Best ramen in Singapore: Where to eat a satisfying bowl of Japanese noodles
Slurp it up
We've all heard the saying: "The best type of men is ramen."
Not the instant packets, but the real deal. Often served with a divine soft-boiled egg encircling an oozy molten core, piquant broth, and tender meat slices, this steaming bowl of goodness never fails to soothe our souls. Thick or thin, the different renditions of these springy noodles are here to stay as your palette pleasers. We've made our rounds — here's the inside scoop on the best ramen on our shores.
There's little convincing to do when it comes to the world's first Michelin-starred ramen joint, Tsuta. Over here, choices are kept simple with four options for each of their two signature broths — shoyu and shio, both made with truffle puree. Unlike sodium run-ins which are common with ramen, each spoonful is the perfect balance of flavour. Tsuta's dishes contain no MSG, but instead, credit goes to the fine ingredients imported from Japan, and the masterful skills of Chef Yuki Onishi. Up for something closer to home? Chef Yuki has paid homage to the Singaporean palette with a first anniversary special — the Kamo Paitan Soba (Duck Ramen) in dry and soup versions. No doubt its star ingredient, the sous-vide duck breast is tender and well-seasoned. Coupled with the a special broth that has been simmered for seven hours, it's impossible to stop slurping all of that warm, savoury goodness. The addition of crushed cashew nuts and yellow onions also adds crunch, leaving behind a delightful sensory trail for your taste buds.
#01-01, Pacific Plaza, Tel: 6734 4886
Opening hours: 11am-9.30pm
Uma Uma prides itself on serving up original Hakata ramen — typically a white, creamy broth, with an age-old noodle recipe that hails from Fukuoka. The contemporary casual ramen joint is perfect for gatherings after work (its Millenia Walk outlet is our favourite as it's a tad quieter than the one at Forum Shopping Mall). Here, you can't go wrong with their classics. Call for the Bushi Tonkotsu, a hearty bowl of al dente noodles spruced up with ingredients like bonito flakes and red ginger. For diners who love a little heat, try the Spicy Chasiu Ramen, served with a rich salivating broth of chilli oil and spicy marinade, and topped with tender soft chasiu. Apart from ramen, the restaurant is also known for its yakitori and kushikatsu (deep-fried breaded skewers) — the perfect sides to your stellar mains. After all when it comes to food, the more is always merrier.
#02-06 Millenia Walk, Tel: 6837 0827
Opening hours: 11.30am-10.30pm
This ramen emporium needs no introduction. With nine outlets on our shores since 2009, it's no wonder that Ippudo remains a popular choice and quality favourite of many. Its founder, Shigemi Kawahara, has been touted the 'Ramen King' after three consecutive first place wins in a nationwide ramen-making competition. If there's one to try, head over to Ippudo's latest outlet in Star Vista, which brings forth an entirely different menu. Its Maze Soba sees a delicious mix of homemade dry noodles tossed with minced meat miso paste, and finished with diced chashu, spring onions, bamboo shoots, onsen tamago, and fried noodle bits. Love ramen for the broth? Order their Tan Tan Men, which comprises of thin noodles steeped in a special blend of Japanese sesame paste and Ippudo's signature broth. It comes with a medley of spicy minced pork miso, pork loin, and fresh coriander. We recommend squeezing a little fresh lemon juice, for a zesty kick.
#02-19, 1 Vista Exchange Green, Tel: 6734 1596
Opening hours: 11am-10pm
This hip grungy shack is almost like a hole in the wall in Singapore's Bras Basah art district. Instead of dishing out your usual ramen varieties, the menu offerings include oxtail and bone-in short rib ramen. If you are a fan of the traditional red bean filled taiyaki (fish shaped pancakes), their char siew taiyaki stuffed with Nagano pork complemented with a spicy sesame sauce should be of interest. Do try their sumo ramen which gives you plenty of beef choices to choose from: slow roast oxtail, braised beef tendon, red wine boneless short rib, and sauteed sliced beef; all in a bowl. Plus factor: they have free flow ramen eggs.
Sumo Bowl at Sumo Bar Happy
261 Waterloo Street
Opening hours: (Tue-Wed): 5:30pm - 10pm, (Thurs-Fri): 12pm-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm, (Sat-Sun): 12pm-10pm, closed on Mondays.
Steering away from the mainstream tonkotsu based soup, Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke specializes in duck ramen, serving up five different variations: rich soup, clear soup, miso (spicy/non-spicy), tsukemen and mazesoba. You can expect a slightly creamy and rich soup base made from simmering duck bones and herbs for at least eight hours topped with slices of double cooked duck meat (first grilled then steamed). If that still isn't enough to convince you to give duck ramen a go, their yuzu duck meatballs should be interesting enough to pique your interest.
Duck Tsukemen at Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke
16A Lor Mambong, Tel: 6463 4344
Opening hours: (Mon-Fri): 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm, (Sat-Sun): 11:30-10pm
Santouka Ramen stands out with their use of kurobuta. The flavourful black pig and has gained attention for their toroniku (pork cheek) ramen. They use a unique recipe blend of dried fish stock with Kyushu style pork tonkotsu stock and offer four soup bases: shio (salt), shoyu (soy), miso (bean paste) and kara-miso (hot bean paste); shio being the base that won fame for Santouka. Be treated to a slightly thick texture rich tonkotsu soup made from a mixture of black pig bones and seafood. Pork cheek is served on the side so do remember to dip each slice into the soup for the whole experience.
Pork Cheek served separately at Santouka Ramen
6 Eu Tong Sen St, 6224 0668
Opening hours: (Mon-Sun): 11am-9:45pm