Ramen is in trend once more in Singapore. New ramen shops are opening up frequently, with no less than 12 over the 6 months.
Local start-ups The Ramen Stall and Kanshoku Ramen have also opened their 2nd outlet, with an expanded menu and extended opening hours. Yes, Ramen is in again.
From lobster ramen, crab ramen, volcano ramen, cheese ramen, truffle ramen, dry ramen, chicken paitan ramen… here are 12 new ramen places in Singapore. (If you are heading to Tokyo, here is a list of 10 Must-Try Ramen at Tokyo)
Ramen Keisuke Lobster King
Clarke Quay – 3C River Valley Road #01-07 The Cannery, Singapore 179022 (Clarke Quay MRT)
Tel: +65 6255 2928
Opening Hours: 6pm – 5am (Last order 4:30am)
Specialty: Lobster Ramen
Four different styles are available at Ramen Keisuke Lobster King – Lobster Broth Ramen with Clear Soup ($13.90), Lobster Broth Ramen with Rich Creamy Soup ($14.90), Miso Lobster Broth Ramen ($14.90) and Spicy Miso Lobster Broth Ramen ($15.90).
Each bowl comes with a slice of tender pork belly, chicken char siew (surprisingly good), black pepper prawn wontons topped with crunchy bamboo shoots, all in a deep lobster bisque like soup base.
Of the bowls tried, we liked the Rich Creamy Soup best. The broth reminded me of a combination of both French style lobster bisque and Japanese ramen soup base, which can be both brimming with flavours and heavily rich.
Warning: Queues can stretch very long, and can last beyond an hour. Ramen Keisuke Lobster King (Clarke Quay)
Keisuke Kani King @ Orchard Cineleisure
8 Grange Road, #01-¬03 Cathay Cineleisure Orchard Singapore 239695 (Somerset MRT)
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm Last Order 9:45pm (Mon – Thurs),
12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 2am Last Order 1:45am (Fri and PH eve),
12pm – 2am Last Order 1:45am
12pm – 10pm Last Order 9:45pm
Specialty: Crab Ramen
Crab Broth Ramen can be considered one of Keisuke’s signatures, as he used this particular noodle dish to win the title of Ramen Champion in Japan during 2011.
There are five different styles available: Crab Broth Ramen with Clear Soup ($12.90), Crab Broth Ramen with Rich Soup ($13.90), Spicy Crab Broth Ramen ($14.90), Crab Broth with Mixed Fried Omelette Ramen ($13.90) and Crab Tsukemen ($13.90).
The Spicy Crab Broth Ramen ($14.90) was my favourite. While I don’t always enjoy the spicy versions of Keisuke’s ramen, this bowl ticks all the right boxes – intense, velvety rich, having a multitude of flavours. Not as rich as the lobster version.
I returned to queue on a weekday night, and that took me about an hour. Keisuke Kani King (Orchard Cineleisure)
3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-313 Suntec City Mall, Singapore 038983 (City Hall, Promenade MRT)
Tel: +65 6235 3386
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm (last order 2.30pm); 5.30pm – 10.30pm (last order 10pm)
Specialty: Chicken Paitan Ramen
Menya Takeichi lauded as Tokyo’s top chicken ramen, has opened at Suntec City’s Eat At Seven.
The ramen shop has consistently been ranked in the “Best 10 in Chicken Paitan Broth Ramen” category in Supleks Ramen Database, the largest ramen-related website in Japan.
The restaurant’s signature recipe is the Chicken Paitan Ramen, containing collagen-rich broth by simmering fresh chicken and chicken feet for hours.
The best sellers are the original Special Ramen ($15.50) and Special Rich Shoyu Ramen ($16.50), followed by a Special Rich Shio Ramen ($16.50), and Special Rich Spicy Ramen ($17.50).
Oh, oh, oh… the cloudy, white, velvety smooth soup base is indeed commendable, as though every spoonful is an extraction of the best parts of the chicken (fats). Menya Takeichi (Suntec City)
Kajiken 油そば専門店 歌志軒
Orchid Hotel #01-07, 1 Tras Link Singapore 078867 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 82260199
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:30pm, 6:00pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Sat)
Specialty: Dry Ramen
Mazesoba? That represents soupless ramen, and “maze” in Japanese means “to mix”. More eateries in Japan are expanding their menu to include varieties of dry ramen, and Kajiken is probably Singapore’s first to dedicate an entire store to mazesoba.
Kajiken’s menu is straightforward, offering dry ramen permutations of Deep Fried Chicken ($13.80), Braised Pork ($14.80), Charsiew ($13.80), Cod Roe with Mayonnaise ($13.80) and all toppings ($15.80).
A no-fuss bowl really. I liked that there is ample chopped spring onions which provide that crunch, and sweet-saucy minced pork rather similar to the meat on mapo tofu. Kajiken (Orchid Hotel)
The Ramen Stall
787 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198755
Opening Hours: 5pm – 6am (Mon – Fri), 12pm – 6am (Sat, Sun, PH)
Specialty: Volcano Ramen
The Ramen Stall is sister restaurant to The Ramen House at Short Street. Two things to note: The Ramen Stall opens till 6am in the morning for supper-goers, and it has been certified Halal.
Their specialty is the Volcano Ramen ($11) with 3 levels of spiciness, and others such as Mushroom Ramen ($11), Beef Ramen ($12.90), Abalone Seafood Ramen ($23.90), and Vegetable Ramen ($11).
My personal recommendation is the Dry Ramen ($11) tossed in a special sauce, complemented with shoyu-marinated chicken cha-shu, braised egg, cucumber strips and dried scallops.
Kanshoku Ramen Bar
Orchard Central, 277 Orchard Road #01-06, Singapore 238858
Tel: +65 6384 4770
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily
Specialty: Truffle Ramen
Kanshoku Ramen means “to finish eating every last bit of your food’ in Japanese”. This is their 2nd outlet, the 1st at Metropolis.
This is a locally developed brand. Their broth boiled eight hours with filtered water, no added salt or preservatives, pork marinated for four hours, and Hakata style ramen made in house.
I am a fan of their noodles, though I would have still preferred it to be a tad harder. Also, there might have been some consistency issues. Generally a safe choice if you are in Orchard.
The Truffle Ramen ($16.90) is a dry version, somewhat reminding us of angel hair pasta with truffle. Kanshoku Ramen (Orchard Central)
Uma Uma Restaurant & Bar
9 Raffles Boulevard #02-06, Millenia Walk Singapore 039596
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 12am (Mon – Sat), 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Sun)
Specialty: Bushi Tonkotsu Ramen
This Uma Uma Restaurant & Bar at Millenia Walk feature several concepts – Hakata-styled Ramen from Uma Uma Ramen, bincho-grilled Yakitori and Kushikatsu (deep-fried breaded skewers) prepared by Head Chef Shota Kaneko, with cocktails and drinks by Horse’s Mouth.
Ramen wise, the ‘old favourites’ are the Bushi Tonkotsu ($16) and Mazesoba ($14) – a dry style ramen topped with onsen egg.
The former has components bonito flakes, red ginger and lime which would add elements of zest and mild fishiness (from the bonito) that some might find refreshing. But it is an acquired taste. Uma Uma Restaurant & Bar (Millenia Walk)
Ramen & Tonkatsu Ma Maison
13 Stamford Road #B2-51 Capitol Piazza Singapore 178905 (City Hall MRT)
Tel: +65 6384 6211
Specialty: Cheese Ramen
This is Ma Maison’s first official foray to ramen in Singapore. The signature is the Ma Maison Original Creamy Cheese Ramen, where the handmade cheese is imported from a farm at Tokachi Hokkaido.
In its bowl of Shio, Shoyu or Miso Ramen ($16.80), a scoopful of cheese almost looking like grated parmesan was incorporated on the top of the soup base.
This added that twang of salty-gouda cheese, providing the broth a subtle but more-layered taste. If you are wondering, the original soup base is not exceedingly rich or thick in the first place, thus still manageable in terms of heaviness. Ramen & Tonkatsu Ma Maison (Capitol Piazza)
Alexandra Central Mall, Park Hotel Alexandra #01-16, 323 Alexandra Road s159972 (Queenstown)
Tel: +65 6250 2889
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily
Specialty: Shoyu Ramen
Three types of ramen soup bases are available – Shoyu ($12.90), Miso ($12.90), and the spicy Karamiso ($13.90). For additional toppings of pork belly, you can order the Chashu Ramen ($16.90/$17.90).
What I liked about their ramen – generous servings of fresh cabbage for that crunch, which balances that richness after a few sips of the oily soup.
The tonkotsu based shoyu soup could be more robust in flavors though, and we preferred the karamiso based broth which had a more agreeable layered taste.
The medium-thick chewy noodles can feed an after-work hungry man, while the cha shu slices were almost too thick and fatty – satisfying for meat lovers, but heavy otherwise. Otoko Ramen (Alexandra Central Mall)
Burosu Honten @ Emporium Shokuhin
6 Raffles Boulevard #01-18 Marina Square, Singapore 039594 (City Hall, Esplanade and Promenade MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10pm
Specialty: Prawn Ramen
For ramen lovers, get your fill of Tonkotsu Ramen ($12.80), Prawn Seafood ($15.80) and Kani Crab Ramen ($17.80).
The Special Ultimate Ramen ($17.80) contains a bit of every ingredient such as pork, crab and prawn, in thick tonkotsu and seafood based broth.
The noodle used is the straight Hakata-style ramen, matched with robust seafood-y soup.
#01-08/10 Owen Link, 1 Farrer Park Station Road.
Tel: +65 6443 1173
Opening Hours: 12pm-3pm last order 2pm (Mon – Sat), 7pm – 11pm last order 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Specialty: Kimchi Ramen
The two main recommended noodles are Kimchi Ramen ($12.80) and Jin Tori Ramen ($12.80).
The Kimchi Ramen contained chargrilled chicken thigh with onsen egg in a white chicken soup base spiced with kimchi paste.
I liked 75% of the components, the chicken was evenly marinated and quite tender, soup savoury-tasty without an overly strong inclusion of kimchi that would mask the base broth.
The weakest link was the limpy noodles (we commented as like instant noodles lah) which was perhaps not the type we preferred.
Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen
MyVillage @ Serangoon Garden, 1 Maju Avenue #02-07/8/9 Singapore 556679
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:00pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Specialty: Tonkatsu Ramen
When I took the first scoop of the Tonkatsu Ramen ($14.90), I thought ”How come taste like Tampopo like that?”, especially the type of spiciness in the soup.
Turns out that Chef Tan-San who is helming Hajime’s Kitchen was the founding Chef of Tampopo.
Hajime uses fresh Nama ramen noodles which is slightly thicker and chewier, compared to Tampopo’s Kyushu ramen noodles.
The Tonkotsu broth is simmered over 12 hours in-house and not purchased from production factories, while imported pork from Japan is used for the quality and tenderness.