Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen (豚骨火山)
Square 2 Branch
Address: Square 2, 10 Sinaran Drive #02-68/69. Operating Hours: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Liang Court Branch
Address: Liang Court, 179 River Valley Road #01-10. Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 10.30 pm
I had been seeing a lot of Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen instagram posts recently and i just happen to pass by this ramen restaurant at Liang Court so i decided to try it out. Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen originates from Osaka Japan and they specialise in Hot Stone Ramen and Rice. Hot stone rice typical range from S$10.00 to S$12.00 and a hot stone ramen cost S$15.00 for a small and S$18.00 for a big size.
The Kazan Ramen Concept
Tonkotsu Kazan ramen offers a new ramen dining concept. Instead of serving ramen in traditional plastic bowl, they serve their ramen in hot stone bowl. The stone bowl is preheated to 300 degree Celsius and the waiter pours the Tonkotsu broth into the hot stone bowl right in front of my eyes.
The waiter then covers the stone bowl with a red cylindrical-shape lid that looks like a volcano and let it cook for a minute. As the soup sizzles in the hot stone bowl, lots of steam is release through the top opening of the lid like a “volcanic eruption”.
Probably the lid is use to prevent the boiling broth from splattering and it does not enhance the ramen taste in any way but is entertaining to look at during the one minute wait. Every order of Kazan Ramen also comes with a bowl of rice to be added into the broth after finishing the ramen to enjoy the broth a second time.
Their signature kazan ramen comes in four flavors – Kazan Shoyu, Kazan Curry, Kazan Karamiso and Kazan Kaisen Shio. As i always have a liking for strong base, i ordered the Kazan Karamiso and Curry ramen.
Tonkotsu Kara Miso Ramen (S$15.00/S$18.00)
A small Kazan Kara Miso Ramen cost me S$15.00++ and i think this is good enough for two people (if you are not the super big eater kind) as apart from the noodle, it also comes with a bowl of rice. What i love about this ramen is – The broth and noodle remains piping hot for the whole time due to the hot stone bowl!
I am a fan of bean paste stuff, anything with bean paste, so this spicy bean paste miso ramen had me pawned. The soup broth is exceptionally flavorful with the added minced meat and i am loving every mouthful of the soup. On the other hand, the Char Siu is rather ordinary, a little dry, OK, as i had better ones before.
Tonkotsu Kazan ramen use a thicker kind of ramen that looks a little similar to our flat noodle used in our Lor Mee but with a very different texture. The ramen’s very chewy, and taste a little like udon, but less soggy. The heat from the piping hot stone bowl made every bite of the ramen and every mouthful of the Tonkotsu broth really enjoyable, especially during this cold, rainy monsoon season.
Kazan Curry Ramen (S$15.00/S$18.00)
I had a lot of Japanese curry rice or curry udon in Singapore but not so much of a curry ramen. As the curry sizzles over the bowl of hot stone, the curry fragrance filled the air (and probably some on your shirt too LOL). Taste wise, I thought the curry taste can be a little stronger, or spicier. Probably it’s because i am comparing this with a typical plate of Japanese curry rice. Overall this is not bad but i prefer the Kazan Karamiso Ramen.
Hot Stone Curry Rice with Fried Chicken (S$12.00++)
I am not going to mention much on the soggy fried chicken as it’s rather disappointing but i thought the rice still can make it. Personally, i will not order the fried chicken again but there’s other choices like prawn and sausage.
Unlike their noodle, Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen use a thicker kind of curry for their rice, which coats beautifully over the rice as i mix the rice and curry over the hot stone bowl. The end product would probably be a curry hot stone fried rice with the Japanese curry infused into every grain of rice.
Like our Singapore claypot rice, some rice at the bottom part will be scorched and it actually made the rice taste even better. Those who love crusted burnt rice (锅巴) will know what i mean.
The current closest thing is Pepper Lunch’s Sizzling Curry Rice ranging from S$12.00 to S$14.00. Probably Pepper Lunch’s meat is better but i prefer Tonkotsu Kazan’s rice. This curry rice is not bad but not the priority in my to-order-again list.
Coconut Banana and Milk (S$6.00++)
I ordered Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen’s Coconut Milk and Banana instead of the Ice Kazan, which apparently is their signature dessert, as i was too full from having the Kazan Ramen.
I think the banana was baked or oven heated before topping it with coconut milk, vanilla ice-cream and strawberries.
Banana is OK, ice-cream is OK, coconut milk lacks coconut taste and taste like sweet milk and strawberry is disappointing. The core is still frozen and exterior is very soggy. Probably it’s because they use frozen strawberries instead of fresh one. Not exactly worth the $6++ IMO. Maybe i will try their Ice Kazan next time after looking at the mouth-watering photos from RubbishEatRubbishGrow and SethLui‘s blog post.
Some say that the Kazan “Volcanic Eruption” is a gimmick and i do agree that Step 1 to Step 3 (Pouring of soup in the hot stone bowl > covering the bowl with lid > letting it simmers for a minute with the steam flying in all directions) can be done in the Kitchen but probably it adds a little more fun into the overall dining experience.
Among the dishes i tried, i am most satisfied with the Kazan Ramen series and probably will return for that, and to try out the Ice Kazan dessert. The price is pretty reasonable if the Kazan Ramen is to be shared by two pax.
As for the rest of the dishes like the Curry Rice and the non Kazan series ramen, i think they are not attractive enough for me to specially make a trip down to Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen for them.
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