Real Food and my favorite Dumpling Soup at Clarke Quay

Real Food and my favorite Dumpling Soup

Address: The Central 6 Eu Tong Sen St The Central #B1-52/53

Opening hours: Daily 9.00am to 9.00pm

Introduction

Real Food, one of the rare vegetarian cafes in Singapore. This cafe is situated at basement one of The Central Clarke Quay. One section of the cafe is for dining, and another section offers a good section of organic / health food. The cafe interior is very spacious, relaxing, with a minimalist design.

Real Food pride themselves as a food-ethical bunch of folks that only use fresh and “recognisable” ingredients (non processed food) for their dishes and everything is prepared from scratch, including their pancake mix and salad dressing. They have a good selection of menu including salad, pasta, noodle, sandwich, burger and brunch menu etc.

Real Food menu – click to enlarge

Dumpling Soup ($9.50)

This is my must-order whenever i visit Real Food. This fat chunky dumpling is made from over ten kinds of ingredients including chopped carrot, mushroom, coriander, turnip, spring onion, celery, tofu, french bean etc.

The filling has the crunchiness of the turnip and french bean, fragrance of spring onion and coriander, chewiness of mushroom and overall it’s a mix of pure goodness.

These dumplings are soaked in a sweet and light mushroom base broth and complete with a portion of green vegetable. In term of taste, these dumplings are not pale in comparison, or in fact better than many meat/prawn dumpling found outside. There is also option to add on noodle at an additional cost of $1.80.

Sour Dough Sandwich with Soft-boiled Egg ($9.80)

For those that don’t like their meal to feel too vegetarian-ny, this is one choice as it resembles the eggy brunch that we had, but a less sinful and less luxurious version. I particularly like the thick layer of melted cheese with it’s fragrance filling the air when it’s served fresh from the oven.

However I feel that the portion definitely can be bigger. I’m quite sure that it won’t fill a meal for a grown man and some of you may be thinking, “$9.80 for one egg, two slices of bread, cheese and salad? Seriously?”. Seems like real food don’t come cheap huh.

Organic Pizza ($16.00)

After having so many years of the unhealthy version of pizza, my curiosity got the better of me and I ordered their organic pizza. The portion is good and it’s freshly baked from the oven. There’s no processed food among the ingredients but only fresh ingredients like tomato, mushroom, pineapple, cucumber, olives, capsicum, cheese, and their homemade tomato paste.

The crust is thin and crispy and the homemade tomato sauce is pretty refreshing. However, I do not fancy this pizza much as i think it lacks the satisfaction that I’m looking for in a pizza. But I have to agree that this is one guilty free pizza.

Conclusion

I like this place for the ample space that they give to their diners. Take your time to grab a book from their book/magazine selection or browse through their organic food section and be amazed by their selection.

Food wise, i give it a good and bad, depending on what you order, and this is from the point of view of a meat lover. I personally love their dumpling soup the most and this is my one and only regular order whenever i visit this place. I am still trying out the other dishes to see what’s worth the money.

I really like the idea of them promising that they only whip up a meal using “real food” as it’s so unhealthy to eat out nowadays. If you are looking for something healthy, a little out of the ordinary and a nice place to chill, Real Food is probably the place for you. Healthy and clean food? Seems like it, but no promise it’s satisfying though

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The Hai Di Lao Experience (Menu with Price Included)

Hai Di Lao Steamboat Restaurant (海底捞火锅)

Address: 3D River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #02-04

Opening hours: 10.30am to 3.00am daily

Reservation hotline: 63378626

Introduction

The restaurant is much bigger than expected, therefore getting a seat is not that difficult on a Sat afternoon. I waited for less than 30 minutes to get a table. Furthermore, reservation of table is possible but do call in early.

Everyone is probably familiar with the name Hai Di Lao by now. It’s a steamboat restaurant originated from China and they are famous for two things – The quality of their food and their service. Hai Di Lao first opened their door in 1994 and so far has expanded to 72 restaurants in China and they opened their first branch in Singapore in 2012.

I visited their Clarke Quay branch, which is at level two and it’s accessible by a lift. Upon coming out from the lift, i was guided by the staff to occupy a table at the waiting area while I wait for a table in the restaurant. Drinks like Winter melon tea and Herbal tea were served together with snacks like dried banana and pop corn and all served items are refillable.

The waiting area with tables and chairs

Snack counter, with refillable drinks and tidbits

There’s also a playground area to keep your little ones entertained during the wait. They even allocated a staff to be stationed at the play ground to watch over the kids. Hai Di Lao also provide complimentary manicure for their customers however note that there is only one manicurist so probably she can only serve up to two customers at one time. Hai Di Lao Menu

After searching high and low for a menu with indicated price, I still failed so I thought I will share these information here. The ordering is done through ONE ipad, which it find it laborious especially if there is a big group. Seems like sometimes the traditional paper and pencil work better.

Hai Di Lao Menu 1 (Click to enlarge)

Hai Di Lao Menu 2 (Click to enlarge)

Hai Di Lao Menu 3 (Click to enlarge)

Hai Di Lao Menu 4 (Click to enlarge)

The price that you are looking at is for one portion. Also note that there is half portion available (except for the soup base) and likely it’s good enough if there are only two diners. All of my orders are half portion except for the Kurobuta Shabu Shabu Pork. It’s no surprise that the price of their dishes are more pricey, for example $8.00 for one portion of luncheon meat, $10.00 for a portion of fried bean curd skin and $16.00 for a plate of Kurobuta Shabu Shabu Pork.

Tomato and Chicken Soup Base ($22.00++)

The Food Experience

What’s better than a piece of fatty Kurobuta pork? Cooking it in a full flavoured tomato soup base and thus absorbing all the essence of the soup.

I ordered their Tomato and Chicken Soup as the base and it cost $22.00, so needless to say, it will be more economical if you visit in four instead of two. Unlike most steamboat restaurant, Hai Di Lao’s soup base is already fully flavoured. If you like tomato stuff, I can assure you that you will love their tomato soup base.

This tomato soup is thick, very rich in tomato taste and only slightly sweet. On the other hand, the chicken soup is lighter in flavour with a slight herbal taste. Towards the end whereby the tomato soup became too thick, i mix the two soup bases and it’s perfect.

The staff preparing handmade noodle literally in-your-face

I also like to highlight on their condiment counter. Note that you have to pay $4.00 for it but I think it’s quite worth the money. Apart from the thirty kinds of sauce, this $4.00 also includes free flow of fruits like water melon and honey dew, there’s also Lao Ban Style Bean Curd Dessert which i like it very much.

For $4.00++ per head, you can enjoy their condiments, fruits and dessert.

Part of the fun in having Hai Di Lao is to come out with the perfect concoction of sauces using the different kinds of condiments and this is my favourite blend of the day – one portion of beef sauce, soy bean sauce, coriander and half portion of garlic and spring onion, drizzle with sesame sauce. I almost can gobble this down like a bowl of rice.

Free-flow Lao Ban style Bean Curd. I had two servings despite being really full.

These are some of the condiments available: Thai Chilli, Chilli Oil, Crushed Peanut, Sesame Oil, Crispy Soy Beans, Special Chilli Sauce, Soy Bean Sauce, Minced Beef, Sesame Sauce, Seafood Sauce, Mushroom Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Korean Style Chilli Sauce, Beef Sauce, Chinese Chives Sauce, Fermented Bean Curd Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Chopped Garlic, Preserved Pickles, Coriander, Chopped Celery, Chives, Vinegar, Dark Soy Sauce, Pepper and many more.

Fried Beancurd Skin – Half Portion ($5.00++ for six pieces)

Kurobuta Shabu Shabu Pork – One Portion ($16.00++)

As for the items that I ordered, my favourites are the Kurobuta Sliced Pork and the Fried Bean Curd Skin as i thought they taste the best when paired with a good soup base.

Beef Ball – Half Portion ($7.00++ for four pieces)

The beef ball (潵尿牛丸) is actually disappointing, with two of them having no fillings at all, and i thought the filling is not a big deal. Give me a Xiao Long Bao, or Sukiya’s Chicken Cheese Ball anytime.

This time round, i am not going to write about each and every dishes but instead will give a final verdict to the question “Is Hai Di Lao worth the money?”.

Conclusion

Dang Oo – Half Portion ($3.00++)

I am going to sing praises about their soup base. Judging on just the tomato and chicken soup base, I have to agree that it’s really good and one of the best that i had. The service is very prompt with almost zero delay in every requests. The place is well decorated and it’s definitely a good place to bring your parents or loved one for celebration on special occasions. To a certain extend, Hai Di Lao is even considered as a trophy steamboat restaurant to bring someone for a treat due to it’s high price.

Fried Fish Skin – Half Portion ($4.00++)

If you are someone who don’t appreciate junk food (or simply processed food) and you are willing to pay more for good service, Hai Di Lao is the place for you. Most of their items are made from fresh ingredients, including their beef ball and prawn ball, that are made mainly from real beef and prawn.

Cod Fish Slices – Half Portion ($7.00++ for Five Slices)

No doubt Hai Di Lao’s selling points are for their quality ingredients and great service, personally, I do not see a compelling reason to visit Hai Di Lao on a casual basis. I would say Hai Di Lao is the place that i will bring my loved one for a pampering treat. I get satisfaction not from premium ingredients but from ordinary steamboat ingredients like Luncheon Meat, Cheese Tofu, Golden Mushroom, Fried Bean Curd Skin or a normal NTUC sliced pork collar.

Ultimately for a steamboat meal, price is a main consideration for me, regardless of how good the food is. However, if you ask me should anyone try Hai Di Lao for at least once, i can’t find any good reason to say “no”.

My damage for a meal for two

Soup base $22.00, Golden Mushroom $3.50, Dang Oo $3.00, Fried Bean Curd Skin $5.00, Beef Ball $7.00, Handmade Shrimp Ball $8.00, Crispy Fish Skin $4.00, Sliced Cod Fish $7.00, Kurobuta Pork $16.00, 02 x Condiments Bar $8.00, 01 x Beverage Free-flow $3.00.

Before Tax $89.50 and After Tax $105.34

Tae Woo Korean Restaurant – Singapore’s Best Jajangmyeon

Tae Woo Korean Restaurant  (태우반점)

Jajangmyeon, is a Korean dish well known by all. Before my trip to Seoul, little did I know that Jajangmyeon is not readily available in any Korean restaurant but only selling it in Chinese restaurant in Korea. It is kind of a fusion between Chinese and Korean dish. Jajangmyeon is one of the first Korean dishes that i’d known because it’s quite commonly found in Singapore. In this post, I’m writing about the best one that I had in Singapore. Tae Woo Korean Restaurant is situated at level 3 of The Central Clarke Quay, just above TCC. Tae Woo actually has quite a reputation among the Singapore Korean community due to it’s authentic Korean taste. This place is not crowded most of the time, but I’m bound to see Korean speaking patrons whenever I visit this place. There isn’t any hot stone rice, Korean BBQ and there’s also no Army Stew on their menu. What they are offering are more of a typical Chinese Korean menu like Jajangmyeon, Seafood Noodle (Jjamppong), Sweet and Sour Pork (Tangsuyuk) and Gyoja.

Menu: Click to enlarge

Jajangmyeon ($12.00++)

At $12.00, i consider this as reasonably priced. I really like the texture of their handmade noodle. It’s rather chewy, a little soft but not to the extend of soggy. The Jajang is not starchy and not overly watery but with just the right thickness that clings to every strand of noodle. The sweetness of their bean paste sauce mainly come from the cubes of meat and the onions, which is cooked till melty soft. The slight greasy Jajang is smooth and really enjoyable. For people that like it salty, you can stir in the separate plate of their Chunjang. Comparing to the Jajangmyeon that I had in Singapore, Taewoo’s is easily the best that i had and it is very very similar to the one in Seoul (read more about Andongjang, the oldest Korean Chinese restaurant in Seoul). Tangsuyuk ($26.00++)

Tangsuyuk is another very popular Chinese dish in Korea. It translate directly to Sweet & Vinegar Pork (糖醋肉). The idea is very similar to our Singapore’s sweet and sour pork, whereby pork is portioned into bite size, breaded and fried, and tossed in a sweet sour sauce. There’s no pineapple, but these stripes of pork is tossed into a mix of onion, carrot and black fungus and the sour taste mainly come from white vinegar. Unlike our Singapore style sweet sour pork, there is traces of ginger taste in the breading. It is quite good when it’s served and it’s a pity that the sweet vinegar sauce is a little too much and the crispy pork strips got soaked and became soggy after a while. I personally still think that cutting pork into cubes give a better texture than strips. For the price of $26 and for it’s portion, I would prefer our Singapore style sweet and sour pork. Japchae Bap ($17.00++)

Chapchae can be served as both main course and side dish. In this case, it’s served together with a portion of rice as Japchae Bap. It is freshly stir fried and served steaming hot. Apart from the usual ingredient carrot and onion, Taewoo’s version is a more luxurious version with added slices of pork, black fungus and green pepper. This Japchae is slightly peppery and is full of sesame oil fragrance. Unlike the side dish version of Japchae where it’s cold, drier with a bouncy texture, this is served hot, moist and soft. It also comes as a surprise as I didn’t realise that Japchae actually goes pretty well with white rice. I have no complain on this Japchae and in fact it’s pretty good! Conclusion

At a glance of the menu, i wouldn’t use the word affordable to describe the price tag of the dishes. Among them, their Jajangmyeon should be the most reasonably priced and sometimes I will visit Taewoo just for that when I’m having craving for some authentic Korean Jajangmyeon. Taewoo is a hidden gem at The Central and there’s not much crowd here and I like the fact that i can always get a table immediately. I wouldn’t recommend to start a feast at Taewoo as it might cost you a bomb. I do recommend their Jajangmyeon very much, and probably try out the other dishes, one new dish per visit.

Beer Market at Clarke Quay – Buy Low Drink High!

Beer Market 

Address: 3B River Valley Road #01-17/02-02 (Just beside Liang Court that’s facing the main road)

Operating Hours: Sun – Thu 6:00pm to 1:ooam Fri, Sat and PH 6:00pm to 3:00am

Introduction

First of all, a very great thank you to TheSmartLocal for the invitation to the makan session and a great thanks to Beer Market (Chef Steven and Operation Manager Charlie) for hosting us. It was a crazy rush during lunch hour but it is a great session. It’s nice meeting up with Bryan from TheSmartLocal, Tony from JohorKaki, Melicacy and Bon Koh from sethlui.com.

Beer Market  had been around for a couple of years at Clarke Quay for and I remembered them most for their fluctuating beer price accordance to their  BMX (Beer Market Index). The price of their beer changes according to demand. If a certain brew is not ordered in the last 30 minutes, the price of this beer will drop, and on the other hand, if it’s really popular, the price will go up.

Keep observing their TV screen for the best-priced beer and general guide is – Buy Low, Drink High. And this is possibly the only place in Singapore where one prays for a market crash.

BM Rojak Platter ($ 39.90+). Good enough for 4-6.

Apart from their atypical manly beer, Beer Market also offers fruit beer like North Taiwan Lychee Beer, Fruli Strawberry Bee and Matso Mango Beer. They just launched a new menu in March 2014, which they have some interesting items that incorporate a local twist such as salted egg seafood pizza and chicken rice pizza and seafood in shooter glass dunked in beer.

Food Menu: Click to enlarge

Food Menu: Click to enlarge

BM No-Nonsense Steak ($22.90+)

Among the cuts for steaks, ribeye is the highly sought after cut. It is more marbled comparing to other cuts and the fat breaks down in the process of grilling which gives the steak a delightful texture and taste.a

The description of their no-nonsense steak ($22.90+) reads “Marinated. Grilled. Marbled Beef. We know what you want” . I wasn’t expecting much from a steak that did not mention the type and cut of the steak despite of how they described their steak on the menu.

But in fact, there are indeed traces of marbled texture in their No-Nonsense Steak and that comes as a delight for me. The exterior of the steak is grilled to moderately crisp and slightly charred for a delectable appearance while the steak remains moist and tender inside. The chef specifically mentioned that the steak is to go with their butter. Hopefully steak of similar quality can be served to every patrons in Beer Market and not a one-off thing.

Chicken Truffle ($15.90+)

I thought that the main lead of this dish is not the chicken chop but for it’s sauce and truffle oil sprinkled mash potatoes. Beer market is considerably generous with the amount of truffle oil used on this dish. The chop taste very proper, tender, nice, like how a chicken chop should be. The portion of mash potato is drenched in a good volume of mushroom gravy and ensures you have enough sauce to last you to the last mouthful of mash potatoe. The price is pretty reasonable at 15.90+.

I have no complain for their chicken chop, except the presentation can be better. I can’t even spot the chicken chop easily when it’s served. It’s all covered by sauce, mushroom, onions and it’s like all mashed up.

Seafood Shooter ($22.50+)

It cost $22.50 for a bottle of Tiger Radler with six glasses of Shooters (2 prawn, 2 salmon and 2 Crab meat). Tiger Radler (with only 2% alcohol) is then added into the glass to be consumed together. Tiger Radler taste more sweet with a tinge of lemon and I suppose that is why Beer Market decided to pair it with food instead of regular beer, which is evidently much more bitter.

The Seafood Shooter – Shredded Crab Meat

Generally the Tiger Radler adds a refreshing bitter lemon taste into the three kinds of seafood shooters.  It works very well with salmon sashimi, OK with the prawn with cucumber and not as good for the shredded crab meat and tomato.

Seafood Shooter – Fresh Tiger Prawn in Tiger Radler

The taste of beer and lemon overpowered the thinly shredded crab meat and I can’t taste too much of the crab. The cold tiger prawn is good. It’s really fresh and juicy.

The quality of Salmon is not bad. It’s rather fatty with a distinct fragrance of the salmon fat.  The salmon sashimi is lightly marinated in orange juice and whiskey and it goes well with the slightly sour lemon beer.

Seafood Shooter – My favourite, Salmon Sashimi (slightly spicy)

Other Dishes

BM Rojak Platter ($ 39.90+). Good size, can serve 4-6 people. Comes with fries, luncheon meat, Japanese sausage, fried fish skin, spring roll, stir-fry mushroom and thai fish stick with three kinds of dipping sauce – Honey Mustard, Tartar Sauce and BM Shiok Sauce. Love the Shiok Sauce. The platter is good to go with beer.

Grandma Fish and Chip $13.90+

Bacon Wrapped in Cherry Tomato and Baby Potato ($7.90+). 6 pcs of Wrapped Tomato and 6 pcs of Wrapped Potato. In the background are BM’s Four Heavenly King Dipping Sauce  (Tartar, Honey Mustard, Shiok. BTH) + Cheesy Salsa and Truffle Sauce

Conclusion

I had to rush off after their main course and didn’t get to savour their chicken rice pizza (i thought that will be pretty interesting though).

The first thing I noticed about Beer Market’s menu is for it’s price. It looks pretty reasonable comparing to food price of some other bars. The food quality is decent and I like their steak the best among all.

I also like how well-spaced the tables are and won’t really feel all cramped up. It’s a rather good place for colleagues to chill (i had my colleague’s farewell dinner there previously) and to de-stress after a hard day at work. And daily live band? Yeap, that should works for me too.

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.