There's a slight problem when people gather at ramen places; your favourite bowl might not be to everyone's liking. Different types of noodles, soup bases and toppings permute to a mind-boggling number of choices! But at Ramen Champion, everyone can find their ideal type of ramen!
The ramen wonderland at Iluma opened to much fanfare earlier in the year, as people flocked from all over to have a go at the 6 masters' creations. The hype might have died down a little now, but coming at peak dinner hours still warrants a wait at the doors. The store that I'm writing on today? The very manly Bario Ramen!
Sapporo Beer, 334ml ($7.50)
With free seating and a Marche-styled ordering system, have some ice cold beer as you wait for your electronic counter to beep!
Ajitama Ramen ($14.00)
When Mr. Tsujida created Bario ramen, I think he had in mind to create one that would be fit for the burly, macho man. Three words to sum up his ramen: Thick, rich, and (very) filling! While ramen purists might hiss at the thick, broad noodles of Jiro-styled ramen, I took to it quite positively. Come on, Singaporeans grew up with Lor Mee, this is just a thicker Japanese version with a good chew!
While the oh-so-intense broth could have been done with lesser garlic influence, the generous amount of beansprouts diluted it adequately for me to lap up the entire bowl. The hung chunks of pork belly was a star on its own, as the smooth skin, melting fats and tender lean meat were simply outstanding.
The egg, for some reason, failed to impress with no molten centre.
Their dipping version made the garlic taste of the soup even more prominent, though I thought it would be really nice with a bowl of rice poured in, that is if you can finish the humongous bowl of noodles first! Ladies, fret not if you are worried about Bario's overwhelming servings, as it is also thoughtfully served in half-portions ($7.00) to avoid wasting food!
With its pricing, Bario definitely gives a bang for your buck in terms of quality and quantity . Although I have been at Ramen Champion for no less than three times myself, its quite embarrassing to say that all three visits had me queueing for Bario ramen, not yet exploring the other 5 masters. Probably because I was really hungry, missing those curly noodles and drool-worthy pork bellies! The 4th visit will be different, I promise!
Ramen Champion (Bario) 201 Victoria Street Bugis Iluma #04-08/09/10 Tel: 6238 1011