11 May, 2008

Ramen Santouka - The Search Continues...


Small Talk: I finally got my 1st pay cheque of $50 from NuffNang! Thank you for your support and continue to click on the ads to feed this poor boy so that he can bring you better reviews!!!

On a different note, SPH is all set to conquer the Internet after buying over HWZ, and the launching of STOMP, Rednano, a local search engine, and the latest for the Foodies - SoShiok.com. I wonder what's next...

Ever since Marutama entered the ramen scene, there hadn’t been a new entrant that created such a wave of euphoria as one like Ramen Santouka. Touted as the 1st place winner in the most delicious ramen noodle salt-flavoured soup category by the popular magazine “Hokkaido Walker” in the year 2006, this place is also famous for its house speciality of Tokusen Toroniku, or Choice Pork that is said to be limited to 60 servings per day! This is because only 200 to 300 grams of this highly coveted pork cheek, known for its taste and tenderness, can be found per pig.

After hearing so much rave reviews of this place, my cousin and I set off for dinner at The Central. Finding this outlet is a little tricky – hidden away in the corner of 2nd floor, one would need to cut through Grains, which occupy both sides of the passageway to get to it. What greeted us was a nice frontage that grants one a view of the Singapore River, but inside was a pretty small outlet that I suspect, sit not more than 20 pax.

Beside their award winning Shio, or Salt Flavoured Ramen, Ramen Santouka also offers Shoyu, or Soy Sauce Flavoured Ramen and Miso, Soybean Paste Flavoured Ramen, along with Kara-Miso, or spicy version of the Miso. We pick the Shoyu and Miso ($12.00 each), along with sides of Tokusen Toroniku ($8.00), Gyoza ($5.00) and Komi-Tamago, or Flavoured Egg ($1.00). The Choice Pork was the first to arrive and I was surprise by its tenderness despite the lacked of marbling fats. This result in a texture that provides one with a bite before the meat disintegrates into the mouth. However, Marutama’s Char Siu is still the one to beat in terms of tenderness IMHO.

The Flavoured Egg was next to arrived and to say I was disappointed was an understatement. In fact it was done so badly that ‘disgust’ would be a better word to describe it. The yolk was way too overcooked till the side has hardened, and there was hardly any flavour on the white. It was so bad that I did not even finished it and definitely not even worth the dollar I have paid for it.

The Ramen was served next and the first remark my cousin made was “Oh, certainly looks like Maggie Mee to me”. The noodle was fat and curly, similar to Miharu, though texture wise a tad rougher. My bet on why people are coming back lies on the milky Tonkotsu soup based. However, before one complains that the soup does not come piping hot enough, be made known that it is intentionally done so that elderly and child can enjoy it better and reassured that it is also within this temperature that their soup is most delicious. The soup was so rich and intense, that I rate it slightly better than Ichiban-Tei, but too much of it and one might find it greasy. Both of us agree that the Shoyu was also slightly better than the Miso.

The Gyoza eventually arrived after a wait but it was nothing to shout about. Not that it was bad, but nothing noteworthy to mention really.

Overall, my preference is still Marutama on the 3rd level, despite its not so intense soup. The only reason I can see why I should be back is to sample the award winning Shio version, otherwise it would not merit a re-visit especially after the explicitly outrageous experience of its Tamago.


Food: 3.5/5 (Tokusen Toroniku and soup based was good, but overall was marred by the Tamago)
Service: 4/5 (Service was prompt and staff was friendly)
Ambience: 3.5/5 (Clean and simple furnishing)
Price: 3.5/5 ($44.70 for 2 is decent, but Marutama would be more worth it)
Total: 14.5/20
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#02-76, The Central
Singapore 059817

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red fir said...

Yep. Agree totally with the darn egg.

But I thought the pork cheek toroniku was really delicious. I've not tried Marutama, but since the pork come from different parts of the pig, maybe you shouldn't have made comparisons here. :(

Just being KPO keke, why didn't you and partner order the shio on this visit since it is their best version?

red fir said...

arh! No particular reference to this entry! I did my latest post before I read your Santouka review! :)

His Food Blog said...

I weren't deny the fact that the pork cheek was delicious. :)

You are right if you see it that way, but my comparison was akin to comparing drumstick and breast meat for chicken for their tenderness.

My guess was both of us just didn't take to shio that day, but honestly cant rem why.

Anyway good reference list you have acquired there. Most Singaporeans will find authentic ramen too salty for them as they are meant for Japanese tastbud - Japanese and their MSG! :)

red fir said...

oh ok...hmm...drumstick to breast meat lol! :)

whoops! I just made an amendment to my list. Found out today that Ichibantei's ramen is kyushu style. :) so tonkotsu ramen is their specialty.

His Food Blog said...

Yea. The pork cheek in tender, but given a choice I would go for Marutama's Char Siu anytime.

red fir said...

You seem to be so enamored with the char siu at Marutama...hmm...I must really go try it soon! I'm in this ramen "phase" now. :)

His Food Blog said...

Call me biased but I do think the noodles and char siu are the ones to beat - so you should really go try it soon!!! I also bet their Tamago is better than Santouka.

However saying that, their soup based is not preferred by many including myself.

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