Traditionalist ramen lovers would frown upon Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen aka the Volcano Ramen, while those who likes a bit of fun and freshness tossed up together should go for this.
Originating from Osaka Japan, Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen has quickly replaced Kraze Burger at Liang Court (and one wonders why a Korean burger joint would even want to set business at a predominantly Japanese mall). Its first branch locally is at Novena Square 2.
This whole idea of Volcano ramen is quite gimmicky. Ramen soup is poured into a preheated 300 stone bowl with noodles and ingredients inside, and then covered with a conical lid. Then hot steam would come out from the top of the lid, thus the ‘volcanic eruption’.
There are four basic flavours: Shoyu, Kaisen-shio, miso and curry ($15.00 for small, $18.00). Get the large and share with a friend (unless you came alone). It even comes with a bowl of rice, so don’t finish all your broth yet. (They won’t refill it – this is not bak kut teh.)
I tried a few different broths, and the curry worked best for me. The noodles tend to be flatter, like another version of our flat Hokkien mee, and gets soggy after immersing in the stone bowl. The texture of the noodles goes better with curry gravy and since the bowl helps it start hot, the curry noodles remains quite ‘aromatic’ throughout the meal.
If I have miso tonkotsu ramen, I would prefer my noodles thin and springy, more to the kyushu style.
As I was there on the week of its opening, the service lapses were obvious. Wrong orders, service staff forgetting orders (3 different people asked for my order 7 times – my friend almost wanted to leave), items for big groups coming at long time difference apart.
Plus, the space is rather crumped, and tables small. If two people would order curry volcanoes, that’s it. You would smell like one.
The Matcha Shiratama with Ice Cream ($8) is a Japanese ice kachang volcano. Okay, I am more picky about matcha items, so this syrupy thing won’t get a pass from me.
The Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen experience still remains an entertaining one. I feel that this ‘volcano’ thing sometimes overshadow other offerings on the menu, such as the usual Shoyu or Karamiso Ramen ($12.00) which is on par with some of the other ramen shops in Singapore.
Tonkatsu Kazan Ramen
Liang Court, #01-09/10 Tel: +65 6397 6636
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily