It seems like ramen continue to enjoy popularity in Singapore, with famous names such as Afuri Ramen and Kanada-Ya opening up overseas outlets in Singapore.

Other new ramen eateries that launched in Singapore this year include Enishi Ramen at International Plaza, Kiwamai at Tanjong Pagar Centre, Mala Ramen Matsuri at Orchid Hotel Marutama Ra-Men at Tiong Bahru Plaza, Tsuta Ramen at Vivocity and Funan, Men House Yamamoto at Raffles City, Konjiki Hototogisu at Causeway Point and Supparakki Ramen at Yishun.

Loads of varieties, lots of choices.

Here are 10 other NEW Ramen Eateries that opened in Singapore this year:

Kanada-Ya Singapore
10 Paya Lebar Road, #03-30, Paya Lebar Quarter Mall (PLQ) Singapore 409057
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)

Singaporeans can experience Fukuoka’s ultimate ramen chain as it launches its flagship outlet at Paya Lebar Quarter Mall (PLQ).

What makes the soup base special is the added secret sauce, hand-made by Kanada-Ya’s founder Mr. Kanada – a former pro keirin racer-turned-self-taught chef. This sauce is imported directly from the original restaurant in Japan to safeguard its authenticity.

The Truffle Ramen ($22.90 for basic, $24.90 for regular, $26.90 for special) is London’s favourite, a simple yet stunning Hakata style ramen topped with belly chashu, asparagus, and nori.

The distinctive aroma will definitely ‘arrive’ before the bowl does as diners wait in anticipation.

Its fragrance and flavour come from the black truffle oil mixed with the signature tonkotsu soup base, and the black truffle jelly topping made with black truffle paste.

Equally important as the soup base, Kanada-Ya’s noodles are made using a specific type of wheat flour with exact protein content and alkaline salts.

As a result, you get firm yet springy noodles to pair with their signature pork bone broth. If you like the thin and long Hakata style noodles with a firm bite, this will be right up your alley. Kanada-Ya (Paya Lebar Quarter)

RAMEN KIOU
B1 Jurong Point, Japanese Food Street, 65 Jurong West Central 3, Singapore 648332 (Boon Lay MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)

This is RAMEN KIOU’s first outlet in Singapore, backed by Osaka’s all-time favourite Japanese-Chinese cuisine chain operator Daishin Jitsugyo. It has over 22 outlets in Japan, along with presence in Thailand.

The Tomato Cheese Ramen ($14.90) came with a luxuriously-thick tomato base with ramen noodles, topped with cheese and torched. Give it a good mix and you would enjoy the tangy-sweetness of the base.

It may remind you of tomato-based pasta, except that this is saucier and not-too-heavy since long, thin strands of ramen noodles are used.

Tip: Do not finish the sauce yet, as you can choose to top-up to get a bowl of rice with garlic to be mixed in. Other than ‘pasta’, you can have your fill of ‘risotto’.

If you prefer something more conventional, the signature ramen is the KIOU Ramen ($13.90), a salted-based tonkotsu broth with 2 pieces of house-made chashu.

Also available on its menu are the Chashu Ramen ($17.90) included with 5 pieces of chashu; Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen ($12.90) with a soy sauce base; and Abura Soba ($11.90) comprising of thick dry noodles in-house special sauce. &Joy Dining Hall (Jurong Point)

Menya Kokoro – Plaza Singapura
Plaza Singapura #B2-53 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839
Opening Hours: 11am – 3:30pm, 5pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Thurs, Sun), 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
Last order half hour before closing

Menya Kokoro has opened at Plaza Singapura basement 2. Singapore’s very own bestseller is the Furious Mala Ramen ($14.80, $16.80), not surprisingly a spicy choice since mala is still trending.

Like a traditional ramen, this bowl is filled with rich and slightly creamy tonkotsu-based soup.

But what differentiates it from the usual, is that the bowl is packed with intense flavors from the trio of Szechuan peppers, dried chili strings and chili oil.

The al dente cooked ramen is doused in the fiery mala soup, then topped with seaweed, chopped spring onions, and an onsen egg cooked to precision.

Up for a tongue numbing challenge? This is the dish to pick. If you are up for a bigger challenge, inform the staff to increase the “mala level”. Menya Kokoro (Plaza Singapura)

Seizan Uni Ramen
Wisma Atria, Picnic #03-15, 435 Orchard Road, Singapore 238877
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)

Seizan Uni Ramen is an Uni Ramen kiosk set up within Wisma’s Atria Picnic – a Marche-style food hall. You get an ordering mechanism, order at the stall, and pay at the end.

There are three main items sold here, the Uni Ramen ($21), Kumamoto Wagyu Ramen ($20), and Dashi Somen ($18).

The signature Uni Ramen is cooked up from the “2-Michelin star Dashi” which is prepared over 10 hours, and fresh Bafu Uni melted into the stock.

What you get is a creamy-orangey base matched with specially-made curly ramen noodles, topped with cha shu, egg, leeks, spring onion, spinach and seaweed.

Noodles were cooked soft (maybe too soft) and limpy, perhaps cooked this way to better match the thicker broth, though I would have preferred if there was more bite.

It wasn’t as life-changing as I would have expected, but would say it was a not bad bowl. Seizan Uni Ramen (Wisma Atria)

Afuri Ramen Singapore
Funan #B1-29 107 North Bridge Road Singapore 179105
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:30pm, 5:30pm – 9pm (Mon – Sun)

Afuri is known for its light fresh chicken broth with a splash of citrusy yuzu, and I would consider it one of the 10 must-try ramen in Tokyo.

The water used in Japan’s outlets is said to be from the wells of Mount Afuri in Kanagawa, thus the name of the shop.

Though diners for the Singapore outlet may not be able to taste exactly that same standard.

The signature Yuzu Ramen available in Singapore include Yuzu Shio Ramen ($15.90), soya-sauce flavoured Yuzu Shoyu Ramen ($15.90), and spicy Yuzu Ratan Ramen ($15.90).

The thin noodles used reminded me of the type found at Hototogisu Ramen, to the softer side and could have been more springier.

The weakest link could have been the char siu. While the slice in Japan had a delectable smokey flavour because those were freshly grilled over charcoal, this local version was more ordinary and slightly dry. Afuri Ramen (Funan)

Shiki Hototogitsu Ramen – Jewel Changi Airport
Jewel Changi Airport #B1-300 78 Airport Boulevard Singapore 819666
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)

What is note-worthy is that its shop Sobahouse Kiniro Hototogisu 金色不如帰 from Tokyo was awarded a Michelin Star in the Tokyo Michelin Guide – the 3rd ramen shop in Tokyo to receive the honours.

Shiki Hototogisu Ramen has a “Four Seasons Ramen” menu, although this may just remind you of Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons at Bugis Village.

The four signature ramen dishes feature seasonal ingredients, namely Cherry Blossom (Spring), Young Bittergourd and Bamboo Shoot (Summer), Mushrooms and Porcini (Autumn), and Salmon (Winter). Each bowl is priced at $15.90.

The Spring Bowl interestingly comes with “cherry blossom oil” infused soup, though its flavour was neither distinct nor strong enough to leave an impressionable note.

I had Hototogitsu Ramen at different branches. While this was still an above-average ramen, I thought that the noodles were cooked too soft here, and ajitama egg lacking in flavours over at the Jewel outlet. Shiki Hototogisu Ramen (Jewel Changi Airport)

Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen
301 Upper Thomson Road 01-110 Thomson Plaza, Singapore 574408

Owner Chef Tan-San first started Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen at myVillage at Serangoon Garden. This Thomson Plaza outlet recently opened in December 2019.

The recommended is the Ebi Fry Ramen. The 12-hour Tonkotsu broth is infused with a secret Sakura ebi paste made in-house.

Paired with a flavourful Loin Rib Chasu and Chef Tan-San’s famous crunchy Ebi Fry, it is topped with Japanese seasoning menma, bean sprouts, greens, a dash of Japanese chili oil (la-yu), and a sprinkle of crispy Sakura ebi.

The soup which that distinct sweetness coming from the prawns, is the clear winner.

Gangsta Ramen
1, #02-10 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, Singapore 082001
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 8:30pm (Mon – Fri), 11:30am – 2:30pm (Sat), Closed Sun

Much has been talked about Gangsta Ramen being the first ramen eatery in Singapore to offer private booth seats – probably inspired by Ichiran Ramen.

Gangsta Ramen offers quite affordable bowls, with the Original Ramen priced at $10. Other choices include Signature Ramen with Cheese ($12), Black Truffle Ramen ($16), Spicy Ramen ($12), and Miso Ramen ($12).

The broth here was on the lighter side (still salty) but lacking in the tonkotsu rich-creaminess one would expect.

Noodles were cooked soft and limp, and didn’t have the delicious bite of freshly-made noodles. Gangsta Ramen (Tanjong Pagar Plaza)

Ikkousha @ Japan Gourmet Hall SORA
Changi Airport Terminal 1, #03-21, Singapore 819642
Tel: +65 6242 9087
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm, Last Order 10:15pm (Mon – Sun)

You should have heard of Ikkousha, that popular ramen restaurant in Japan that attracts long queues, founded and operated by Chef Yoshimura Kousuke.

Named after 3 characters: ichi (one), ko (happy), and sha (place), this one happy place has 62 outlets around the world, including Japan, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Australia, Hong Kong, and USA.

The SORA outlet is its 3rd location in Singapore.

What really clicks with the diners is the signature Tonkotsu Ramen, a specialty of Hakata-ku Fukuoka.

You will find a thick, creamy and bubbly tonkotsu made by boiling carefully cleaned pork bones for over 12 hours every day.

The long and thin noodles are made in-house to match the soup, while the chashu is thinly sliced and well-seasoned to achieve that balance between ramen and toppings. Japan Gourmet Hall SORA (Changi Airport T1

Le Shrimp Ramen
Changi Airport Terminal 3 #B2-49
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 11pm, Last order 10:15pm (Mon – Sun)

Le Shrimp Ramen serves up a blend of Chinese and Japanese cultures, combining its two iconic food item: Chinese la mian and Japanese ramen broth.

It is the first of its kind creation. The ingredients used are simple yet the flavours are rich and elaborate, trademarks of Asian cuisines.

For the broths, they offer two specialties – shrimp broth and the Japanese-inspired tonkotsu broth.

If you prefer the shrimp broth, go for the Le Signature Trio Shrimp Ramen ($19.90), a piping hot bowl of shrimp extravaganza featuring the intensely prawn-flavoured broth.

The shrimp broth is specially prepared using big, fresh prawns, pork bones and Chinese spices. You can see in its tangerine-orange-ness how intensely flavourful the broth is.

Otherwise, the Red Garoupa with Picked Vegetable Tonkotsu Ramen ($19.90) should soothe you with its creamy, comforting tonkotsu broth.

The tonkotsu broth is a creamy, milk-whitish collagen-rich broth. It is the result of long hours of simmering with pork bones giving it that distinctly Japanese flavour.

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