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)

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.