Is this Chinese La Mian, Japanese Ramen, Local Hae Mee? Maybe a bit of all the three.
Local restaurant chain Paradise Group has introduced a brand-new concept Le Shrimp Ramen, opened right at the basement of Orchard Paragon.
(Click PLAY for highlights of Le Shrimp Ramen.)
The 64-seater is the very first Chinese La Mian restaurant in Singapore to offer shrimp broth, also marrying Chinese noodles and Japanese-inspired shrimp broth together in one bowl.
Paradise Group’s CEO Eldwin Chua shared that this was inspired by a bowl of shrimp-broth ramen during his travels to Hokkaido which left him such a deep impression, that he decided to recreate a version using local ingredients.
But ”do not call this Hae Mee”, he added, as it was a bowl like non other found in Singapore.
He also emphasized that prices of the menu items are also reasonably affordable, considering the premium ingredients used and the downtown central location at Paragon.
Indeed, the variety of noodle dishes range from $6.50 to $19.90 for the Le Signature Trio Shrimp Ramen which is the ultimate bowl of everything.
Here are some of the recommend ramen from Le Shrimp Ramen:
Le Signature Trio Shrimp Ramen ($19.90)
If you are a prawn lover, then this bowl is for you.
The signature bowl of the Le Signature Trio Shrimp Noodle contains fresh big prawns, handmade ebiko prawn paste and prawn dumplings. All laying on top a bed of Chinese La Mian in hot, luscious Japanese shrimp broth.
The broth is the “central of attraction” to me – created by a long process of first baking fresh big prawns at 180°C for 45 minutes, then hand-grinded to a fine texture, added with premium conpoy to be simmered for more than eight hours.
That is not all. I saw that before adding the broth to the noodles, the stock was first fried with cabbage with high wok-heat, to further impart that distinctive smoky aroma with natural sweetness from the vegetables.
Fresh Ang Kar Prawns are used for both the stock and noodles, as the wild sea prawns are known for their bouncy and meaty texture with sweet taste. Also, the shells are thin and absorbs flavours well.
They are right in saying that the soup base is neither quite local Hae Mee nor Japanese ramen.
It was flavourful, yet not so rich and gao-gao (thick) that you might have difficultly finishing up the whole bowl.
Though I can imagine some could come expecting a much thicker and richer soup base.
You get that distinct seafood taste balanced off with the sweetness of the cabbage, that you can continue sipping without feeling too jelak (rich).
Big Prawns and Braised Pork Rib Shrimp Ramen ($17.90)
If you are wishing for some meat in your noodles, then you can opt for this version which comes with braised pork rib.
The pork ribs are braised over long hours, and you can tell the texture by picking up with your chopsticks – soft and tender, and definitely melt-in-your-mouth.
Diners can choose between Chinese La Mian, Thick Vermicelli and Rice Noodles (Hor Fun), though I think the long, thin and slightly soft La Mian complements the soup best.
Ebiko Prawn Paste Shrimp Ramen ($13.90)
The ‘balls’ with tiny ebiko bits (shrimp row) that you find on top of this ramen, are actually prawn paste shaped out of 100% prawn meat.
The pieces lend a tasty, juicy crunch.
Fans of Beauty in the Pot would find this familiar, and you would be right as this is inspired by the popular item from the hotpot restaurant.
Ebiko Prawn Paste with Chilli Vinaigrette Ramen ($11.90), Prawn Dumpling with Chilli Vinaigrette Ramen ($10.90)
Bowls of dry ramen tossed in a special blend of chilli vinaigrette.
There is this light tinge of Mala, and the slight numbing spiciness makes these noodles rather addictive.
On another note, the prawn dumplings are freshly handmade by the chefs daily, with a huge prawn wrapped in soft pastry skin.
Red Garoupa with Pickled Vegetable Tonkotsu Ramen ($18.90)
A Tonkotsu broth ramen, served with large slices of meaty Red Garoupa with pickled vegetables whetting your appetite.
Comforting for the cool, rainy weather.
Remember that I mentioned about Thick Vermicelli (”Cu Mifen”) earlier? Could try that for this base.
Side Dishes and Appetisers
To go along with the noodles, get some side dishes and appetisers which includes Twister Prawn Rolls ($5.90), Crispy Chicken Cutlet ($6.90), Braised Beancurd in Tonkotsu Broth ($3.00), Braised Pork Rib with Scallion ($6.90), Chilled Silken Tofu with Century Egg ($3.00), and Long Jing Tea Lava Egg ($1.90).
Le Shrimp Ramen
290 Orchard Road, Paragon #B1-42, Singapore 238859 (Orchard MRT)
Operating Hours: 10.30am to 10pm, Last order 9.30pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Paradise Group.