Restaurant setting: This ramen bar near the heart of the central business district at Circular Road give office dwellers in the area opportunity to satisfy their ramen cravings. The black-and-blue-fronted diner can seat about 30 customers; at our lunchtime visit, there were at least 10 customers in line.
What to eat: Ramen Bar Suzuki claims they sell the ‘real’ traditional tonkotsu (Japanese for ‘pork bone’) noodles, and further exerts that ‘there are only two places in Singapore’ that serve the authentic deal. (When asked, they revealed the other is Ippudo.)
Ramen Bar Suzuki offers three ramen choices — the basic white, red (hot and spicy), and black — similar to the other ramen shops such as Keisuke Tokyo and Menya Musashi.
Authentic tonkotsu is generally distinguished by its cream-coloured broth made by boiling pork bones, fat and collagen for six to eight hours. While most other shops add chicken or vegetable stock or soy sauce for flavour, the broth is left un-enhanced here.
The signature white ramen ($12.90) is cloudy and thick, without the unpleasant smell of pork bones. It is less salty than most other versions in Singapore; we think it tastes pure.
The jet-black ramen ($13.90) is a richer option with garlic and squid ink, with more flavour.
The noodles made from Japanese wheat are thin, similar in thickness to the local mee kia (Chinese dialect for ‘kid noodles’, similar to/ what is used in wanton noodles). This stays true to the Japanese spirit of tonkotsu noodles which are made thinner so that they can be cooked and served faster to busy Japanese workers. Unfortunately, we thought that the thin noodles were a little too soggy.
Those not here for the ramen can still get full on the unlimited servings of steamed rice, bean sprouts, potato salad and hard-boiled eggs during lunch; and fresh cabbage for dinner.
Ramen Bar Suzuki | Address: 61 Circular Road, #01-01 | Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-midnight
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