Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Ramen List

N and I LOVEEEE ramen. Japanese ramen. It is hard to come to an agreement on which is the best ramen in Singapore, but both of us have a certain idea of what kind of ramen would satisfy us (:

Soup Base: There are several kinds of soup bases - Tonkotsu(Pork broth), Shoyu(soy sauce flavoured), Shio(salt flavoured), Miso(soybean paste flavoured), and probably some other less common ones like Fish Broth?
We love tonkotsu ones.. The gao gao (thick, concentrated) soup with a visible layer of disintegrated fats.
Noodles, of course, must be QQ (al dente). I have to idea what kind of noodles there are and I can't really differentiate them. 
Toppings: Ajitsuke egg(well-marinated egg with runny yolk and soft egg white)
Chashu (well-marinated pork, especially those with melt in your mouth texture)
Menma (bamboo shoots. Also, well-marinated)
Negi (something like the spring onions that is commonly seen in chinese food)
Seaweed doesn't make a difference to me.

So here are some ramen that we've eaten thus far! They are not ranked!

1) Ippudo Ramen

Needs no introduction. Probably one of the most famous ramen in Singapore?
This is our favourite ramen so far. Love the noodles, love the soup. I never fail to finish every single drop of it. The picture above is their seasonal menu's ramen though. 

2) Marutama Ramen
Quite a disappointment as I was looking forward to try it. It was bland and noodles were okayyy... Chashu average. Egg overcooked.

3) Ramen Champion
Top: Ikkousha
Bottom: Bario
I pretty love Ramen Champion! It's worth the price. Ikkousha was quite commendable however, Bario wasn't our kind. The noodles were like the yellow hokkien mee. The one used in Lor Mee. But the pork belly was rather shiok. 

 4) Ramen Santouka

One of our top few! Simply shiok to down that bowl of soup. It can be quite salty after awhile though!
The reddish soup is kara-miso, which is quite salty. shoyu and miso base are good (:
The slices of pork cheek are the highlight of the set. You can't see the fats on the meat but it is AMONG the meat. The fats are kind of blended into the meat slices and the texture is perfect when you chew it.

5) Shin-sapporo Ramen
 I had tonkotsu that day but it was such a disappointment despite the good reviews. It just didn't wow me. I was wondering if I went on the wrong day. There was simply nothing fantastic that was worth mentioning.
maybe they should specialise in just one soup base?

6) Baikohken Ramen
The shio (left) didn't appeal to us. Looks (and tastes) too healthy. The shoyu one (right) was not bad though!
I like that they have really generous toppings. The chashu was humongous. 

 7) Nantsuttei Ramen
 The black ma-yu (roast garlic oil) floating on it is so damn good! It coats onto the noodle and gives it a very unique taste! The garlic oil made it so fragrant!

8) Daikokuya Ramen
 Surprising find! We were at paragon and it was time for dinner. Wanted to go for Sushi Tei but the queue was simply too long. So I suggested we try this ramen and to our surprise, it is not too bad!
The egg and bamboo shoots were better than those highly raved ones. However, I didn't like any ramen that comes with the corn. I think it cheapens it and makes it look less authentic.

9) Tampopo Ramen
One of our top few ramen places! The soup is flavourful, yet not too jer-lat. Look at that dark-coloured egg. It was so well-marinated. The chashu with a dipping sauce was one of the more special ones that I've eaten!

10) Tonkotsu King (Ramen Keisuke)

The one I ordered was with Black oil
While the black oil does give the soup a different taste, I preferred the original one. The black oil does not enhance the taste of the ramen as compared to Nantsuttei's . It could be that the oil is not roast garlic oil? I ended up scooping the oil out and I did not finish the soup (which I usually do when I like the ramen). 
The cha shu was slightly thicker than normal, but not as thick as Baikohken's. The taste was similar though.. Not very well marinated. 

11) Tonkotsu King Four Seasons (Ramen Keisuke)

As the name suggests, the theme of the shop revolves around the 4 seasons. You can even see if from the setting and decoration once u enter the place.

The menu is pretty straight forward, the same goes for their other outlets. There are 4 flavours (the four seasons) and one King Ramen flavour, which is the basic, tonkotsu ramen. The safest choice I would say.
The picture above is Summer, with All Ingredients. I opted for Hard noodles as I want something more QQ.  The minced pork gave the whole ramen a great boost and the pork slices, which is stir-fried with onions was sweet and tasty on its own! That said, the soup was a tad spicy and I would usually finish the whole bowl of soup when I eat ramen but I did not. The extra salt probably came from the added ingredients..

This list will be updated when we've tried more ramen! (:

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Kki Sweets & The Little Drom Store

Kki has got to be my favourite place for cakes thus far. It is a dainty little Japanese cafe that shares a shop space with a zakka store. 
Although prices of the cakes can be quite a turn off, the unique creations are definitely worth paying for.
That said, because of it's limited seating, it is advisable to avoid peak hours. 
Also, if you're unlucky, all the cakes might have already been sold out by late afternoon!

Here are some of my favourites:

White Chocolate Mousse with Mango Centre
Just look at how marvelous the cake is. It is a mousse yet it wasn't too gelat.
The whole cake tasted a little like a mixture of condensed milk and white chocolate yet the sweetness is not to overpowering. The mango centre gives it an extra oomph to the whole flavour.

Little Red Riding Hood
Dark chocolate mousse with raspberry centre.
Dark chocolate and raspberry is a wonderful combination!

Basil infused milk chocolate mousse with blood orange centre
Its name matches its shape. If you're looking for something really sweet, this is not for you.
The basil-infused part gave the cake a teeny weeny bit of "tea" taste and the blood orange could be a little bit sour for some though I thoroughly enjoyed this creation.

Fromage Melon
Cheese mousse with rock melon centre.
I guess you can't go wrong with cheese and rock melon is not an awkward fruit as well though it is not a common flavour for cakes. I mean, you could expect what it would taste like. And yes, it delivered the right taste. (:

I am not a coffee lover, but my friend said that the coffee wasn't fantastic. I tried the milk tea, which is supposedly a signature drink but to me it tasted similar to Mos Burger's :/

The Little Drom Store is like a zakka store I would say. Sells random things like stationery, figurines, recycling bag, diaries, notebooks etc.. They have some interesting vintage stuff which I thought was pretty cool for instance, there were five stones and a tutu kueh eraser.

I bought this "plastic bag" which I'm every Singaporean can associate with. It is a recycling bag! Kind of like nylon material. Too cute.

Kki Sweets / The Little Drom Store 
7 Ann Siang Hill, #01-00 
Singapore 069791

Tel: +65 62256650

Friday, 6 December 2013

Dozo Japanese Restaurant

I was trying to look for a suitable place to celebrate N's birthday and this was going to be the second meal of my treat for his whole birthday celebration, so I had to budget myself because the previous night's meal would have already cost me a bomb! Yet, I wanted the meal to be something unique so after reading around, I decided to settle down at Dozo and we were both really amazed by the whole experience!

Complimentary snacks provided. It looks like raw spaghetti coated with different flavours. I tasted them and they were coated with cheese. Probably called Cheese Sticks?

Complimentary drinks to start off the meal.. They were refreshing and appetising. They are plum flavoured, yet not too sour.

Chef's selection of assorted platter
The scallops were the most amazing ones I've ever tasted. Well cooked and juicy!

Tempura Battered Soft Shell Crab on Truffle Mash
The soft shell crab were tasty and they were not dry or over fried. 
I could not really taste the truffle in the mash potato though.

Gratinated Escargots baked with Yuzu butter
I have not tasted enough escargots to give a reliable comment for this but I felt that the butter made the dish very fragrant yet not too gelat for a starter.

Crab Bisque Cappucino Style
The interesting thing about this dish was that it was served in a coffee cup and no spoon was given.

Hamaguri Ushio-Jiru (Japanese Clam Consomme)
This was a very very light soup a total opposite of the Crab Bisque.

Kurubuta Pork Cheek
The pork cheek were juicy and chewy, with the melt-in-your mouth texture. 
I can't really describe the sauce. Should have asked the waiter about it. But it doesn't overpower the taste of the pork!

Seafood Platter in Saffron Sauce 
 The generous serving of seafood really impressed me. And that was the first time I tasted edible foam.

 Dozo's freshly baked warm chocolate cake with ice cream
Not the best chocolate lava cake I've tasted. But since it's in the menu, I must get it :D

Japanese Cheesecake
 I expected japanese cheesecake to be the spongy and fluffy kind, but this was more firm.

Mocktail of Love
It was a very interesting experience to be drinking from the test tube!

Complimentary little cake from the restaurant (:

Overall it was a very memorable experience at Dozo. Food were nice and affordable, surpassed my expectations. (I hope they do not increase prices). The staff were very very attentive even though we were seated in a private room. They knew exactly when to enter the room to clear our plates and serve the next dish. On top of that,the culture among the staff was a very positive one. They were jovial and love to crack jokes with us. Such an enjoyable meal (:

Dozo Restaurant
Valley Point Shopping Centre 
491 River Valley Road #02-02/03 
+65 68386966