Weekender chomps around Singapore to find some of the best ramen in town
I was incredibly insulted when one of my friends proclaimed ramen to be “just like Maggi noodles”. I was insulted because I consider Japanese ramen to be almost a sacred art form, with 12-hour broths, meat, bamboo shoots, and the marinated egg. I am very picky with my ramen, and I always go back to the same store, such as Ramen Keisuke’s Tonkotsu King chain. I would hate for anyone else to assume ramen is merely instant noodles. So here is a list of some of the best ramen in Singapore.
Tonkotsu King Matsuri
The newest addition to the Ramen Keisuke chain, Tonkotsu King Matsuri, is all the way at Parkway Parade. The menu features flavours such as the Tonkotsu Ramen Nebuta ($13.90-$18.90), a pork bone broth with Japanese dried fish stock. If you like your ramen soup thick, try the Tonkotsu Ramen Awaodori ($13.90-$18.90). It comes topped with pork sukiyaki and a raw egg yolk to add even more thickness to the pork bone broth!
Tonkotsu King Matsuri, Parkway Parade, 80 Marine Parade Road #B1-18A, Singapore 449269, Tel: 6440 5548
The chef behind Chabuton ramen is the first ramen chef to ever receive a Michelin-star. An outlet recently opened at 313@Somerset, and I recommend the Chabuton Kara Kara Ramen ($8.30-$11.90), which is more suited to the local palate. The pork bone broth is topped with spicy minced pork and char siew for a kick.
Chabuton, 313@Somerst, 313 Orchard Road, #B2-01, Singapore 238895, Tel: 6636 8335
Crowned Singapore’s Ultimate Ramen Championship in 2011, Ikkousha simply means “happy place”, and you’ll certainly be happy with the ramen at Hakata Ikkousha. I especially liked the Tonkotsu Black ($13.50), which is infused with fried garlic paste to give it a fragrance. I do not suggest it if you are on a date, though! Its second outlet in Chijmes recently opened.
Hakata Ikkousha, CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street, #01-07, Singapore 187996
This acclaimed ramen emporium opened its doors in 2009, and the queue at its flagship outlet in Mandarin Gallery has not waned since. It has a plant in Singapore processing its own noodles and soup for freshness. I like the Shiromaru Motoaji ($15 without add-ons) because the broth was full-flavoured and not too oily. However, I disliked the heated bowls, as the noodles and even the egg cook even more after being served. Scoop the egg out if you like to eat that last. If not, you’ll end up with a hardboiled egg.
Ippudo Singapore, Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road, #04-02/03/04, Singapore 238897
Chef Kenichi Ikehata, previously of Marutama Ramen fame, is now the proud owner of Ramen Matsuri at Boat Quay. He introduces us to his Sakura Chicken Ramen ($11.90-$16.90), the broth with the free-range Sakura chicken, bones, and feet, as well as a variety of vegetables for over four hours to achieve a clear broth. The resulting ramen is lighter and less cloying. Ladies even get a free piece of collagen jelly to stir into the ramen!
Ramen Matsuri, 7 North Canal Road, Singapore 048820 (Behind Boat Quay), Tel: 6533 0845
Popular ramen chain Sanpoutei from Niigata opened its first outlet in Holland Village earlier this year. The Niigata ramen is based in shoyu with a clear fish stock broth. Shoyu Ramen ($14) has a soup base that simmered for six hours. It consists of chicken, pork, mushrooms, and most importantly, two kinds of premium niboshi, or dried sardines. Each bowl is topped with aburi (or torched) cha shu and bamboo shoots.
Sanpoutei Ramen, 253 Holland Ave, #01-01, Singapore 278982, Tel: 6463 7277
By Cheryl Chia