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Featuring Ramen Keisuke Lobster King, Konjiki Hototogisu (CHIJMES), Sanpoutei Ramen (Holland Village), Sō (nex), Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke, Takagi Ramen ([email protected]), Kanshoku Ramen Bar (ION Orchard)
Thint T
Thint T

One of the greatest envies I possess would be that of having access to cheap and authentic ramen options to decompress, akin to the humble diners and izakayas settled along a Yokocho. In Singapore, ramen has been established as a dish that is served in specialty restaurants, so it was with an open mind and a vested interest that I decided to try out the self-proclaimed “Ramen for the Average Singaporean”.
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📍THE PLACE
Just a mere stone’s throw away from Ang Mo Kio MRT, situated along an inconspicuous corner, the incarnadine facade whelms your vision, tunnelling you into a bar seat or a booth while your mind fixates on the idea of yet another bowl of ramen.
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🍽 THE FOOD
1️⃣ Takagi Ramen ($6.90) - the namesake bowl features Hakata-style ramen served in a well-rounded tonkotsu broth, as well as subtle additions of shio, kombu and bonito
2️⃣ Black Tonkotsu ($7.90) - namely the most popular ramen sold here, the slow-roasted black garlic tonkotsu broth is sure to awaken one’s senses, as well as knock out any date foolish enough to enter your personal space
3️⃣ Butashoga Ramen ($7.90) - one of the more unique ramens, featuring hand-pulled pork sautéed with sweet soy sauce and fragrant ginger, sweet and umami with a supporting herbal quality
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🤔 THE VERDICT
Definitely the best ramen available at its price point in Singapore. Also, who wouldn’t want a free additional serving of noodles?

After a dramatically overextended, uninspired, illogical, gin-fuelled hiatus in writing any reviews over the last few weeks, @thintbites is seemingly back with an even greater gap in his writing than ever before, courtesy of procrastination and a forgettable sense of the word. It has been a long time coming but I suppose with the flow of things being ceaselessly inconsistent alongside the pretentiousness in my gourmet literature rising to an all time high, writing at a doable pace would be the most appropriate option in my personal opinion and decision.
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With that being said, let’s kick start this bad boy again with the one thing that I hold closest to my heart, that may very well ironically and eventually clog it up if I were to consume too much of it. We’re talking about ramen, and its myriad of possibilities and flavours shaped from decades of culinary endeavours. The place in mind is a very special place, being my favourite ramen shop in the entire world. Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke is a humble little abode nestled in the heart of the village of beer towers and happy hours that is Holland Village. We’re talking about Keisuke Takeda here, who in my opinion is the most legendary ramen chef in the history of modern ramen culture. His ramen empire in Singapore is a majesty to behold with a total of 19 outlets worldwide, of which 14 of them are in Singapore.
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With numerous specialty ramen shops incorporating fresh new takes on the infinite joy and abundance of ramen, Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke is just one of the geniuses of Keisuke Takeda, and stands to be my favourite ramen combining two of my favourite things: Ramen and Duck. Their Hybrid Duck Broth Ramen with Flavoured Egg in Rich Soup ($16.90++) is the crème de la crème in the world of ramen. This beauty features a robust, warm and sensational broth flavoured with duck bones and herbs, topped with two gorgeous slices of Irish hybrid duck with the perfect noodles to soak up every last drop of the quack.
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From wonderful customer service to the alluring charm of the complimentary hard-boiled eggs and toppings galore, this is the one place to be for ramen and ramen.

The hiatus was long, marked by an unquestionable languor and accompanied by the likes of Zendaya in Euphoria and the triumphs and defeats, the epic highs and lows of high-school football. The venerable kid draws out his phone for the umpteenth time, harbouring intentions to channel his literary prowess into praising more meals he’s had over his lifetime. Alas, the motivation to do so settles like dust on a piano, marking the continuation of an endless cycle of inaction.
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On this day however, the kid faced an epiphany ever so bright, gleaming with inspiration that one could only dream of. He realised that the pretentiousness and dubiousness that came with praising cuisine was unfounded, unlike criticising it. He whips out his phone, continuing to ignore conventions and writing in a format that was analogous to that of a 16-year old’s One Direction smut fanfic on Wattpad. Words were coming together, letters falling into place.
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Something was missing, this text was slowly morphing into a babble of the highest degree. In an abrupt turnaround, he realises that he wasn’t here for praise. He was ready to speak ill of a dining experience that had watered down what could’ve been a remarkable evening. He opened up every resource he required to serve his judgement in front of him, ready to further the prattle that was already beginning to get tedious to type. “Ah Keisuke, you’re getting old”, he thought, recalling the hour-long queue into Ramen Keisuke Lobster King that delivered their hallmark Lobster Broth Ramen Special (All Toppings) ($20.90++) with an anti-climatic potpourri of ingredients and an indescribable flaw with the noodles that did not play well with the broth it swam in. Racking his brain for words and adjectives that could further emphasise on his mild disappointment with the ramen that he had, a flicker of light came on. He knew just what to write, three simple words to consolidate judgement, information and showmanship in his final paragraph.
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This place sucks.

When it comes to ramen in Singapore, one can expect to find a bustling and vibrant culture of old-school Japanese ramen experts and new kids on the block presenting innovative ramen recipes at the heart of it all. Finding a place for that hearty sensation of cupping a warm bowl of broth as you take slurp after slurp of the irresistible noodles is no harder than spending 1 minute on the web to look for the closest retreat.
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Enter Konjiki Hototogisu, an established ramen chain founded in 2006 by Chef Atsushi Yamamoto. With a 4-year consecutive Tokyo Michelin Bib Gourmand and a glistening Michelin Star (2019) under its belt, Konjiki Hototogisu is no stranger to the ramen scene, and has even recently opened its fourth outlet in Singapore at the crowd-drawing Jewel Changi Airport. After pushing a much needed visit to the establishment for weeks on end, I managed to check out their CHIJMES restaurant just a few weeks shy of the arrival of the fourth.
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In a brief interjection of sorts, I would like to mention that there is always a delightful feeling of rapture and inspiration upon hearing the kitchen crew and the front of house staff welcoming you with a unified yell.
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I had to try their signature Shio Hamaguri Soup Ramen ($14.90++), which boasted a wonderfully light yet complex broth made from hamaguri clams, tai (red sea bream), a shio tare that consists of a masterful blend of Mongolian rock salt and natural Okinawan sea salt, and finished with an elegant touch of Italian white truffle oil. The subtleties of the broth were only heightened by the sheer textural ingenuity of their homemade noodles that utilise 6 different types of flour in its creation. It was rather aptly served with a complimentary side dish of a small serving of rice with clams, which was nice.
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Considering my advocacy of the tonkotsu broth in all things ramen, I’m pleased to say that Konjiki Hototogisu’s signature Shio Hamaguri Soup Ramen has taken the throne in my Shoyu/Shio ramen list as my favourite clear broth ramen. A must-try.

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What is jealousy? Some might simply say that it is an emotion. Others might think it is an uncontrollable philosophy. When one perceives a feeling or a thought that appears to threaten the very fabric of their reality, often times jealousy would come to precede agitation. And that ladies and gentlemen, is how I feel towards my second favourite ramen restaurant only being available in the East and North while my waking desire for a warm bowl of ramen brews with envy for days on end. Sō Ramen prides itself on its affordable bowls of hot piping ramen served with simplicity in mind. Walking in to the restaurant alone presents you with an air of refinement and aptitude while still maintaining a depth of homeliness. From watching the chefs tirelessly cooking up a pot of broth that will then go on to serve hundreds of customers a day, one could truly experience their ramen first-hand from the very beginning. Their Grand Tonkotsu Ramen ($13.90++) is truly a remarkable bowl of ramen, hailing from a pristine silver place in my heart. The tonkotsu broth fused beautifully with their aromatic black garlic sauce, achieving a refined and effervescent soup that is both flavourful and light all at once. What’s even more incredible has to be the generous trifecta of luscious melt in your mouth various pork cuts. The holy trinity features a sublime Toroniku (braised pork cheek), Cha Shu (braised pork belly in cha shu) and my personal favourite, a thick and hearty slab of Buta Kakuni (braised pork belly in special sauce). Don’t even think about leaving the establishment without trying their Mustard Chicken ($3.80), a serving of golden-brown fried chicken drizzled with a playfully tangy vinaigrette and mustard seeds for a mild acidity that helps to cut through any greasy goodness from the chicken.

1 Like

Settling in to a continuation of our previous ramen review, the innovative world of rich flavourful broths, light springy noodles, golden oozing ajitamas and tender melt-in-the-mouth slices of chashu still remains to be one of the greatest things man has come to achieve in its deepest respects. After all, a life without ramen, is a life without ramen. With every ramen shop crafting their very own recipes from scratch, the wonders of this perennial plethora of noodles remain infinite, limited only by one’s imagination. Despite this being the case, one must never forget the very roots they try to tear themselves away from in an ardent desperation for recognition. Yes I’m talking about places that sell over-zealous products of a failed fusion that end up being a miss more than a hit. Nevertheless, a place that remains true to tradition while still standing out to be one of the best ramens one can get in Singapore’s blistering warmth is Sanpoutei Ramen. Established in 1967, their broth has a unique flavour of dried sardines that give a subtle umami, its aroma exuding from the very moment the bowl is set onto your table. Served with long and tender strips of aburi chashu that simply melt in your mouth, their noodles are made fresh daily in house within a specialised noodle-making room within the restaurant’s confines. Their W Soup Tonkotsu Ramen with flavoured soft-boiled egg ($16++) still remains to be my fourth favourite ramen in Singapore (yes it’s not my favourite-favourite, the competition is abundant).

2 Likes

Every person has their single favourite thing to eat in the world. For me, it just happens to be a hearty bowl of ramen. Deliciously comforting, warm, versatile, flavourful, thick (so on and so forth the usage of colourful adjectives never ceases to exist). Over the years, it has become a personal conquest of sorts to try and seek out the single best bowl of ramen in this country with a year-round summer calendar. The only irony that I found difficult to believe and even more difficult to accept is that it slipped my mind entirely to write up a single article about it in the past 21 posts since the inception of this platform, despite the whole inspiration behind @thintbites stemming from wanting to educate and promote the curious world of ramen specifically. Transitioning back to the core values of trying to actually inform and educate readers about a past dining experience, Kanshoku Ramen Bar is the brainchild of fellow Singaporeans Melvin and Brendon, whose commitment to serving up fresh, healthy and delicious ramen is apparent in every bowl. A litmus test of sorts that I’ve initiated and tried over the years to determine the prowess of a ramen kitchen has been to order the simplest ramen their menu could offer; in definition, the cheapest bowl of ramen on any menu. Luckily, the Kanshoku Signature Ramen ($13.90++) was a hearty and scrumptious bowl of ramen executed perfectly. The tonkotsu broth which has been boiled for 8 hours in filtered water (with no salt nor preservatives) was rather pleasantly sweeter than most tonkotsu broths available. Of course, that familiar richness was still apparent. At the end of the day, less is more. Ironically as I’ve learned from writing extra-lengthy reviews such as this, more is also less.

2 Likes

Thint T

Level 5 Burppler · 59 Reviews

insert generic foodie bio (e.g. “a balanced diet is one drink in each hand!”, or “nom nom 24/7”) idk

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