettes, 11200, Tanjung Tokong, Penang
Contact: 04-8994720

I hope you enjoy reading, thank you.


  1. looks like such a nice place to have a good Japanese meal...but not for me because it is not halal... *sob*

    1. I see but I'm glad if you could recommend this to your non- Muslims friends who love Japanese cuisine especially Penangites!

  2. I go to Penang quite often. The next time I am there, I'll try this. Take a break from Sushi Zento and Suhi Mentai for my fix of Japanese food.

    1. Yup exactly! Make a review of yourself after you have tried it out perhaps? Rmb to make reservation ya!

  3. Ohh~ I'm never know Tg Tokong got such Japanese restaurant~ Wanna find out this when i back Pg~

  4. nothing humble about this review. it's awesome! hehe..

    will check this place out the next time i'm in penang.

  5. Love this review, you write it quite thoroughly as well =D The serving is simply amazing!

  6. Awesome variety of dishes! Looks like you had lot of gastronomical fun.

  7. wow LOVE what they did with the place to make it look so authentic! From the setting to the 'curtains', table and even what the waiters wear

  8. Wow.. I'm sure my man would love this place so much as this place will give him memory of Japanese cuisine environment. ^.^

  9. the Ramen looks very delicious. love the soup especially, looks so yummy and nutritious.

  10. Ramen looks tasty :p Craving for some right now! And woah, they have quite a selection in their menu!

  11. Love JP food! Will try this next time in Penang

  12. The interior looks so much like Miyagi in Bangi, Selangor. Hehe.

  13. For a moment I thought this was in Japan itself because if the authentic settings! Got me fooled alright lol!

  14. Wow, this place really japanese! Love the environment so much, while enjoying all nice japanese food :D

  15. This restaurant is near my house in Penang...kekeke...we always went there for dinner!! They have a lot of comic books especially ONE PIECE!

  16. will visit this place during my Penang trip next month as I am a Japanese food fan :) thanks for this, saved it with me :) cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  17. Loving the interior of the place. this will definitely be on my to do list when i visit penang.

  18. Great blog ! I am impressed with suggestions of author. Japanese Candy Culture