Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nantsuttei (なんつッ亭) - Parco Marina Bay

Following-up on my previous entry about Nantsuttei and Keisuke Tokyo, I went to try one of them today on its opening day!

Nantsuttei. Umaize-Baby!

The name of the store "Nantsutei" sounds like "Nanchatte (なんちゃって)" in Japanese, which means "I'm kidding/nothing great". (pretty hard to translate the nuance)
From one of the Japanese magazines pages pasted on the side of the wall, the owner used this name hoping that even if he has to close the store, he can remain positive and brush it off as a small matter.

And the owner, Furuya Ichiro, was at the store overseeing the operations today!!

Mr Furuya... smiling at the camera?

Jumping straight into the ramen as I've written about the background in my previous blog.

I tried the standard ramen ($12++). It is topped with a big piece of char siew, bean sprout, spring onion, seaweed, and the distinctive black sesame oil.
A pretty good value for a top ramen store from Japan.

It was a pretty good bowl of ramen!
The noodles (medium straight noodles) were made to the right softness. The char siew was thick and voluminous, which gives you a good feeling when you bite and chew it. Last but not least, the soup was very creamy and tasty but not overly thick and salty. The sesame oil adds fragrance to the bowl of ramen... although I might say looks pretty dark.

Tried the gyoza too. It has a funny name of 夫婦円満餃子, which means "gyoza of blissful marriage". Not sure why it is name in such a way, but it was juicy!

Some sidenote too that most of the waiter and waitress were trained to speak in Japanese, and even take order in Japanese. Impressive.

Nantsuttei is definitely one of the better ramen stores in town. The pork-bone soup with black sesame oil is unique among all the ramen places in Singapore. Will definitely come back again to try the "Dragone Ramen" and "Golden Curry Ramen"!

View Ramen Walker's Ramen Map in a larger map

Ramen Data - Nantsuttei, Parco Marina Bay
Address: P3-06, Parco Marina Bay
Types: Tonkotsu
Price: S$12-16
Rating: 8.5/10

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Ramen Places in Town! Nantsuttei (なんつッ亭) and Keisuke Tokyo (東京ラーメン けいすけ) @ Parco Marina Bay

Just flipped open the Sunday news paper, and wow, 2 more ramen shops from Japan will be coming to Singapore!

Nantsuttei (なんつッ亭) and Keisuke Tokyo (東京ラーメン けいすけ).

Both will be opening in Singapore their first overseas outlets. Its interesting that Singapore is becoming a magnet of Japanese F&B establishments' first step outside Japan!

The article didn't state when they will be opened (hope that no one rushed down today) but according to Parco Marina Bay's website, the new mall will be opened on 31 Mar 2010 3pm. Nantsuttei's Singapore website also stated that they will be opened from 3:00-10:30pm on 31 March, and customers get to win a figuring of the owner Furuya Ichiro (!!).

These 2 chains are pretty famous names in Japan.

Nantsuttei was often featured in magazines, TV and ramen rankings in Japan. Its specialty is tonkotsu ramen and its black sesame oil. The black sesame oil is made from a blend of sesame oil and garlic fried to 7 different levels, from light brown to black (slight mis-report on the papers...), as garlic fried to varying degree has a different flavour (doubt I could tell the difference...haha).

Keisuke Tokyo sounds interesting too. The owner was a french chef, and with that background he improvised ramen as a cuisine in his own ways. The shop to be opened in Parco seems to be selling prawn-based ramen. But in Tokyo, each of his stores has a speciality, from miso ramen to tsuke-men.

Looking forward to try both ramen soon!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Marutama Ramen (まる玉らーめん) - Central, Singapore

This week's ramen expedition brings me to Marutama Ramen in Central.

Its currently the No. 1 ramen place in Singapore (according to this blog's survey)!

I've been here a few times but haven't got down to writing about it. Thanks to a reader who reminded me that I have missed this out :)

Distinctive orange logo

Marutama Ramen is another store that originates from Japan. It came from Saitama prefecture (slightly north of Tokyo) and now has 2 outlets in Japan in 両国 (Ryokoku) and 川口 (Kawaguchi) and 2 outlets in Singapore (Central and Liang Court).

Marutama's specialty is its chicken-based soup ramen. The soup is boiled for long hours to in order to extract the essence and also the collagen. Another specialty is its Karashi Ramen (からしらーめん), where crushed Thai green chilli is added to the shio-dare (salt sauce). This gives the ramen an added punch and a different flavour.

I tried the Karashi Ramen ($12++) this round and added an aji-tama.

Karashi Ramen -looks the same as the normal marutama ramen but its pretty spicy!

The ramen is simply topped with a piece of char siew and a handful of aosa seaweed. It uses the narrow noodles similar to that used for Hakata ramen.

A little more on aosa seaweed as its rarely used in ramen. From my brief internet research, aosa seaweed can only be taken from rivers that are very clear, at the zone of a particular salt content where seawater and river water mix.

The soup is clear, not too thick for salty, making it very drinkable. The noodles are done just to the right hardness. The aji-tama was cooked to the right softness, and the char siew was tender too. A fine bowl of ramen.

I ordered the gyoza ($5++) too. It is boiled rather than pan-fried. This was yummy too but I would like more soya-sauce than vinegar in the sauce.

All in all the ramen was good, and it deserves to be one of the recommended ramen place in town, especially if you like chicken-based soup. It would be better if the basic ramen itself comes with half an aji-tama!

View Ramen Walker's Ramen Map in a larger map

Ramen Data - Marutama Ramen, Central
Address: #03-90 The Central @ Clarke Quay
Types: Chicken Soup
Price: S$12-15
Rating: 8/10

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