The thought of a good bowl of ramen never fails to make me hungry. Solid soup stock, al dente noodles, melting charsiew and the gooey egg yolk. Sounds gratifying just by writing it down! And on my never-ending quest for good ramen, we finally tried out Baikohken!
Located at North Canal Road, the tiny eatery was a short walk away from Raffles Place MRT. Much like a typical ramen shop in Japan, it was squeezy with tables closely packed together. Staff worked quickly to take your orders, deliver them and politely hope that you would finish faster to give up your seats for the queue outside.
By the way, complimentary wheat tea was served at every table, a pleasant gesture in times where restaurants are trying to rip you off tap water.
Though I would always lament how we didn't have much choices for side orders, we would still succumb to the trap of "must share something beside noodles". Furthermore, time after time, I would say how it didn't quite match up to Chinese pan-fried dumplings. No surprises here too, though I welcomed its crispy base and thin, chewy skin.
Shoyu Charsiew Ramen ($19.00)
Before coming, I knew that Baikohken was reputed for their generous servings, especially on the charsiew, so I had to verify this myself. Boy, it was true after all! For a normal order, there were three huge slices of charsiew that were unseen at other ramen places. Each cut was of a suitable thickness with rims of the prized fats. The lean meat however, could have been a bit more tender for my liking.
However, I hate to say that was the ramen's only attraction. The noodles was curly, thin and a tad overcooked in my opinion. The broth, while looking promising on hindsight, could have been thicker and more robust in flavour.
Shio Ramen, Half Portion ($10.50)
Knowing that not everyone could finish their huge portions, they were thoughtful enough to provide half servings, but even that came with one huge slice of charsiew! Shio flavour didn't spark much of my interest either, while the egg was just moderately flowing.
Bill for two was $37.50 with no service charge and GST already in price. Baikohken definitely wins in terms of quantity to price ratio, but frankly I wasn't too impressed with its overall quality. At least now I know where to go for a charsiew fiesta!