Thursday, April 29, 2010

Meidi-Ya Ramen Fair, 30 Apr - 10 May 2010

Just received a news that Meidi-ya (the Japanese supermarket at Liang Court) will be having a ramen fair from tomorrow until 10 May!

Ramen packs of the various hit ramen stalls in Japan will be available for sale at Meidi-ya. Besides those that are already in Singapore, such as Ippudo, Santouka and Keisuke Tokyo, some recognisable names are Hope-ken, Aoba, Kujira-ken, Ichimonji, etc.

Seems that they will be priced at around $15-22 dollars (usually for 2-3 servings). Will go down tomorrow and grab one or two to try!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Men-Tei Ramen (麺亭) - Robinson Road, Singapore

This week's ramen expedition brings me to Men-Tei Ramen at Robinson Road.

Sitting quietly in the CBD...

A small eatery in the heart of the CBD, when I went there at night at around 9pm, it was pretty quiet. I guess everyone have more or less knocked off.

The signboard outside the shop says that it takes delivery too to nearby offices - and that the noodles is cooked in a way that it can be kept for 15mins without loosing the quality. Not sure how many ramen-crazy Singaporeans actual ordered it before?

The restaurant is bright and simple, and has 2 rows of neatly arranged tables. It gives me a no-frills feeling that it wants its customer to enjoy the food.

I sat down and ordered my usual combination of ramen & gyoza. The music played in the restaurant was Japanese oldies and some enka. This might be the Japanese atmosphere that the restaurant wants to create.

Tried their signature Tonkotsu Ramen ($14++) since this is my first visit.

The ramen is topped with a variety of items: half an egg, a piece of roasted char-siew, naruto fish cake, bamboo shoots, wakame and a handful of spring onion and leek. It uses medium straight noodles for its noodles.

The tonkotsu soup, said to have boiled for 9 hours from 2 different types of bones, does not have a strong smell and is kept pretty light compared to other creamier ones. According the the menu, its specialty is also the layer of oil on top of the ramen: it is a concoction of leek, garlic, dried shrimp and pork oil. And they create different types of oil for each type of their ramen too!

The best part that I like about this ramen is its char-siew. It is roasted to the right level and it is tender and tasty too. The egg, as promised to be another of their specialty, is soft on the inside too. But I expected it to be like the photo on the wall where the yolk is still slightly fluid. The only part that I felt could be better is its noodles. I think its more of a matter of personal preference that I like the noodles harder. Since it seems possible for Men-Tei as they accept orders to customise the hardness of the noodle.

Last but not least, their gyozas. I like the arrangement!

All in all, Men-Tei's ramen is very decent. It has not blown me away but the total experience of the restaurant, ramen and service was good. I would want to come back to try the other types of ramen, which from the menu it really seems that the chef has put in a lot of effort in customising the seasoning, soup and ingredients.

View Ramen Walker's Ramen Map in a larger map

Ramen Data - Men-Tei Ramen, Robinson Road
Address: 61 Robinson Road, #01-01 Robinson Centre
Types: Tonkotsu, Shoyu, Miso
Price: S$14-15.5
Rating: 7.5/10

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Keisuke Tokyo (けいすけ東京) - Parco Marina Bay

This week's ramen expedition brings me to Keisuke Tokyo at Parco Marina Bay.

I have written about its background in my previous blog, so I will jump into the experience and the ramen.

Keisuke has a posh interior, giving it a sophisticated feel. It has a dark color theme, with beige and red chairs, and a shelf of ramen bowls that it uses decorating the wall. In the background plays the music of Japanese shamisen, giving the shop a more "和" (Wa, or Japanese) atmosphere.

Interior of Keisuke Tokyo

I ordered the standard prawn stock ramen (海老ラーメン, $14.8++).
Even the bowl is posh!

It was explained that the bowl is chosen so that it will trap the fragrance of the prawn broth, giving customer a better experience. I did smell the prawn very well, but the only issue was that I'll spill the soup over the front of the bowl where it is shallow.

According to the poster in front of the store, all the ingredients used to make the soup, such as prawn heads, kelp, white soy sauce and dried mackerel are imported from Japan. The prawn heads are roasted in a frying pan for 1 hour, before it is boiled for another 8 hours to extract the broth.

Took a sip of this soup. It is indeed sophisticated and deep, that you can taste a variety of flavours in it. The prawn and seafood flavour is pretty strong too.

The ramen is topped with a variety of ingredients: naruto, cabbage, leek, yuzu slices, shredded chili, a type of vegetable call 山くらげ (yama-kurage, and maybe its called mountain jelly vegetable in english...), and last but not least a piece of chicken char-siew.

The presentation and color mix is very well done, and the ingredients makes the ramen interesting too. But the chicken char siew was a bit too soft and didn't have much taste. It might have been better if they top it with prawns.

I ordered a plate of prawn gyoza too ($7.5++). Pretty decent.

All in all, the experience at Keisuke Tokyo was good. The ramen was sophisticated, delicious, and I was impressed with the attention to details to this bowl of ramen. In terms of price, it is higher than most other stores too, most probably because of the ingredients used.

Personally I prefer pork bone soup in general, so I might come back less frequently. Nonetheless, for those who like seafood, its definitely worth a try!

View Ramen Walker's Ramen Map in a larger map

Ramen Data - Keisuke Tokyo, Parco Marina Bay
Address: P3-02, Parco Marina Bay
Types: Prawn Soup
Price: S$14.8-20
Rating: 8/10

Monday, April 5, 2010

Favourite Ramen Place in Singapore Q1 2010 - Marutama Ramen!

It has been 3 months since the start of 2010 and my unofficial survey of the best ramen place in Singapore.

(Its on the left of the page, if you have yet to notice)

And the top 3 ramen places in Q1 2010 are....

3rd Sapporo Ramen Miharu

Marutama received a whopping 32% of the vote, leading the 2nd place Santouka by 15%. Miharu follows closely behind.

Since January 2010, there has been quite a number of new openings such as RamenPlay, Nantsuttei and Keisuke Tokyo. Because of that, I've added on those stores in the list. But this causes the votes to start from zero again.

I've taken down the current number of votes for each store as at today, and will that those votes up with the new ones.

Looking forward to see how the results will pan out for Q2.

Till then, happy eating, and vote for your favourite store!
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