There are a fair number of new ramen restaurants in Singapore, but this opening should stand out a little more, especially for prawn ramen lovers.
Make your oishii food wishes come true at Menya Kanae, as this is a café-by-day, Izakaya-by-night dual concept eatery. And it specialises in rich prawn broth ramen, which is not that commonly found in Singapore.
With a Japanese-style café and ramen bar in a one place, you can have your Karaage Waffles and Ebi Sando (prawn sandwich) or even classic Hokkaido Miso Ramen, depending on what you are feeling that day.
If you need help with directions, Menya Kanae (“Kanae” means “make your wishes come true”) is located at Novena Regency, a short walk from Novena MRT station and right opposite Novena Church.
Here’s what you can expect from this Hokkaido-style specialty ramen bar, izakaya and café dining concept:
Tokusei Sapporo Ebi Tonkotsu Ramen ($19.80)
Satisfy your noodle cravings with Menya Kanae’s specialty prawn broth ramen, featuring a rich and creamy tonkotsu base infused with a blend of seafood flavours.
Prawn heads combined with lobster bisque intensifies the bold taste of this thick pork bone broth which is cooked for more than four hours.
This bowl is loaded with bean sprouts, bamboo shoot, black fungus; then topped with a couple each of tender chashu, flame-seared Tiger prawns, and half an ajitama egg.
Then finished off with a sprinkle of spring onions, crunchy Sakura ebi tempura flakes, and crispy shallots.
If you prefer the thin Hakata-style noodles, then you are in luck. The ones here are QQ springy, though I would personally wish for a slightly-harder bite and less noodles – can be pretty filling.
The star of the bowl is the prawn + pork broth with umami oomph.
Does it remind me of the Singapore Hae Mee? It does to an extent, except that this has a milkier mouthfeel due to the pork bones. The tempura flakes add a delightful crunch as well – don’t soak them too much in the soup.
Also available are the classic Sapporo Ebi Chashu Ramen ($14.80) or Sapporo Ebi Chashu Ajitama Ramen ($16.80).
If you are wondering what “Tokusei” means, it can imply “specially made” or “with everything” – what you would describe a deluxe bowl. The “Tokusei” comes with more ingredients such as chashu and Tiger prawns, which makes it more value-for-its-money.
Spicy Sapporo Ebi Chashu Ramen ($14.80)
Add life to a humdrum day and choose the spicy version for a fiery flavoured ramen.
Behind the intense heat is Menya Kanae’s Original Red Spicy Paste, a spice totally made from scratch. It takes more than 3 (laborious but worth it) hours to prepare this special paste and achieve the right consistency and flavour profile.
The extra slivers of red chili garnish pump up the spice level even more.
There is also a “Tokusei” version ($19.80) with the added ingredients.
So, the question is: Classic or Spicy?
My friends and I differed in views half-half – I preferred the Original. The Spicy tasted more bold, intense and flavourful; but if you would like a cleaner taste with more nuances of the seafood, then go for the non-spicy version.
Birikara The Spiciest Miso Ramen ($16.80)
Talking about spicy, this is another bowl even more fiery than the last.
Specially made with two special blends of miso imported from Hokkaido, Japan, this tongue numbing ramen can be worth trying.
Dubbed as the spiciest miso ramen, expect to break a sweat as your taste buds savour the rich, deep taste of Hokkaido miso broth.
Menya Kanae’s Original Red Spicy Paste with its 8 spices make this ramen numbly yummy. Also topped with juicy chunks of thick cut chashu and aromatic black garlic oil.
Tokusei Hokkaido Tonkotsu Miso Ramen ($17.80)
If you are for the classic Hokkaido style ramen with corn and butter, then this is for you.
This curly noodle ramen is included with four pieces of tender chashu, minced pork, sweet corn, bamboo shoots, black fungus, pickled vegetables, beansprouts, and an ajitama egg.
Complementing the rich pork bone broth is Menya Kanae’s Hokkaido-sourced miso, delightfully savoury, salty and slightly sweet.
Together with corn kernels and a slab of butter, the broth comes together to deliver satisfaction.
Signature Handmade Ebi Tartar Sando ($14.80)
This Japanese-inspired sandwich features a hearty ebi katsu, made from chunky pieces of lightly-breaded deep-fried prawn cutlet handmade from 100% Black Tiger prawns.
Two grilled slices of Hokkaido milk bread keep the thick and juicy patty in place, accompanied with crunchy coleslaw to balance the textures.
Enjoy this signature dish with a side of house greens and crisp shoestring potato fries.
Also available are Mentai Tamago Sando ($10.80) and Yawaraka Katsu Sando ($14.80) but I would say give the more uncommon (at least in Singapore’s context) prawn cutlet sandwich a try.
Zangi Karaage Waffles ($15.80)
While chicken + waffles are one of typical and popular brunch items, Menya Kanae’s version comes with four chunky pieces of Tori Karaage.
Marinated in Menya Kanae’s original sauce, these chicken pieces are packed with appetising umami flavours.
Enjoy four large pieces of deep-fried chicken, its tender and juicy meat covered with a crispy exterior for that crunchy bite. Warning: can be very filling, so get a friend(s) to share this.
Tori Zangi Karaage ($6.20)
Moving on to the side dishes… Actually, I would describe these as “large chicken balls”. These are not the typical frozen then deep-fried type, but made from fresh chicken chunks marinated and rolled to a ball, then deep-fried.
Therefore, they are larger than usual and sufficiently moist.
Homemade Gyoza ($6.20)
This best-selling side dish is made fresh every day. Get 5 pieces per order of this homemade Japanese dumplings that go well with either Mazesoba or Ramen.
Takoyaki Balls ($6.20)
The popular Osaka style street food comes with delicately thin crisp exterior, and soft creamy batter within those little round balls, drizzled with Japanese mayo and topped with bonito flakes.
Tobiko Mayo Tamagoyaki ($6.20)
Snack away with this Japanese omelette, made by carefully rolling several thin layers of fried egg.
This soft and delicate textured egg roll tempura is served with mentaiko mayo.
Matcha or Houjicha Kuromitsu Bubble Milk Tea ($6.00 each)
No cafe concept is complete without some drinks. Other than Iced Latte ($6), Iced Houjicha ($4.50), Iced Sencha ($4.50) and Iced Mixed Fruit Tea ($6), the beverage to have is the Kuromitsu Bubble Milk Tea available in Original, Matcha or Houjicha flavours.
They are included with “Kuromitsu” which literally translates to “black honey” – a thin and dark syrup made from Japanese unrefined kurozato (“black sugar”) often used in the making of Japanese sweets.
“Okinawa brown sugar pearls” are also used, cooked with a combination of Okinawan brown sugar and kuromitsu which gives it a distinctive caramelised-sweetness.
275 Thomson Rd, Novena Regency #01-08, Singapore 307645
Tel: +65 6261 6205
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
* This post is brought to you in partnership with Menya Kanae.