I made my rounds around the basement 4 food maze of Ion Orchard, looking for that oiishii ramen from Hokkaido. Fred blogged that this was a MUST-TRY Ramen, better than the one upstairs, but having no other information except that the stall’s from Hokkaido.
Therefore, I was quite full of anticipation for several days, wondering if it was even better than Miharu or Marutama. And I found it at an inconspicuous spot, a little stall named Menya Kaiko (麺屋 開高). And later found out that Menya Kaiko has several stalls there in a city call Obihiro, as well as inside the New Chitose Airport at Sapporo.
What caught my attention was the King Crab Ramen at $29.80. Who would pay that kind of price, really? Tell me if you would pay $30 to eat something at a basement food mall.
I went by my theory of ‘When in doubt, just order the best seller or chef’s recommendation’. All right, Hokkaido Kaiko Ramen it shall be. Which comes in Red Miso, White Miso or Soy Sauce.
I know my mother will scold me at I pay $12 to eat ‘instant noodles’, but she just doesn’t know that Hokkaido Ramen is DIFFERENT. Ah, the QQ texture and strong bite of the noodles, with a healthy shade of yellow. Some ramen just look sickly pale.
When my Red Miso ramen arrived, I took a deep breath of the stock, trying to remind myself of the wonderful holiday I had in Tokyo. And first sip of the soup was……Ah. Not bad, not bad. Not as salty as some of the others, quite a bit of oomph, and thick enough to make you feel this is real stuff.
Although I finished the whole bowl, I can’t quite say I liked it a lot so much that I must try again. Perhaps I was not happy with the egg (one dollar extra) which wasn’t as runny as I wanted to.
And when I paid, the price was 30 over bucks for 2 bowls! Oh, service charge and GST really kills. Menya Kaiko is more tasty better than many ramen chains out there, with the service staff giving it a very ‘Japanese feel’. Maybe it’s just me. I feel that the basement 4 concept at Ion is just a ‘modified food court’, and I may not be that willing to pay premium prices for something I can have at a proper restaurant.
For that kind of price, you would expect a more wholesome experience and in this case, the food alone can’t save.
Men-ya Kaiko, 2 Orchard Turn, #B4-52/53 ION Orchard, Singapore, Tel:+65 6509 8150
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily