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Oishii Japanese! 🍮🍜🍱🍘

Oishii Japanese! 🍮🍜🍱🍘

Featuring Tempura Tenten, Nakhon Kitchen (Kovan), Hakata Ikkousha Ramen (CHIJMES), AFURI, Menya Sanji (Orchid Hotel), Ippudo (Shaw Centre), Zamza, issho family restaurant
Eunice Foo
Eunice Foo

The first bite is pretty mind blowing; for a split second, your senses get bombarded with the light citrusy aroma & flavor of yuzu that somehow manages to precede the familiar, heavy umami of the shio broth. But once that fades, all you get is a bowl of REALLY. SALTY. ramen that lacks any distinctive flavor. The char siew - whilst grilled to a nice smoky char - still can be improved texture-wise as it was a little tough. Let’s not even talk about the very mediocre gyoza. Not worth the 20-30min wait imho, just go in a few months and pray that they’ll still be open by then.


Spent all week anticipating a hearty ramen brunch here (especially after hearing that the chef came from Buta God at Ramen champion)...but this bowl didn’t quite meet our expectations. I’m generally impartial when it comes to the different varieties of ramen noodles, yet I’m sorry to say I didn’t enjoy the the curly yellow noodles served here; floury, dense and with an egg-y undertone, the only thought in my mind was “BRUH THIS IS MEE KIA!!!” Ofc I didn’t say that to the cute Japanese waiter. Broth was pretty creamy and thick for a miso-based one (which I appreciated since I’m a tonkotsu kinda gurl) but wayyyyy too oily and salty. While both of these aspects can be justified by the fact that it’s prepared “Hokkaido-style”, such a heavy bowl just can’t cut it for me. The saving grace: their ajitama. Perfectly marinated and with a sticky molten core, it was the one thing I savored throughout the entire meal. Maybe their tempura don would fare better - family behind mine ordered the ginormous unagi bowl and were going nomnomnom non-stop!!😋

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An epic crossover between their “God Fire” and “Tonkotsu Black”, Ikkousha’s Black Fire ramen combines the best of both worlds - their signature fried garlic paste AND original spiced tonkostu broth (for which you can choose the degree of spiciness, on a scale of 1 to 4)!!

As expected, each sip of the broth packed a hearty kick, from the garlicky flavours to the chili oil! I especially liked how their relatively thin and al-dente(for lack of a more apt japanese term!) noodles helped to just slightly offset the richness of their silken and creamy tonkotsu broth - which may have been a little too heavy for the Singaporean palate on its own. Our only complaint would be the apparent lack of toppings, with only cabbage and beansprouts to spruce up the bowl. The menu did include 1 piece of chashu, but maybe they forgot to add it in?😅 Regardless, their free hard boiled eggs and preserved vegetables more than made up for it!! A good bowl of ramen is not determined by its toppings anyway😋


Having heard rave reviews about this obscure hole-in-the-wall ramen bar(and also because we found ourselves absolutely starving at 5pm), we decided to pop by and give it a try! Their ladies’ set is perfect for foodies; with one mini ramen, a mini bowl, and a drink, one can savour multiple dishes without overeating!! 😋

Apparently, their ramen noodles are served Kagoshima style, hence the slightly thicker and chewier texture. If anything, it paired well with the rich and creamy broth which felt like silk on my tongue!! Was looking forward to their “Fried Scallops” of the day, but it turned out to be fishcake-style scallops, not the real ones 😞 should’ve just stuck with extra cha Shu! Their preserved vegetables were pretty interesting - packing a spicy kick, the leafy greens are seasoned with furikake and ebiko(if I’m not wrong)...we simply couldn’t stop heaping piles of it on the small dishes 😂 my verdict? The food here isn’t super-super spectacular, but it’s definitely beyond what one would expect for the price!


Can’t decide on yakitori or a hearty don? Well why not both? This value-for-money meal includes shiitake mushroom, chicken thigh, chicken skin, chicken joints, a poached egg and rice. The yakitori sticks were aromatic, having a heavy and heavenly taste of char! Chicken joints were a little dry though, and could’ve done with some sauce.


The last time I had this was at some hot spring village in Japan, where exactly I’ve forgotten. The sauce wasn’t as authentic as I’d have liked, but the egg itself was certainly well done. Whites were soft and quivery, encapsulating a gelatinous yolk that oozed out slowly upon it being popped. Worth it for the price!


Pardon my unculturedness, but there are days where I particularly enjoy elaborate, generously topped, western-style maki that come with an inner deep-fried tempura filling. The ingredients certainly aren’t top quality, but I would liken this to fast food; a form of guilty indulgence that is both sufficiently savoury and filling. Sure, one may scoff at these low brow offerings, but I’ll definitely be back for my nacho cheese fix! 😂


Just the sight of this mess is enough to put me off! Greyish tuna came in odd shapes (arousing suspicion that unwanted cuts were used), strewn haphazardly across the plate. A feeble attempt at plating can be detected from the strip of ikura and green onions. Anyway, the tuna bits were served at room temperature, with a grainy disintegrated texture that made me barf. Blargh!


These chickadee wings came PACKED with meaty goodness! The minced meat contained a variety of ingredients which meshed well together and provided a nice chewy texture after the initial crunch. Definitely will be back for more!


Even as a devoted fan of the Akamaru Shinaji, I must say, the Karaka-men makes a worthy opponent! Taste-wise, it is very similar to the Shiramaru; apart from the rich and creamy pork essence, the broth’s flavor is dominated by a rather strong taste of egg-white - which perfectly encapsulates the quintessential tonkotsu experience. Furthermore, upon thorough mixing, the chili (which btw tastes almost identical to the local sambal chili that we’re all well acquainted with) reduces the “egginess” to a more enjoyable level and gives the broth a kick that hits the right spot!

On a side note, the soft-boiled egg which arrived in a cute lil’ wooden carrier was plain, not an onsen egg as expected. I was a little disappointed given the price of just this one egg!


I’ll skip all the cliche blabber about the heritage of Ippudo(which countless can attest to) and jump straight to what we’re here for: THE GRUB! This bowl of Akamaru Shinaji arrived piping hot, with alluring dark immiscible swirls of garlic oil snaking across the tonkotsu surface. Two generous cuts of fatty chashu lay half-bathed in the broth, beckoning coyly to be consumed...

I must confess: the first overly eager gulp scalded my tongue!! But every cloud has a silver lining; by slowing down, I could really allow the creamy and silky broth to fill my mouth and infiltrate my, warm, and highly addictive - the way the fat globules slithered across my tongue was almost sensual. If anything, the garlic oil added a mild kick, which only enhanced the overall texture. The “medium-done” ramen noodles were just the right level of springy, granting some oomph to each bite without leaving an uncomfortable doughy feel. In a split second, I found myself abandoning my anti-carb philosophy and slurping up the entire bowl of delicious goodness!

Sitting at the wooden table, enveloped by the aroma of tonkotsu and warmth of my family, I was brought back to my cold hobo days in Japan, where even the cheapest bowl of train-station ramen brought me immeasurable joy. To evoke such vivid memories, I dare say this is as close to the authentic Japanese experience as you’ll get!


Part-time student, full-time glutton 🍕🍖🍜 @bigbadnoms on instagram!

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