My first visit to Ramen Champion.
I read about ‘Ramen Champion’ a lot but stayed rather sceptical considering the big number of very average ramen shops in Singapore. On occasion I actually saw some tempting stalls popping up and leaving again before I managed to come down here but tonight some friends and I had planned to finally try it out. Researching during the day, my choice fell on ‘Bario’ because it had that ‘Jirokei‘ or ‘Jiro Style‘ ramen that I ate only once before at ‘Menya Shinchan’ (麺屋しんちゃん) which have closed down their shop at Robertson Quay a long time ago.
The bowl was massive and just loaded with stuff, heapz of sprouts that added some nice crunch and big slices of soft and smokey charred chashu that was good but not more. The thick and porky broth had an outrageous garlic punch that made my tongue feel furred and unknowing as I was, I had even added some additional fresh garlic from the freeloader station as well. “Hey again there Mr. Dragon Breath”! The extra chilli though seemed a much better idea. All this was already pretty great but what I loved most about this bowl were the noodles; they were those thick curly ones, springy and extremely entertaining to eat. All noodles should be like that.
Even that they didn’t do a bad job trying to create a comic style Japanese ramen town of some sort, ‘Ramen Champion’ still has a touch canteen atmosphere to it, also because of the fast turnover of customers, vibrating order alerts and the obligatory plastic trays. Nevertheless I was very positively surprised with ‘Bario’ and might take this as a reason to give some of the other stalls here a chance to do the same.
201 Victoria Street
Tel: +65 6238 1011
I was on a training course in Kuala Lumpur for the week and for whatever reason my German colleagues just loved the foodcourt at the upper floor of Mid Valley Megamall and suggested to go back there for dinner tonight. Was I stoked? Maybe not, but since they were the guests I tried to accommodate to their wishes. Somehow tonight they couldn’t decide for any of the stalls here and so we settled for ‘Express Teppan-Yaki’ one of these ten minute teppanyaki experiences in the entrance corner of the ‘Food Junction’.
I ordered the ‘Beef Tenderloin‘ and asked for some extra chili to be added. Everything here was prepared the same way and no matter if pork, chicken, seafood or beef, all was topped with the same tangy gravy. My meat was perfectly medium and tender and, together with the generous amount of garlic and the stinging chili, made up some simple and tasty comfort food and the crunchy salty greens and sprouts added some contrasting flavours and textures.
It was nothing spectacular nor too memorable but a nice and different way to get in some meat rather than just steak-ing it up.
Lingkaran Syed Putra
Mid Valley Megamall
T-013 Third Floor
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 3 2283 6439
Spicy noodles made it to the island.
This is not going to be a full review as I have already posted about their location in TST but this is great news I thought you should know. They have opened another shop in the Food Republic at City Plaza in Tai Koo and this is awesome for many reasons: First the trip to have spicy noodles is much shorter now when you’re staying on the island and secondly this is a much cleaner setup. The latter comes together with a loss in character, so no manga paintings on the wall, no grumpy waiters and no sticky tables (not overly sticky anyway) but on the other hand the ingredients seem to be much fresher and taken care of here, especially the greens like coriander are actually green and heaps compared to the small welk portions you get at the original shop nowdays. So up to your preference but I for one had enough character experience at this place and will probably visit this new and “fancy” shop more often from now on. Thanks RJ and CL for pointing me into the right direction. Yeah!
P.S.: Was fiercely reminded that medium spicy should be my absolute limit and tried the dumplings for the first time, they’re awesome
Sing Lum Khui Rice Noodle House 星林居雲南米線餐廳
Shop No.308 Cityplaza I
18 Taikoo Shing Road
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
My Kopitiam Attempt.
My friend from Jakarta who stayed with me wanted to eat some porridge and I wasn’t feeling too well so we decided to go for something quick and dirty round the corner and ended up at one of my least favorite places, the Kopitiam in Velocity. At least it looked more appealing since they had renovated the whole food court last year.
Looking for something that would be soothing my stomach I spotted a promising ‘Chicken Noodle Soup‘ at the ‘Korean Cuisine’ stall. There was nothing really special about this but it fitted the purpose. The soup was close to tasteless but therefore the natural flavors of the ingredients came out. There was a generous portion of rightly cooked rice noodles, leaves of cabbage, quite nice meat of chicken breast and a very funny squarish shaped hard poached egg. These were all very basic flavors without too much spices being used but it gave me back some of the power that I needed.
I’m not a big fan of Kopitiam and probably never will be but this was quite okay and I might return for a light and cheap after-workout-meal sometime.
Velocity @Novena Square
238 Thomson Road
Spare the Calories
I was running some last minute errands before my Germany trip and came by Ngee Ann City just about when I felt a slight appetite growing in me. I didn’t feel too hungry so I wanted to get a small bowl of cold udon at this shop my friend recommended in the basement just to realize it’s a branch of ‘Tsuru-koshi‘ which I already visit too frequently during my lunch hours. So a bit more hungry now I recognized a small ramen shop in the corner that offered ‘Tantanmen‘ and even that I wasn’t in the mood for something that heavy I still queued up.
They had a tantanmen special with a super spicy version but since I had a twelve hour flight in front of me I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risk and therefore chose the standard one which the very friendly waiter reckoned should be spicy enough. When my bowl arrived it looked rather ordinary and I was not quite sure if I made the right choice. I tried a few slurps from the bright orange broth which was not particularly bad but didn’t have much of a sesame taste and hardly any heat kicked in. I appreciated the huge amount of sprouts and the eggs were nicely waxy. The chashu was alright but had an unpleasant aftertaste, the bamboo shoots looked terribly thick and brown that I didn’t touch them at all and the noodles were overcooked and way too soft.
It was worth a try but I am not really considering coming back here anytime soon. Not alone because of the average taste but also because of the above average price of S$20 per large bowl which is much more than most of my favorite ramen shops are charging.
Baikohken Ramen Restaurant
391A Orchard Road
#B2-01-04 Takashimaya Food Court
Ngee Ann City
Tel: +65 6235 3483
Closeness ≠ Goodness
Where to go when you don’t have much time? Close! That’s right, and that’s exactly what friend’s and I thought yesterday and made our way to ‘Pigsfly Kitchen & Bar’ at Goldhill Plaza.
Not really feeling like anything else I ordered ‘The Pervert‘ from the ‘Burger Office’, pretty much their bacon cheese burger. I didn’t hold my hopes up too high as I had their burgers before and wasn’t too impressed. I asked for a spicy sauce when ordering but this request got lost somewhere in the process which wasn’t too bad as the standard bbq sauce is quite tasty and sweet. The toppings in general were okay, the veggies were fresh with a bite, the extra grilled onions were nicely soft and the bacon had a good salty taste but definitely could’ve been way crispier. The bun was soft and too sweet but the biggest letdown really was the beef patty. Even though much firmer than the last time, it actually was pretty lame, under seasoned and tasted like nothing much. The peppered fries were alright but nothing to rave about either.
It seemed to have become quite a popular place in the meantime but if I should come back here then only for the Thai stall which has some pretty tasty dishes to offer. Sorry ‘Burger Office’ just not my thing.
Pigsfly Kitchen & Bar (Burger Office)
1 Goldhill Plaza
Tel: +65 6352 7484
The Ten Levels of Fury!
Today two of my colleagues invited me to join them for lunch around the corner from the office in Shinagawa Seaside. In the foodcourt at the Jusco supermarket there is a small cantine like noodle shop with some really decent ‘Tantanmen‘ – ‘Tantanmen Tenshin’ – which I had tried some years back when I was here the last time.
This shop has ten levels of spiciness for their noodles and as my colleagues warned me upfront and they took levels one and two, I didn’t dare going any further than level three which turned out to be a very smart move. Picking up my bowl from the counter I realized that it had the most drops of red chili oil swimming on the surface compared to the ones from my colleagues. Now this was nice. The creamy sesame broth was rich and thick and strong in taste and the heat, even that not overwhelmingly painful, instantly squeezed out some sweat drops from my forehead. The noodles were good but not the homemade kind and surprisingly bright yellow in color. The minced pork gave it all a nice meaty touch and some chinese greens added extra layer of texture and something cooling to the otherwise heaty pot. After I had finished everything I wondered if I should have taken it up a notch on the spice scale but my stomach proved me different by growling for the rest of the day.
This is a simply shop I wish I had also close to my workplace but maybe it’s better that way as I probably would have it to often which either would drive my weighing scale through the roof or leave me with holes in my stomach whilst trying to push the levels up. BURN.
Foodcourt Jusco Shinagawa Seaside