From feeding hungry salarymen to impressing Michelin critics, the modest yet mighty ramen is an effortless crowd pleaser. We pick some noodle joints you should visit when the craving hits.
01: Ippudo (NEW)
Apart from its signature red and white bowls, Ippudo’s latest outlet at Marina Bay Sands offers three Singapore exclusive dishes—shoyu ramen, tsukemen, and niku soba—which were hitherto only available separately at individual outlets across the island. Our favourite is the niku soba, a hearty tonkotsu ramen that trades char shuu slices for succulent pork belly strips. Think a buta don (pork rice bowl) served with noodles instead.
#B2-54/55 Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue Tel: 6688 7064
02: Menya Sakura (NEW)
Former executive chef of Hide Yamamoto, Sho Naganuma, has jumped on the (ramen) bandwagon too. The popular chef recently opened Menya Sakura with Hideto Nakatani, a long-time friend and founder of the original Menya Sakura in Nagoya. The tsukemen—thick noodles dipped in a tonkotsu and seafood broth—is the shop’s signature nosh. Other ramen types on the menu include tonkotsu and abura soba, dry noodles slathered with a delectable soya sauce blend.
69 Boat Quay. Tel: 9469 3366
Tsuta, the Singapore outpost of the world’s only Michelin-starred ramen eatery in Tokyo, takes the light shoyu broth up a notch, brewing it with chicken, asari clams and vegetables before rounding it off with truffle oil and char shuu. The soup boasts layers of rich, deep aromas—you’ll find yourself finishing every drop.
#01-01 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road. Tel: 6734 4886
04: Machida Shoten
Japan Food Town’s noodle outfit, Machida Shoten, is an outpost of a ramen joint from Kanagawa Prefecture. Soup blends are the name of the game here: tonkotsu is married with shoyu, shio (salt) or miso. The tonkotsu spicy miso ramen is made only for the Singapore shop. You can also choose between soft, regular and firm texture for your noodles.
4F Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Rd. Tel: 6694 6535
05: Ramen Keisuke Lobster King
At Ramen Keisuke Lobster King, chef Keisuke Takeda is inspired by the lobster bisque. French rock lobster’s shells are pan-fried, crushed and simmered with herbs and vegetables for up to seven hours to make the lobster broth ramen with clear soup. The stock is brewed for up to nine hours for the lobster broth ramen with rich creamy soup. Each bowl comes with char shuu and chicken slices.
#01-07 The Cannery, Clarke Quay, 3C River Valley Road. Tel: 6255 2828
06: Sanpoutei Ramen
Sanpoutei Ramen from Niigata is known for its perfumed shoyu ramen but it also whips up an impressively creamy tonkotsu offering. The juicy char shuu slices, which are aburi or partially grilled to impart a smoky, tantalising aroma, will have you returning for more. Noodles are also made in the shop.
#B1-04/05 Shaw House, 350 Orchard Road. Tel: 6836 4644
07: Ramen Keisuke Tori King
Simmered with chicken bones, seaweed and vegetables for eight hours, Ramen Keisuke Tori King’s chicken broth packs a punch. The plump chicken thigh, which nestles in every bowl of ramen variation from Black Spicy to Tan Tan Mien, is the highlight here: the meat is first boiled and soaked overnight in soya sauce, before it is grilled to a golden-brown hue. Let the chicken thigh fully soak up the broth before you sink your teeth into it.
#03-15 Amara Hotel Singapore, 100 Tras Street 100AM. Tel: 6604 6861