Finally got to try the Bak Kut Teh Ramen at Keisuke Ramen Suntec City, probably the first of its kind in Singapore.
This noodle dish was inspired by Eric Khoo’s movie “Ramen Teh”, in which Chef Keisuke Takeda was the ramen consultant in the film.
While online reviews stated there were only 20 bowls available daily, there seemed to be more than enough when I went early evening.
The Bak Kut Teh Ramen ($13.80) came steaming hot in a clear broth.
Not peppery (Song Fa stye), deep herbal broth, but something lighter like French consommé added with goji berries.
If you come expecting Bak Kut Teh – Bak Kut Teh, then you could be disappointed. You can say this is a hybrid, a modern take, but I found it refreshing and comforting enough.
I noted that the ramen used were the thinner kind, slightly soggy (will mark “hard” next time on the order-chit) not the typical style that Keisuke would use. This should complement the broth better and not steal away the thunder.
The best part was really the chopstick-tender pork ribs, in which the meat fell off the bones quite easily. Ask for some red cut chill and it would be complete.
Not the most perfect, but they should make this permanent on the menu.
[Original Entry] Chef Keisuke Takeda opened his fifth ramen outlet in Singapore at Suntec City Mall. Technically, it is his first – a move from his original Tokyo-styled branch at Millenia Walk. Fans craving for his crab stock ramen must be relieved it is back.
For those unfamiliar with Keisuke’s style, every store must have a different concept and is experimental, from the authentic style at Tonkotsu King (Orchid Hotel), ramen topped with fleshy drumstick at Tori King (Amara Hotel), diverse 5 different bowls at Four Seasons (Bugis Village) and Gyoza King (Orchid Hotel).
It is possible to love one, and not so much the other.
Ramen Dining Keisuke Tokyo is totally unlike his most popularTonkotsu King at Orchid Hotel.
It is restaurant style, spacious with comfortable seats, more contemporary than rustic, and has quite a diverse menu. (The music is horrid though, think 90s radio ads jingle on constant replay.)
The size dish is not just about gyoza anymore! There is a Ramen Dog ($3.50) – Japanese style hotdog topped with chashu, fried noodles and teriyaki sauce, crab stock flavoured Ramen Gartin ($8.00), Deep Fried Prawn with mayonnaise ($8.00), Teriyaki Chicken ($8.00) and Deep Fried Chicken with spicy sauce and mixed leek ($8.00).
The waitress described that Singaporeans would like the Menchi Cutlet ($9.00), “Got pork, got chicken, and cut open the sauce will flow out. Juicy, Singaporeans will like.” True that.
I think most come for the Crab Stock Ramen ($13.90, $15.90 with egg, $18.90 with all toppings), the thick aromatic seafoody kani-flavoured stock makes it quite distinctive from any other ramen stocks in the local market, yet the broth is not too oily or heavy. T
he ajitama egg was deliciously flavourful, though noodles were of the thick kind, not exactly my personal favourite type of pairing.
My take is Chef could be taking a lighter slant on its broth this time, perhaps due to customers’ feedback. Personally, I would have preferred the soup to be more intense.
Whenever I go to Japan, I try all means to look for a fish-stock ramen, because it is not readily available in Singapore, or just not done well enough. To my surprise, a fried fish stock Niboshi Ramen ($13.90) is on Keisuke’s menu.
This version may please fans who enjoy a fish-based stock, but with a milder take. Still delicious in many ways, tender char siew with a balanced-tasting soup.
Keisuke has always been on the forefront for introducing ingredients not typically used in ramen – shrimp and crab are already good examples. Risk-taking and experimental.
Ramen Dining Keisuke Tokyo treads somewhere in the middle, being family and masses-friendly, but compromising on the boldness that some of the other branches present.
Ramen Dining Keisuke Tokyo
Suntec City Mall #02-391/392 Suntec City, 3 Temasek Blvd, Singapore 038983 (above H&M)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm Daily