The restaurant was almost empty on a weekday night. When I requested for a seat that looked more comfortable, I got a “No, There.”

For why I was not allowed to, I did not know why. But the waitress reminded me of a primary school teacher reprimanding her children. Tall, slim, ponytail, but a face that looked like the whole world owned her money. I bet if even if you gave her $10 tip to smile, she won’t. I won’t say which nationality she belonged to.

This ramen shop by the river had all the potential. A cosy feel, brilliant ambience and an air of Japanese all around with its hanging drapes of kanji.

It is unfortunate really, that I do see more Japanese restaurants investing in décor, food, promotions but not in their service. And for a complete Japanese dining experience, an impeccable service is de rigueur.

Back to the food, the Ramen served at Netsuretsu Ichiban-Tei, are not exactly ichiban, but certainly noteworthy enough and tastier than the average. The variety included the usual miso ramen ($11.00), Tonkotsu Ramen ($12.00) Chashu Men ($13.00) and a slightly rarer Super Tantan Men ($13.00), said to be one of their most popular.

The springy yellow noodles, well-prepared runny tamogo (one of the best I tried), abundant sweet corn and thick salty broth did not take any my distraction from the unusually glum straight-faced silent waitress who muttered nothing more than “Your orders?” Even when the bowls were served, she just left them on the table and walked away.

Something amusing did happen. As I paid up, I asked the manager (a Japanese lady) for the waitress’s name. She thought I was interested in her (??!!)

I quickly shaked my head and waved my hands side to side indicating a ‘No.’ Then, I told her slowly and firmly that “The waitress was rude, very rude.”

“Oh, Good? She was good? Thank you very much! Arigatoo Gozaimasu.” A tragic case of lost in translation.

60 Robertson Quay #01-04 The Quayside Tel:+65 6733 3923
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6.00pm – 11pm Sat & Sun: 11.30am – 11.00pm

Other Related Entries
Sapporo Ramen Miharu (Gallery Hotel)
Ippudo Tao (UE Square)
Marutama Ra-Men (Liang Court)
Ramen Santouka (Central)
Can You Name The Ramen?


  1. Reminds me of the Chinese restaurant at Fullerton Bay Hotel. The waitress had a permanent scowl and frown on her face, macam like i owe her money. Didn’t complain about her, since i’m quite sure i won’t go back to the restaurant. Food is not nice.

  2. I have noticed one other Japanese restaurant chain who replaced almost the whole crew. Service standards really differ, some don’t even understand the Japanese items.

    I wonder if it is a case of
    a) Local/Japanese staff unwilling to take up service jobs
    b) They just want to cut cost

  3. LOL, I had similar bad service when I was there. Not only are they short-stuffed, the stuffs are also not very serious. And the first sign of it appeared to me in the form of their dressing… … the way they drape the clothes, and wear their shoes… … Comparatively, something that demands standards, such as Sakae, requires all its stuff to wear black covered shoes.

  4. It’s unfortunate really. Because the ambience and food was really not too bad. So let’s hope F&Bs can invest more in terms of service standards to avoid losing customers.


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