Skeptical as I may sound, but any Ramen shops that required topless hunks to promote their eatery seemed a wee iffy. Moreover, these promoters were hanging around just outside Takashimaya, near strong competitor Ippudo.
My friend was happily snapping away the hunks and ah lians then, but it worked because we landed up eating at Ramen Play.
Maybe the ‘playful’ sales tactic got to do with the way ‘Play’. We made our way to Ramen Play 拉面玩家, found at 313’s Basement 3. Being established by the BreadTalk Group and the Sanpou group of restaurants from Japan, consumers would have certain confidence in our homegrown brand.
The menu read ‘hand-massaged ramen’. Uh-huh. RamenPlay’s signature was the 三宝 Sanpou Ramen ($14.80++), containing the “three treasures” of toroniku (braised pork cheek), cha shu (pork loin in char siew sauce) and butakakuni (braised pork belly)。
For the breakdown, noodles was QQ, soup thick and tasty, toroniku tender, cha shu miserably thin, butakakuni okay and egg disappointedly not runny. Fully cooked tamago was a no-no for me. Overall verdict – above average.
The 12-hour prepared broth was addictive on the first few spoons, but the excitement strangely could not last the whole bowl. And usually I would sip till the last drop.
I was willing to give RamenPlay a second chance sometime later, only because I was lazy to queue at Mandarin. The Spicy Char Shu Ramen was still respectably decent, without the spiciness overtaking the flavours of the soup. Though I was bored with your noodles after a while, and added the fried garlic, chilli chives and seasonings found on the side.
The side dishes such as the Gyoza and Dango (chicken balls) were neither calorie-wasters nor memorable. The Gyozas felt very mass-produced with its messy presentation. The Dangos could have been bigger and meatier. Fortunately it came free with the credit card promotion. Even then, my friends had difficulty finishing them.
RamenPlay was reasonably packed when compared to other ramen places in the same building. That also meant the poor bispectacled waitress was busy running around refilling drinks, taking orders, delivering orders… but not mine. They needed more staff!
You might not have noticed this, but 313 could be considered “The BreadTalk Territory” with its foray of the entire floor of Food Republic, BreadTalk, Toast Box, and Din Tai Feng. And with their track record on Xiao Long Baos, you know BreadTalk cannot go very wrong.
RamenPlay do offer respectable ramen at decent prices. But competition, competition, competition is just a short distance away. Maybe mighty hunks could do the trick again.
Ramen Play, 313 Orchard Road #B3-04/06 313 @ Somerset Tel:+65 66340051
Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm Daily