I had always wanted to try Tampopo, given how people raved about its ramen and pork katsu. So for one of the best friend's birthday this year, we had a lunch celebration at the Takashimaya outlet!
We were lucky that the queue wasn't that long on a public holiday (Good Friday), as it never fails to stretch one during mealtimes. Decor was bright and clean with spacious seatings, while waitresses frequently refilled water and took orders promptly. They do have a few different menus so take your time to decide on what you want!
Black Pig Shabu Ramen ($13.80)
One of us wanted something spicy, so this suited him well! Noodles was the white type with a good firm texture, the prized kurobuta pork slices simply wowed us with its tender, well-marbled quality while the broth was quite shiok with rich flavours and fiery aftertaste. Very hearty!
BBQ Ramen ($15.30)
Soup (without the spiciness) and noodles was very similar to the previous one, only difference was that the sliced pork was replaced with thicker pieces of barbequed char siew. While the lean meat wasn't tough, I would prefer it to have slight more fats.
Shoyu Ramen ($13.80)
This one was of a lighter broth and came with yellow noodles of a more chewy and springy texture. My friend enjoyed it rather much but I thought that perhaps it would be better without beansprouts as they tend to dilute the soup.
Rich Shoyu Ramen ($14.30)
As the name suggested, the soup base was enhanced with the addition of seafood, and you really could taste the difference when comparing both side by side! With different richness and flavours, everyone could find their own favourite bowl of ramen!
Special Sauce Fillet Don ($17.80)
While the rest were slurping their soup happily, I opted for the recommended don set as I was craving for rice with good pork cutlet. Though the sauce wasn't that special as it tasted much like Worchestershire sauce and the pork texture (not kurobuta) was rather normal, it was the bread coating of the cutlet that shined as the star.
Right from the first bite and remained so until the very last mouthful, it was deliciously fluffy with a light crunch, so much that when part of it was drenched in the sauce, some of its crispiness was still retained! Also, the miso soup came with bonus slices of pork that was similar to those in the shabu ramen. A two-in-one benefit!
Ishiyaki Beef Curry ($16.80)
And it wasn't just the pork dishes that was done well! Served in a sizzling stone pot, the curry rice was covered with melted cheese and topped with a nice runny egg. Beef brisket was used so it was really tender with bits of fats at the edge. Doesn't lose out to the rest at all!
Total bill for 6 was $108.05 after taxes. With affordable prices and wide range of choices, Tampopo is surely a good place to go when you are craving for good noodles and rice sets. Tonkatsu ramen, wait for me!