Talk about using (food) marketing to bring a mall up, nice move iluma for creating the Ultimate Ramen Championship! Singapore’s ramen scene just level-upped.
From July 2011 to June 2012, 6 prominent ramen restaurants from Japan will compete for the invitation to set up a restaurant in Singapore. The judging criteria will include sales takings, votes via SMS, Facebook and onsite voting.
Heard the queue is madly long on weekends, I was there on a Monday night with some girlfriends and there were seats immediately, though the restaurant did fill up quickly. Between us we managed to try 4 different ramens from 3 stalls, Iroha, Gantetsu and Bario.
I had the Negitama Ramen $13.50 from Iroha, who specializes in Black Shoyu and traditional Miso with Chili Mara ramen. Wanted to step out of my creamy tonkotsu broth comfort zone so I went for this. While waiting for it at the counter I was hoping and hoping I didn’t make the wrong choice because there wasn’t any queue while Bario and Ikkousha had queues. The ramen comes with chashu, egg, seawed, bamboo shoots and leeks. With the yellow noodles and black broth, this very vaguely reminded me of lor mee.
The broth was clear and tasted light, easily the least salty broth i’ve had. Although I must say, my tolerance for salt is pretty high. My friends thought it wasn’t salty too, and on the whole, I quite liked the taste of it. You must drink fast though! The soup disappears at an amazing rate, may or may not be due to the noodles absorbing. Within 10-15 minutes, I can hardly scope up a spoonful of it already. In terms of egg, Iroha’s was in the best “condition” among the 3 stalls we tried. Molten yolk and slightly firmer whites, simple bliss.
Miso Ramen with Butter and Corn (above, $15?) and Special Miso Ramen (Below, $15) from Gantetsu for my friends. Broth was not oily but the version with butter was smoother and tasted a little different. Both ramen comes with ground ginger, probably influenced by cold Hokkaido weather. They were disappointed with their eggs haha. Speaking of eggs, we were on the topic that all of us prefer the eggs to be served cut into halves, compared to as a whole. Do you have a preference?
“Ramen of the men, by the men, for the men” This brawny bowl of Bario Ramen ($13? +$1 for egg) was huge! With very oily (see the clear layer in the photo?) and garlicky broth, plus thick cut noodles, this was mostly unfinished. I don’t think I can finish it either, for my joy in ramen lies mainly with the soup and I doubt I can sustain the whole bowl of garlicky broth. There’s supposed to be a mountain of shredded cabbage and bean sprouts on top but my friend requested for no cabbage and the guy didn’t put any veggies at all. According to her, they shaved fat into the pot while cooking. Brace yourselves, below is what she scooped out.
Hope iluma has already listed the leading stall for the month of July outside the restaurant! Will certainly be back to finish trying Ikkousha and Tetsu, weekday nights though probably!
Bugis Iluma #04 – 08/09/10
Tel: 6238 1011