1. Ramen Keisuke Tori King
Almost any concept opened by chef Keisuke Takeda has been super popular, although he might have had some missteps along the way, like the disastrous and (thankfully) limited edition bak kut teh ramen.
But the Tori King Ramen remains a firm favourite of many ramen lovers because the combination of the robust broth, the almost-crunchy ramen and the juicy chicken leg is a winner. The free flow of hard-boiled egg and beansprouts help too.
Ramen Keisuke Tori King is at 100 Tras Street, #03-15 100AM, Tel: 6604 6861. Opening hours: Weekdays 11.30 am to 3 pm, 5.30 pm to 10 pm; Weekends and public holidays 11.30 am to 10 pm. Visit www.keisuke.sg.
2. Menya Sakura
Menya Sakura recently moved from Boat Quay location to its current space in Orchid Hotel. With a smaller kitchen, it trimmed its menu but the kept the fan favourites.
The restaurant specialises in Nagoya-style ramen, which is characterised by hearty soups brewed from meats and seafood. And that combo worked well for the Tonkotsu Tsukemen. The cold thick noodles are dipped into a warm and full-bodied dipping soup that tasted more of seafood than pork. This is best when you’re hungry.
Menya Sakura is at 1 Tras Link, Orchid Hotel #01-07, Tel: 9469 3366. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 11.30 am to 10 pm. Visit www.menya-sakura.com/sg/en/
3. Ramen Nagi Singapore
Ramen Nagi started in 2004 in Fukuoka, Japan, and has since made its way around the world.
The restaurant made waves with The Black King, a satisfying bowl of ramen in a soup brewed with fragrant black garlic, sesame and squid ink, with juicy chashu, and finished with a ball of minced pork, black sesame and Nagi spices.
Ramen Nagi is at Suntec City Tower 2, North Wing, #01 512/513, Tel: 6821 1601. Opening hours: 11 am to 3 pm, 5 to 10 pm. Visit www.facebook.com/RamenNagiSingapore/
Located at the food court FOMO, the newly-opened Zamza offers ramen that contains no pork and no lard. A staff member told me that they’re in the midst of applying for their halal certification.
The clear version is the popular choice here. Without the creaminess that comes from pork bones, this becomes a clear but robust bowl of noodles. The toppings may not be innovative (my onsen egg was a tad overcooked) but you’ll appreciate the lightness of the broth.
Zamza is at 38 Sultan Gate, Tel: 9179 7088. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 11 am to 10pm, Sunday 11 am to 9 pm. Visit www.facebook.com/zamzasg/
This ramen chain has been a fan favourite since it opened its Mandarin Gallery outlet in 2009.
The must-try here is its new limited-edition cold ramen, Hiyashi Sugita Shoyu Ramen. With the crazy humidity of the past weeks, this bowl of cold ramen really hit the spot. The cucumber and radish broth is light, and when you squeeze in a splash of lime juice, the dish brightens up completely.
Visit www.ippudo.com.sg for a list of its locations.