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Restaurant Review: Menya Sakura Wows With New Uni Tsukemen

The ramen dish is only available for a limited time, so don’t wait to try it!

Photo: Weekender

One of our favourite ramen restaurants in Singapore, Menya Sakura, is turning three! To commemorate the big anniversary, they are treating all of us to a limited-edition menu featuring Uni Tsukemen, and it’s available now.

Uni, or sea urchin roe, is a premium and often pretty expensive ingredient usually used in sushi or donburi. Right now at Menya Sakura, you can enjoy it on top of tsukemen, a type of ramen dish where the noodles are served dry and separately from the bowl of rich broth for dipping. For all of us who just love anything uni, we know what a luxurious delicacy uni ramen is, and how rare it is to find a bowl in Singapore. So when we heard that Menya Sakura was offering it, we knew we just had to try it!

Photo: Menya Sakura

Uni tsukemen is the star of the limited-edition menu. The tsukemen dish with uni dipping sauce is offered at $16.90. You can spice it up by adding ajitama egg or raw uni itself on top of your dry ramen noodles, at an additional price. Or, you can literally spice it up by ordering a spicy Uni Tsukemen bowl for an extra $1. We’re pleasantly surprised by the low prices, given how ridiculously expensive uni usually is!

Trying the new dish is also a great chance to check out the restaurant’s new digs while you’re there. Hailing from Nagoya, Japan, where the original restaurant grew very popular among ramen lovers, Menya Sakura debuted in Singapore at Boat Quay in early 2017. The Singapore branch also attracted praise from many customers for their Nagoya-style ramen. Not long after, in June of last year, Menya Sakura moved to the Tanjong Pagar Orchid Hotel. The quaint and cosy new space includes an al-fresco dining area and oozes with the charm of an old-school Japanese eatery.

Photo: Weekender

We recently had the chance to visit the new space to sample the Uni Tsukemen with the special raw uni topping ($20.90), and it was delicious. The bowl of dry ramen noodles came topped with seaweed, char siew pieces, ajitama egg, and of course, the golden orange uni. On the side was a bowl of uni dipping sauce, which is made with the restaurant’s signature Tonkotsu soup made in-house. A decadent blend of sea urchin and pork bone, it has an amazing aroma that quickly got us salivating. We couldn’t wait to dig in!

Grabbing some ramen noodles and dotting it with a bit of the uni, we dipped it in the the sauce and ate it in one big loud slurp. The noodles are thick and bouncy, soaking up the full flavours of the broth well. Though the broth looks quite thick and rich, it’s wonderfully light on the palate and doesn’t fill you up too much. Surprisingly, it reminded us of mee rebus soup in that comfort food feel it gave us! As you’re dipping cool, dry ramen into the hot soup, each mouthful would also not be sweat-inducing hot. Perfect for eating in warm Singapore.

As for the uni, just a little amount is enough to give us that fresh and creamy quality we love in the seafood delicacy. We’re not surprised, then, to learn that Menya Sakura imports their uni straight from Japan, and twice a week to ensure freshness!

Photo: Weekender

With our taste buds still singing with the freshness of the uni, we moved on to try another new dish – the Lobster Mazesoba ($12.90, or $13.90 for the spicy version). Mazesoba has been getting more and more popular lately, partly also because it’s hot weather-friendly. It’s ramen noodles served dry and without even the soup on the side that you get in a tsukemen.

The Lobster Mazesoba is another limited-edition dish recently introduced at Menya Sakura. It comes with a free upsize, perfect if you visit the restaurant with a big appetite! And you probably do have to come with a pretty big appetite if you’re planning to have the Lobster Mazesoba, anyway, because even without soup, the dish can be a little heavy. That’s because a thick miso paste is one of the toppings, alongside spring onions, seaweed strips, tomatoes, a poached egg, and a lobster croquette. Also, you need to douse all these ingredients and the ramen noodles underneath with vinegar and chili oil before mixing the whole thing up.

It was a unique medley of flavours, from savoury and earthy to tangy. We particularly enjoyed the lobster croquette and wish there had been more. Those who love lobster should not hesitate to try this dish, because it might not be there for very much longer! It is already a limited-edition dish, but on top of that, the chef shared with us that the scarce supply of lobster makes it hard for them to continue importing it. So don’t miss this chance to indulge in both the Lobster Mazesoba and the Uni Tsukemen while they are still available at Menya Sakura!

1 Tras Link, Orchid Hotel, #01-07, Singapore 078867
Opening hours: 11:30am to 10pm (Mondays to Saturdays, including public holidays). Closed on Sundays.
Contact no.: 94693366
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