Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
While it’s hard to resist a bowl of steaming ramen topped with slices of tender, slow-cooked cha shu and its meat-infused broth, there’s a difference between a mediocre bowl of ramen and one that’ll have you coming back.
For good ramen, check out Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. Tucked away at the outskirts of Orchard Road, the Japanese-owned restaurant chain has outlets all over the world. Famous local food bloggers Dr Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost and Brad Lau of LadyIronChef have named this as one of the best ramen places in Singapore. We couldn’t resist trying its famous tokusen toroniku (pork cheek) ramen.
Choose from four different tonkotsu soup bases: shio (Japanese for ‘salt’), shoyu (‘soy’), miso ($19.50++ each) and kara-miso (spicy miso, $20.50++). We went with shio.
Santouka’s ramen is different. The sliced meat, which is the star of this dish, is served separately from the ramen. We prefer to dip the meat in the soup for a brief moment to warm it up before eating. The shio broth is rich and flavoursome, yet not overly salty. The springy noodles are cooked to perfection, and the pork slices are very tender and have the perfect fat-to-meat ratio.
We also ordered the komi tamago (flavoured boiled egg, $1.50++) and yaki gyoza (chicken dumplings, $5.50++). The egg is disappointing. It is too firm and doesn’t have the runny egg yolk you’d expect of a well-cooked komi tamago. The gyozas, on the other hand, are delicious. It comes piping hot and pan-fried to perfection. The dough is thin and has just the right amount of stuffing. Juicy and flavoursome, they are also not too greasy. Make sure you eat these warm.
The ramen at Santouka certainly doesn’t disappoint – in fact, it is one of the best among the many ramen places we’ve tried in Singapore. This explains why there were people waiting outside the restaurant even before it opens for business when we were there that day. And within half an hour of its opening, the restaurant was already half filled with hungry ramen lovers.
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka | Address: 21 Cuppage Road, Cuppage Terrace | Tel: 6235 1059 | Opening hours: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 5:30pm-midnight; Sat noon-midnight; Sun & public holidays noon-9:30pm
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