Another ramen shop has opened quietly at a vibrant Circular Road, which at last count has no less than 10 new shops after a decisive ‘clean-up’ of the stretch (That means, less ‘la-sup’ bars).
3 ramen shops in a manner of 20 metres. Is 3 too many? Suzuki has been there for a while, Takumen opened a month ago, and Samurai ZIN Ramen recently joins the crowd.
Samurai ZIN (麺家侍ZIN) specializes in Osaka Tonkotsu style and Spicy Mapo ramen. The ramen broth in general feels thicker, heavier and richer.
Fearing for a possible attack on our tongues, we ordered a Level 1 of their “Super Spicy Mabo Ramen” ($15.80++).
“Yeah, you better, it’s spicy spicy hot…”, the shy Japanese waiter advised us. According to their FB, Samurai’s staff could not even handle Level 2 and they had not tried Level 3 themselves.
Nah. Level 1 was entirely manageable (for my standard). The thick soup did remind me of the Sichuan style mapo tofu – creamy, thick with distinct bean paste, and mildly spicy. Taste wise, was well, rather average we thought.
Sizable portion of cabbage was added, possibly to sweeten the taste, add crunch and balance the perceived spiciness.
Miso Ramen ($13.80++), Shoyu ($12.80++), Tonkotsu ($12.80++) and Curry Udon ($12.80++) are offered as well.
We found some difficulty in slurping up our broth, then realized a heart-shaped hole in the spoons.
“We call this the Diet Spoon,” so that customers would eat the noodles but not finish up all the oily soup. Oh well, interesting. (I am the type which could finish up to the last drop if the broth is yummy). Hole-less spoons are also available.
The best thing in their store has to be their Tsukemen aka dipping noodles, after I decided to give the shop a second chance. I have never actually found one Tsukemen in Singapore, yet, that could warm my heart. Samurai ZIN’s did.
The dipping soup was piping hot and intensely flavoured (please don’t drink it on its own), and noodles chewy with bite. Pork slices were tremendously tender, which reminded me of those I had in Japan.
My sense is most local customers could still prefer Suzuki few shops down. For very good tsukemen and thick-broth Osaka style ramen, you may want to give Menya Samurai ZIN a try.
Menya Samurai ZIN – Osaka Tonkotsu Ramen
64 Circular Road #01-01 Singapore 049420
Tel: +65 66221 0577
Opening Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm (Mon-Fri), 11:30am – 10pm (Sat-Sun), Last orders 2:30pm – 9:30pm
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