Chabuton and their Kurobuta Ramen by Chef Yasuji Morizumi

Chabuton and their Kurobuta Ramen by Chef Yasuji Morizumi

Address: 313 Orchard Road B2-01

Opening Hours: 11.30 am to 10.00 pm daily

Introduction

First of all, thank you Chabuton Singapore and Natasha from Brand Cellar for the invite to the media launch preview of Chabuton’s seasonal ramen, The Kurobuta Ramen. The recipe of this ramen is specially created by Michelin Chef Yasuji Morizumi to cater to the taste of Singaporean and of course, it’s only available in Singapore.

This creation features a blend of Tonkotsu and Chicken Collagen Broth that comes with a piece of highly prized Kurobuta Pork. This seasonal ramen is available from now till the end of March at all Chabuton outlets.

Kurobuta Ramen $18.90++

Firstly I will write about the broth. It’s a pretty interesting blend of chicken and pork broth and i must mention that this is a really strong broth. It’s not only thick and creamy, it’s also bursting with flavours. Interestingly, this is the first time i had a broth with a rather solid ginger after taste. A friend of mine who loves ginger adores this broth very much but I’m not sure if I can say the same thing for people who don’t take ginger very well. Personally, I like the broth but hope that the ginger taste can be more subtle.

Chef Yasuji Morizum

Among of the whole bowl of ramen, my favourite is the piece of tender Kurobuta Pork. This piece of meat is interlaced with thin layer of fats and although it doesn’t has the melt in your mouth texture, i think it’s still pretty good for it’s sweet succulent texture.

Although it’s mentioned that this ramen is catered to Singaporean’s taste, i am quite surprise that the noodle is lightly boiled. For me, I rather fancy ramen that is a little firmer. I like the chewy texture and has something to bite on, but I thought generally Singaporeans like their ramen a bit softer. And the restaurant manager replied that we can actually choose the firmness of the noodle upon ordering, which is good.

As you can see, my ramen egg is really really well prepared and I’m loving every bit of it. Instagrammer, Christy Frisbee, was sitting opposite me and she was not as lucky when she requested for a second serving of egg. It was almost fully cooked and upon giving feedback to the restaurant manager, he mentioned that we can actually asked for an exchange if the ramen egg happened to be overcooked than expected. If this is true, I thought that’s quite reasonable. Good move Chabuton. But don’t quote me if they dont exchange for you k? LOL

Conclusion

This creation by Chef Yasuji Morizumi is rather interesting and it doesn’t taste like any other ramen that i had tried before. The taste of this ramen is quite refreshing but I thought there’s actually some risks involved due to its unconventional flavour. If you adore ginger and strong ramen broth, this may just be the ramen for you.

As for it’s pricing, i thought at $18.90++, this luxurious version is facing stiff competition from other cheaper alternatives that are just as good. However, i have to give points this ramen for it’s ability to capture people’s attention with it’s alluring ingredients like “collagen” and “kurobuta pork”. This ramen seems like just the perfect menu to attract our Singaporeans that love new and interesting creations.

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Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen (Claypot Noodle, the Japan Ramen Version)

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

Introduction

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.

How to cook Kazan Ramen

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.

Conclusion

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.

Related Post

Marutama Ramen at The Central (wordpress.chinchaijiak.com)

Ramen Keisuke Tori King at 100AM (wordpress.chinchaijiak.com)

Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen (Liang Court): Singapore Food Review (sethlui.com)

Marutama Ramen (Best Tamago Egg) @ The Central

Marutama Ramen

Address: The Central, 8 Eu Tong Sen Street #03-90

Opening hours: 11.00 am to 10.00 pm daily

Introduction

I still remember the first time I visited this place, I am not exactly a fan of their chicken broth ramen. The noodle taste like Wanton Noodle texture and unlike most ramen, their ramen is moderately light and simple but unique in it’s own way. I only learnt to appreciate Marutama after having many other pork broth soup base ramen.

Click to see enlarged menu

I once went for a Ramen hunt in Singapore some time back that includes ramen like Ippuddo, Mentei, Santouka, Baikohken, Yoshimaru, Tampopo, Noodle Ken. I thought the taste of Marutama Ramen is refreshing and one of it’s own kind in Singapore. Marutama claimed that their soup has zero msg and every pot of soup is cooked over low fire for at last 24 hours to bring out the chicken broth’s natural sweetness.

Hakata Style Ramen

The so-call Wanton Mee texture ramen is actually a kind of ramen style which is known as the Hakata-styled Ramen. The taste of the noodle is very distinct. It’s firm in texture and ultra thin and straight. The noodle are boiled very quickly and served.

Nama Karashi Ramen (Spicy Chicken Soup) – $12.00++

I always order the spicy version as I prefer the soup to has a stronger taste instead of the original flavor. To be frank, the non spicy version is a little bland for my taste. Adding the fried garlic slices and sesame is strongly recommended to bring out the flavor of their soup. The ramen comes with two thin slices of Char Siu, seaweed and fresh spring onion.

I know they have never slice their egg and will serve a whole egg, but for the purpose a nicer photo for my blog post, i requested the person to slice the egg for me and he looked a little shocked. LOL.

Ajitsuke Tamago – $1.50++

At $1.50, the soft-boil egg is a must-order. In my opinion, even till date, their egg is arguably one of the best in Singapore. I don’t know how Marutama did it but apparently the flavor of the stock had infused into the egg white and yolk as well. I never fail to order their egg for every visit.

Char Siu Rice (Char Siu Gohan) – S5.00++

Additional noodle refill (Kadama) can be done by topping up of S$2.00 but do leave some soup for that. Else. if i am feeling a little hungry that day, i will order their Char Siu Rice. I thought this is also one of the better Char Siu Rice around and i love the braised Char Siu. The rice is so-so, but i love the taste and texture of the braised meat.

Conclusion

I have friends who feedback that Marutama’s soup is rather bland. Perhaps like myself initially, I’m too comparing this chicken-base soup with pork-base ramen soup in mind, which this two kind of soup bases are rather different altogether. It’s like saying a Bak Kut Teh (Pork Rib Soup) has more flavor than this Fishball soup so this Fishball soup is bad.

I think Marutama Ramen is likely a “either you love it or hate it” kind of ramen but i do learnt to appreciate this for it’s unique soup broth and a different style of noodle, and definitely loving the egg.

Ramen Keisuke Tori King

Ramen Keisuke Tori King

Address: 100AM, Amara Hotel, 100 Tras Street, 03-15,

Operating hours: 11.30am to 10.00pm daily

Introduction

Tori King = 鸡王(Chicken King). The founder, Keisuke Takeda, was once selected as the top ramen chef in Japan and crowned as Ramen King. We can easily identify this place by the queue forming out the restaurant during dinner. No reservation is allowed so just be prepared to queue, especially during dinner time.

Like Ippudo ramen at Mandarin Gallery, seating priority will be give to those group with all members present.

The menu is very simple. You got three kind of soup bases, the original, peppery black spicy, and green Spicy.  The ingredients for the ramen are the same for all the three soup bases. That’s right!! The secret to their great tasting ramen is definitely the chicken soup (鸡 白汤).

After waiting for about 30 minutes for my seat, the first thing that was served in Tori King was the mixed sesame bowl, for me to grind them into powder form, and probably to be added into the soup, or dip it with the chicken. Or maybe they just want to keep me busy while waiting for my ramen.

Original Soup Base

Tori King uses chicken broth unlike the majority, many traditional ramen places use pork broth. In comparison to Marutama ramen which also uses chicken broth, the taste of Tori King’s broth is stronger and much more flavorful. The stock is made from chicken bones, chicken feet, Japanese seaweed and an assortment of vegetables and boiled for eight hours. The original soup base comes with a piece of pork slice, giant seaweed, half boiled egg and the star of the show – the chicken drumstick!

Chef Keisuke said the chicken is boiled for 45 minutes and submerged overnight in soy sauce and is grilled before it’s served. The chicken drumstick is so tender that the meat comes off the bone so easily. A pair of chop sticks is all you need. No fork and knife involved.

Black Spicy Garlic Soup Base

The original broth with added black spicy garlic. I got to pay $1.00 more for this broth. I prefer this to the original. I like my ramen to be spicy.

Free flow condiment

There are a lot of sauces at Tori King – There’s a glass jar containing chilli sauce which there is a written instruction on the wall mentioning that it goes well with the chicken.

Like the Keisuke Tonkotsu King, there’s also free flow hard boiled egg, pepper and bondito flakes available. The mayonnaise goes pretty well with the chicken too, though i am not exactly sure that it’s the correct way of eating it. Remember to sprinkle some bonito flakes into your ramen soup!

Conclusion

For those who prefers a blander kind of soup base, you may think that Tori King’s thick soup broth is a little too much to take.

If you do not want to queue for too long, try to reach this place before 6.15pm and you should be able to get a seat for two quite readily.

Did i mention that that i was quite a ramen fanatic previously when Standard Chartered Bank released a list of top 10 ramen in Singapore and i tired about seven or eight out of the ten, like Noodle Ken at Somerset, Ippudo at Orchard, Santouka and Marutama from Clarke Quay, Yoshimaru at East Coast, Mentei and Baikohken at Raffles Place etc.

In my opinion, Tori King serves one of the best ramen that i ever had till date cuz the soup is awesome! And not forgetting the drum stick. Try it. Now.