Nakiryu which is a small, family-owned ramen shop located in the Tokyo neighbourhood of Otsuka, obtained the 1-Michelin star status for many years in a row since 2017.
The ramen eatery is particularly known for its Tantanmen, a type of ramen characterised by its semi-spicy sesame-based broth and topped with ground pork.
Over in Tokyo, the shop is known to be small, and seats only about 10 people at a time.
Therefore, getting a bowl could have been a very long wait of over an hour.
I have not tried the main store before, but remembered marvelling at their cup noodles, and wondered how good the actual bowl would be.
The Singapore shop is located on the 2nd level of Plaza Singapura.
Well, the wait for me was over an hour as well.
It could have been much longer, but several customers were seen leaving the queue (in frustration) after waiting for too long.
The good thing, this ramen eatery has a much bigger space and you would most likely get a seat easily once the hype dies down.
Head Chef Kazumasa Saito was also seen in the kitchen (he would be here during opening days), though he seemed to be taking on more of an observer role rather than being hands-on in the actual cooking.
Top recommendations for Nakiryu Ramen Singapore included the Tan Tan Men ($15.90), Shoyu Ramen ($14.90), Shio Ramen ($14.90), and Hot and Sour Soup Ramen ($15.90).
There are also other choices such as Prawn Wonton Ramen ($17.90) with various bases of shio or shoyu.
Unfortunately, ramen eggs and cha shu top-ups were not available during the time of visit.
Overall, the Tan Tan Men ($15.90) was my favourite. But is this Michelin-quality? Well, debatable I guess.
Accordingly, the broth of the Tan Tan Men is made by simmering beef bones, chicken, oysters and kombu for many hours, along with a variety of spices and aromatics such as sesame paste, chilli oil, and garlic.
I enjoyed the richness and nuttiness of the broth, which was also creamy and flavourful.
However, do note that it was a tad on the saltier side.
The noodles which tasted more generic did not totally work for me, and I would have preferred a springier bite.
The Hot and Sour Soup Ramen ($15.90) was an interesting choice, since we do not get much of this variety around in Singapore.
Expectedly, the broth had a balance of savoury and sour flavours, though was on the lighter, delicate side.
I would imagine some would prefer a stronger kick of spice within.
But this was okay, as I found this would slowly grow on you as it was indeed quite unique-tasting.
Unfortunately, the other highly recommended Shoyu Ramen ($14.90) did not work for me and my friend.
The soup came across too light (perhaps bland) and lacked of the distinct shoyu fragrance that one would expect.
So perhaps if you could also order one bowl, then go for the specialty Tan Tan Men.
Nakiryu Ramen Singapore
Plaza Singapura #02-35, 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)