Rave Ramen

Rave Ramen

Ramen? Amen. Here’s a list of ramen that’ll make you praise God for his loving kindness.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

Scallops and ramen don’t exactly go together, and you need something to bond the two elements together. Unfortunately, Ramen Kiou forgot that binding element, and their Hotate Chashu Ramen ($17.90++) felt odd & disjointed. The ramen is decent, but the main attraction of scallops never quite fit into the bowl of noodles.

Ramen Kiou’s tonkotsu (pork bone) & vegetable broth is pressure cooked for five hours, which gives it a savoury, full bodied yet light flavour. It’s slightly sticky on your lips thanks to the collagen leeched from the bones, and I thought it to be somewhat milky even though I doubt that any dairy was added. It’s also pretty peppery too, as my throat did protest a little as I jubilantly slurped the soup. The noodles were perfection, with a sprightly springiness & a velvety smoothness that facilitates easy slurping.

One pleasant surprise about Ramen Kiou is that they put a lot of veggies into each bowl of ramen, and the crunchy cabbage & beansprouts were a welcome change from the softness of everything else. The char siew (or chashu) was possibly the finest one ever found in a bowl of ramen. A thicker than usual slice of pork belly belly is braised in Ramen Kiou’s proprietary aged chashu stock, and you can really taste said stock. The strong shoyu based stock pervades every molecule of tender pork belly, producing an incredibly deep & savoury soy scent with every last bite that cancels out any possible porkiness.

The scallops themselves are gargantuan, and they are passably fresh, but they just don’t fit into this ravishing bowl of ramen. It would’ve been better if they came as a side dish instead of being shoehorned awkwardly into the terrific tonkotsu ramen that didn’t need any extra assistance. I’d definitely return for another bowl of ramen, just not the Hotate Chashu Ramen.

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@ramen_keisuke Tonkotsu King Niku King is one of the numerous Keisuke ramen concepts in Singapore. If you have next to no knowledge of the Japanese language like me and still chortle every time you see ‘kani nabe’ on a menu, then the name can throw you for a loop. I’ve always thought that niku is the Japanese word for beef, but it just means meat.⠀

Yes, you can probably see why this place stuck an extra ‘Meat King’ title behind the Tonkotsu King pronoun. For $15.90++, this gargantuan bowl of Niku King Tonkotsu is absolute heaven. One slice of chashu or two meekly hanging around the ramen? Hell naw, here the noodles are absolutely buried under EIGHT slices of chashu! These chashu aren’t just your poxy, bang average sliced pork, they are slices of phenomenally fatty tontoro (pork neck) chashu. Fat equals flavour, and these chashu equal absolute love.⠀

Now, a glut of heavenly pork aside, this bowl of ramen would still be trash if it didn’t have a breathtaking broth, but that’s where the Tonkotsu King comes in. I don’t know what kind of wizardry the King called upon the pork bone broth, but it’s crazy creamy without any dairy involvement and profoundly piquant. Seriously, each sip feels like you’re drinking from the Holy Grail. The collagen leaves its calling card of sticky lips, so you know each mouthful is gonna be smoother than silk. It may get too rich for your blood by the end, but each savoury sip was deliriously delightful.⠀

If you’re itchin’ for a ramen fixin’, why not let the King serve you the treasures of his domain?⠀

P.S.: my hot green tea cost me $3.50++. Bruhhh.

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@soramensg is Breadtalk’s finger in the pie that is the affordable budget ramen restaurant. And when I say budget ramen restaurant, I mean it. This bowl of Cha Shu Uobushi Tonkotsu ramen was $8.90++. A serving of springy ramen noodles, two beautifully charred slices of char siew, and a bounty of brilliant broth.⠀

The pork was felicitously fatty & meaty, with the fats nicely balancing out the meat. It’s a touch underseasoned, but the caramelisation on it is topnotch. I visited So Ramen the day after my gym session, which meant that it was bulking day, and of course I was gonna get an order of Toroniku (torched pork cheeks) for an additional $4++. It was sinfully scintillating, with a fantastic fat marbling amongst the tender meat. A truly worthy companion to any ramen.⠀

The ramen, or more accurately, the Hosomen, was thin, springy & charmingly chewy. So Ramen has three different kinds of noodles paired with their different broths, and who am I to complain when the pairing in my bowl was perfect? Most of you would know what a tonkotsu broth is, but what is uobushi tonkotsu?⠀

Well, it’s simply the standard tonkotsu pork bone broth reinforced by bonito (a species of fish) broth. The rich, slightly creamy & fatty pork bone broth gets a deeper, saltier flavour on top of its mildly sweet & savoury characteristics, resulting in a hearty soup that I very much enjoyed.⠀

For the starting price of just $8.90++, So Ramen has got sapid bowls of ramen that can easily hold their own against the more acclaimed ramen joints. That’s so ramen, man!

Look, imma keep it real chief. Ramen Champion is pretty basic bitch tier. No amount of advertising from their PR handler about how these ramens are the recipe of some supposed ramen sensei from Japan is gonna change that, alright. Yeah, it’s light years better than ajisen, but that’s trash tier.

However, the God Ramen ($15++) has put a pretty meaty dent in that perception. The broth was much thicker than many other ramen broths out there, and the broth was both overbearingly salty & sweet at the same time, oddly enough. It proved too much to bear, and I left a good deal of it behind. However, that perfectly cooked pork belly shabu shabu was worth its weight in gold. If gold was edible & delicious, that is.⠀

Seriously, the over-abundance of stellar shabu shabu alone was worth the $15++ I paid. Sure, the broth is too intense on it’s own, but it’s the perfect, salty soulmate for the pork belly. On God.⠀

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Singapore is well and truly spoilt for choice when it comes to ramen. From a dirty quickie at an Ajisen outlet to Ippudo, which is straight outta Fukuoka, there’s no shortage of places to satiate that craving for a scorching hot bowl of noodles soaking in broth.

The spicy Karaka-men ($22++ for extra char siew) has four spice levels to test your mettle, and this bowl is a level three ‘very hot’ spice level. Yes, it’s even more violent than it looks. However, the spice never overpowered the rich, piquant pork broth. The spicy paste added lots of flavor into the sapid soup, and the ramen (which I ordered at medium hardness) was supple, springy and cooked to perfection.

Instead of the normal two slices of pork belly char siew, the extra char siew option sees another three slices go for a luxurious bath in the broth. The char siew itself is cooked acceptably and is sufficiently tender, but it’s a bit bland. That’s where the smashingly savory and spicy soup comes in. What you wanna do is get a spoonful of soup, a bit of ramen, and a strip of char siew before dumping it down your hatch.

Ippudo is certainly one of the better ramen places in Singapore. That’s quite something considering the insane levels of competition in Singapore due to the glut of ramen restaurants round town.

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I am definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed, as I popped into a gyoza place to quell my ramen cravings when I was in Sydney.

The ramen noodle in a light chicken broth (A$13.80) was barely serviceable with its dry, insipid chicken strips and the lackluster ramen broth. The perfectly springy ramen and oozy egg did their part to rescue the bowl of ramen from being a complete write-off though.

Make no mistake, Harajuku Gyoza is a gyoza restaurant, and they do gyozas damn well. The grilled pork & prawn Gyoza with ginger and spring onion dressing (A$9.80 for the plate of 5 in the back), were fully deserving of gyoza greatness.

The ample pork and prawn filling cocooned within those smoky, supple dumpling wrappers are satisfyingly savory and joyfully juicy, and that zesty soy-vinegar fusion sauce is utterly umami.

Now these are some delish dumplings, darling.

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When winter falls upon the land down under, the blokes and Sheilas stop cracking open cold ones and start cracking open hot ones. Susuru is a local Newcastle purveyor of hot ones, and its loud, campy decor will brighten your day whether you like it or not.

Their ramen will also put a satisfied smile on your mug as you slurp your way through their respectably redolent ramen. While their shoyu ramen ($15) isn’t the best or a top 10 winner, it’s still rather decent considering that it’s a ramen joint in a sort of backwater city in Australia.

The only real issue I had was with the pork char siew, as I was unlucky enough to ‘score’ a piece that had some pig hairs attached to it. They fixed that issue promptly with a sincerely apology, and I was right back at slurping up that ramen.

Savory shoyu broth that doesn’t leave you more parched than the Sahara desert? Check. Bouncy, perfectly QQ ramen? Check. Tender, tremendously tasty char siew sans unwelcome pig hair? Check. That picture perfect ramen egg that should be rated R and tagged under #foodporn? Check.

Pretty sweet as for $15, mate.

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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