Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sanomaru Ramen (さのまる) @ TripleOne Somerset

This week's ramen adventure brings me Sanomaru Ramen (さのまる) at TripleOne Somerset, aka the old Singapore Power building.

111, 313, pretty confusing!

Brown and traditional feel

Store interior, with many posters of Hokkaido

A new entrant in Singapore's ramen scene, Sanomaru is another ramen shop from Hokkaido, Japan. Sanomaru has 1 outlet in Sapporo's Susukino district, the red-light district of Northern Japan. This is only their 2nd outlet, and the first one outside Japan. A Japanese ramen chef runs the shop to ensure that its up to the standard back home.

It is brought in by a Hokkaido-based company Nisso Ltd (that interestingly is a medical & welfare food service company) and Singapore's Komars Holdings (that operates other Japanese F&B concepts such as Bishamon ramen). Their opening in Singapore made news in the newspaper in Hokkaido too!

Sanomaru serves miso, shio and shoyu ramen.

Because Sapporo is famous for its miso Ramen, I decided to try Sanomaru's Vegetable Miso Ramen ($12.9).

The ramen is topped with long cabbage, bean sprout and corn. The soup base is a mixed soup, prepared from pork bones, chicken bones, vegetable and seafood. The soup of the miso ramen was light, very different from what Miharu serves, but yet it was sweet and flavoursome. I guess it is because how Sanomaru blended their soup.

I had the priviledge to speak to Mr Tsutsumi from Nisso, who is in charge of Sanomaru's Singapore expansion. He shared that while some other ramen shops in Singapore flies in frozen ramen to Singapore and defrost it before use, Sanomaru orders its ramen locally to its specification to make sure that the ramen is fresh. The saltiness and thickness of the soup are also adjusted down from the original recipe in Hokkaido to cater to Singaporean's preference. The company is still trying to improvise the ramen to suit our taste buds. Very interesting!

After eating the ramen, I did some research on the internet about Sanomaru. Interestingly, what seems to be its specialty is its Shio ramen!! On their menu in Japan there is also a delicious-looking Shio ramen with plum paste, which is not on its menu in Singapore. I could imagine how the clear soup will blend with the refreshing sourness of the plum.

Let me go back to Sanomaru again and try its Shio ramen someday.

And hopefully they will introduce the one with plum paste in Singapore too! It will be something different from what the other stores are offering.

View Ramen Walker's Ramen Map in a larger map

Ramen Data - Sanomaru Ramen @ TripleOne Somerset
Address: TripleOne Somerset, 111 Somerset Road, #02-15
Types: Miso, Shio, Shoyu
Price: S$12.9-15.9
Rating: 7.5/10

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yoshimuraya (吉村家) Ramen Pack

This week's ramen adventure takes me ... home!

Today's task is to cook the ramen pack that I bought at the Meidi-ya Ramen Fair that just ended.

From the fair, I bought this pack from a ramen shop call Yoshimuraya (吉村家), a Yokohama ie-style (家系) ramen. Said to be the origin of the ie-style ramen, Yoshimuraya has on the average 1500 customers per day. Amazing!

The pack contains 3 servings of noodles.

Soup paste and noodle

Taking a closer look at the noodle, Yoshimuraya uses thick straight noodles.

And the tonkotsu soy sauce soup comes in 1 packet....

Putting it into a bowl, coincidentally I've created the yin-yang pattern out of the 2 layers of soup and oil pastes!

And the soup is done by adding about 200ml of boiling water. The layer of oil is pretty thick.

Next, the noodles.
Preferably the water should be boiling hot. But it is hard for the fire to be so strong at home most of the time...

After 3 mins and tested that its al dente, I drained the noodles in a sieve...

Putting the noodles into the soup, and topping it with long cabbage, santouka char siew, spring onion and seaweed... voila! My original Yoshimuraya Ramen.

With the char siew ready on hand, it was actually quite simple to make it. Its just like instant noodles, except that the noodles are not fried noodles but raw noodles, and the soup is more proper.

Buying such a ramen pack is quite a good way to enjoy near restaurant standard ramen in the leisure of home. I found the cooking process fun too, that I can "act" as a ramen cook for a day.

I'll challenge myself to make the tamago next time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ramen Walker is 1 Year Old!

Time flies, and it has been 1 year since I started this ramen blog!

Looking back, I began writing this blog with a hope to spread the goodness and interest of ramen in Singapore in my own small way. And over this past year, ramen has indeed created quite a culture in Singapore: A number of Japanese ramen heavyweights such as Ippudo and Nantsuttei entered Singapore, visibly long queues outside the ramen shops, media increasing interest in ramen, and even Standard Chartered collaborated with to do a ramen ranking survey. I guess my blog contributed in a small way too :)

Over the past 1 year, I've written about 20 ramen places in Singapore and the world (and eaten more than 20). Pretty amazing!

Personally, I'm happy that over the years over 2000 visitors from various parts of the world came to read by blog. Didn't expect that my personal adventure will go this far. Thanks for your support!

To mark the 1st birthday, I've renewed the site's banner using the photos I've taken (and ramens I've eaten).

Looking forward to more interesting ramen encounters!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Santouka Toroniku Char Siew @ Meidi-Ya Ramen Fair

As per my last blog, I went down to Meidi-Ya at Liang Court over the weekend for the ramen fair to take a look.

Right at the door, there is a poster showing the various ramen packs that you can get at the fair.

Ramen Fair!

The fair is basically a sales promotion of the ramen packs of the various famous ramen houses in Japan, including names that we are now familiar in Singapore such as Santouka and Ippudo.

The promotion space is just at the entrance. Easily noticeable by the piles of ramen boxes!

A sea of ramen...

With over 35 types of ramen, its really hard to make a choice. There are ramen of all types - shoyu, pork bone, miso, tsuke-men and shio. All of them are unique in their own right and has their specialty. Its not that cheap too (ranging from $15-22), so I have to make a careful decision...

Two of their special promotion items are ramen from Ippudo ($11-12.5) ...

Red & White

... and frozen toroniku char siew from Santouka ($12)!

Exclusive at Meidi-Ya

Besides the soup, personally I think that the hardest thing to self-make at home for a bowl of ramen is the char siew.

And whats more, its Santouka's toroniku char siew!

I quickly grabbed a pack home to try it out.

129g of toroniku...

The instruction says that we have to put the frozen pack of char siew into a pot of water. When the water boils, switch off the fire and let the pack soak in the hot water for 20-30 minutes, and its done!

Slicing it the Santouka way...

It looks pretty similar to those served in the restaurant, except that the colour looks darker.

Looks like the real thing!

It taste pretty much like what is served in the restaurant too - tender and flavoursome. The only thing is that layer of fat of the piece that I bought seems to be thicker, making the char siew a little fatty. All in all, it was good!

The expiry date of the char siew seems to be a whopping 1 year from the date of manufacture. Ramen fans of Santouka may want to consider stocking it up at home to satisfy the sudden cravings.

I've kept a few pieces for the ramen that I bought from the fair too :)
Will blog about it when I cook it.
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