Singapore's best ramen shop
Singapore's best ramen shop -- Recommended: Menya Shinchan Japanese Restaurant
Menya Shinchan ("house of noodles") was one of the early ramen specialists, quietly introducing locals to its good value, superbly tasty fare in 2006.
Run by Tajima Eiji, this eatery is best known for the hinjiro -- a giant bowl of homemade noodles, cabbage and bean sprouts, with marbled pork belly in a rich tonkotsu broth.
“Hinjiro is a kind of cult ramen which was made popular in Japanese universities," says expert panel member and food blogger Leslie Tay. "The tsukemen, a type of dry ramen where you dip the ramen in the tonkotsu broth topped with niboshi powder and broken charsu bits, is great too.”
The gyozas wrapped in paper-thin skins and grilled by the owner round off the meal nicely.
#01-05 Riverside View, 30 Robertson Quay, tel +65 6732 0114. Open daily 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 6:30-10 p.m.
Singapore's best ramen shop -- Recommended: Ramen Santouka
You would never realize from the perfect bowls of ramen Ramen Santouka serves up that this is a chain restaurant from Hokkaido.
“Almost every ramen item is good here," says expert panel member Shermay Lee of Shermay's Cooking School. "I'm particularly in love with their tomago: half-boiled egg with a custardy soft center, soy-stained exterior.”
With a restriction of just 60 bowls of ramen with tokusen toroniku (special pork cheeks) per day, this 25-seater has an artisan feel to it.
Industry gossip also has it that the Japanese chefs insisted on tasting the water from the outlet before agreeing to take on the unit, as the taste of the water influences the final flavors of the stock.
The signature tokusen toroniku (pork cheeks), is served separately from the springy noodles and the rich, full-bodied broth. The correct way to eat it: dip the toroniku into the hot soup to warm it and melt the fat, before popping it in your mouth.
Note that no reservations are allowed and parties have to arrive altogether as they have a strict seating policy.
#02-76, 6 Eu Tong Sen St., tel +65 6224 0668. Open daily 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m
Singapore's best ramen shop-- Winner: Ippudo
Ippudo has developed a sort of cult status since it opened at the swanky Mandarin Gallery in Singapore.
A Hakata ramen restaurant -- there are at least 34 other outlets in Japan -- is run by Shigemi Kawahara who has emerged tops three years in a row at a nation-wide competition testing the skills of ramen experts.
Hakata ramen is a thin, straight variety of ramen cooked in a milky-colored pork-bone broth. Made from several types of flour imported from around the world, the ramen is kneaded to a glossy, springy consistency.
There are also two types of broth offered; aka (red and spicy from a secret sauce) and shiro (white, a rich and creamy broth) and both are made from 15 hours of boiling thoroughly cleaned pork bones.
“This is one place for the best chashu," says expert panel member and food author Christopher Tan. "But go for the ramen only as the service, queue and side dishes can be disappointing.”
#04-02/03/04 Mandarin Gallery, 333 Orchard Rd., tel +65 6235 2797. Open daily 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.