Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ramen Champion, Iluma, Singapore - Ramen Galore!

Sunday, November 6, 2011
Hakata Ajitama Ramen from Ikkousha, $13

As promised, here's a post on Ramen Champion! It has still been raining almost every day and it sure looks like the rainy season isn't leaving us any time soon. But at least that gives us a lot more reason to tuck into bowls of steaming hot ramen! I've been wanting to try Ramen Champion for some time now, mostly because my friends have been posting salivating tweets about the place since a few months back. So, on a particularly rainy evening, M and I headed to Iluma to check this ramen joint out. When we first arrived, we were pretty intimidated by the long queue but surprisingly, it moved really fast. Before we knew it, we were given tap cards à la Marché's market-style dining system and free to choose whichever Ramen appealed to us most.

In my case, the Hakata-style ramen from Ikkousha caught my attention because it was the most "standard" offering and I suppose I just wanted something safe, familiar and comforting that night. And it was exactly that! Perhaps better. The broth was extremely rich and so full of flavour! It had the kind of consistency that immediately leads you to infer that a lot must have went into it, and for a pretty long time too. The broth was definitely the best thing about this entire bowl of ramen! Though it is pretty salty. The chashu was alright, just not as tender as advertised.

Gyoza from Ikkousha, $6.50 approx.

We had Gyoza to go with our ramen too. Ikkousha wasn't the only one that served Gyozas but theirs looked the best to me. They were very satisfying, actually. You can see that the slightly charred bottoms were done pretty well! Instead of allowing you to mix your own gyoza sauce from vinegar, chilli oil and the like, they provide you with a standardized "gyoza sauce" but guess what? It tasted great! It's made up of predominantly vinegar, but in a very pleasant way.

Negitama Ramen from Iroha, $13.50

M went for the Black Shoyu ramen from Iroha. To be fair, this certainly isn't the most flattering photo - we were a little hungry that night. But the broth eluded both of us. It tasted... complex but somehow we just weren't sold. They use their own secret Shoyu, but that did nothing for me, and it also means you only get a hint of the usual shoyu flavour you'd expect. That wasn't the main issue though. Mostly, I couldn't persuade myself to enjoy the slight bitter aftertaste. That said, their chashu was fantastic. It was so much more tender compared to Ikkousha's! The egg seemed a little bit more runny too, which is great.

In the end, I guess Santouka is still my all-time favourite ramen-ya (their pork cheek chashu is unbeatable) but if I feel like trying out more variety I'd definitely head back to Ramen Champion. It's a shorter wait over here too. Have you tried the other ramen at Ramen Champion? Which is your favourite?

P.S. I added a QR code on the side bar so you can easily bookmark CravingsandWanderlust on your mobile now (without having to type out the entire url)!(:

Ramen Champion
201 Victoria Street
Bugis Iluma #04 - 08/09/10
Singapore 188607

Tel: (65) 6238 1011

Opening Hours: 11:30 am to 10:30 pm everyday

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