Saturday, March 27, 2010
Boy oh boy, the ramen scene in Singapore is really heating up eh? Straits Times even ran a special report on the more popular ones around. While I didn't get to read that, I'm quite sure that my favourite Santouka is on the list! And the one that is currently making a wave now? Ippudo!
Located in Mandarin Gallery, Ippudo is arguably the busiest shop in the otherwise rather empty arcade. We were there at about 6:30pm and a small queue was already forming. By the time we left at 7plus, the queue outside could easily warrant an 1 hour wait!
Decor was hip and trendy with a striking red and white theme and a chandelier hung from the centre of the dining hall. Also, you will likely dine at long/round communal tables unless you have that many people to take up one yourself. Service was typical of Japanese restuarants with the usual politeness and speed.
This is one of the smallest gyoza I have seen! While the skin had that nice hardened crispness, the meat filling was barely there to make out its taste. At $1 per piece effectively, I felt that it wasn't really worth the price.
Shiromaru with Egg ($17.00), Akamaru ($15.00)
Shiromaru consisted of their classic tonkotsu soup base with in-house thin yellow noodles. I liked how the noodles were served slightly undercooked and slowly simmered in the soup for a good firm texture. Despite its creamy colour, the soup was decent but not as rich as I hoped it would be. The stiff lean pork loin was also not to my liking while the egg was good enough with its liquid york.
Now I pretty much favoured Akamaru over its counterpart. Topped with miso paste and garlic oil, the soup was thicker and heavier with an enhanced layer of flavour to it. Another major difference was the inclusion of pork belly, simply melting in your mouth with its tender meat and sinful fats. Now that was a good bowl of ramen!
Rare Cheese Cake ($7.00)
Unlike the Japanese sponge version, this one was really dense and sour like how a cheesecake mixure will taste before baking. The biscuits crumbs on top added a nice crunchy touch as it didn't have a solid base, while the honey and strewberry (I think) sauce drizzled at the side balanced out the sourness rather well.
Green Tea Ice Cream (Complimentary to OCBC Cardholders)
This was really interesting that while the taste was distinctively green tea, the texture was more like eating a chewy mochi rather than an ice cream!
Bill for two was $52.97 after tax. While I found the side dishes slightly expensive, the price of ramen was justified by its quality. I would be back for more of its outstanding Akamaru, if I have the time to queue!
Taken with Nikon D70