Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Restaurant Review: Santouka Ramen

By Friday, June 01, 2012 , ,

Our favorite ramen place in Singapore has got to be Santouka. S declared this the best ramen in Singapore even before we tried several other popular ones like Marutama and Ippudo. The verdict still stands though. The Santouka brand, which was started in 1988 in Asahikawa, produces the best Hokkaido ramen on our little island. Despite the secluded and hidden corner in Central Clarke Quay, the queue gets pretty crazy during meal times due to the small capacity (it's about a 25seater) and insane popularity. I think it has only gotten better with the opening of a second outlet at Cuppage Terrace
The broth maketh the ramen dish really, together with the noodles. Santouka does a Tonkotsu soup which is prepared from simmering pork bones, fat, and collagen before adding vegetables, dried fish, kelp and their own secret ingredients. The soup is never boiled. Instead, it is maintained at an optimal temperature to give it that exceptional taste and flavor. 

There are 4 flavors to the Tonkotsu soup. Shio (salt) has a clean and clear (doesn't that sound like facial wash? hee) taste to it. Shoyu (soy sauce) gives the broth a slightly light brown appearance and that light savory and tangy taste. Miso (my fav bean paste) has that robust and tangy flavor which is thick and slightly nutty. The last one is the Kara Miso (spicy miso).
If it's your first time to Santouka, i highly recommend the Tokusen Toroniku Ramen (S$19.50 for shio/shoyu/miso, S$20.50 for Spicy Miso). For that price, you would get a dish of roasted pork cheek and a bowl of springy and curly yellow noodles. Sides sold separately. 
Just look at that roasted pork cheek with just the right amount of fats. The jowl meat is the most precious and delicious part of the piggy. It's only about 200-300g per pig (duh, they only have 2 cheeks!) Very richly flavored and tender! This texture has been likened to fatty tuna. I would say the meat is more firm (this is pork not fish you know). I don't get why the meat is served separately from the broth, kinda makes it a little cold. I suppose they wanted to preserve the moisture and flavor of the pork. Anyway I would usually warm it up slightly in the broth right before i devour them. It is a little on the salty side, so be prepared to drink lots of water. 

The toppings that comes with the meat differs a little. Shio comes with a pickled plum. Shoyu with seaweed. Miso only has black fungus. All of them comes with fresh bamboo shoots which has quite a strong taste. 

The ramen noodles are medium sized which gives it enough bite and bounce. Love the springiness of it. I'm not a huge fan of yellow noodles because they have that alkaline taste but this is alright.

Other ramen are available (S$13.50- 18.50), same flavors as stated previously. The meat used is of course the more typical char siew but they are equally yums. Sets are available as well if you feel like having variety. They come with smaller portions of ramen with fried rice/salmon roe rice or other sides.
And you gotta have that Hanjuku eggs. They are these beautifully marinated soft boiled eggs which appears like a regular hard boil but when you bite into them, the egg white yields and exposes this soft and deliciously oozy yolk. LOVE! 

You can make these at home but i think it's not that easy. Would pay for them anytime but here are some Hanjuku egg recipes! 

Verdict- Recommended!
Food: 4.5/5 Best ramen in Singapore but it's just a little salty.
Service: 4/5 Fast and efficient.
Ambience: 4/5 Fuss free, clean and comfortable. Comes with a view of the Singapore River.

Santouka Ramen
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#02-76 The Central, Clarke Quay
Tel: +65 6224 0668
Daily: 11am - 9.30pm

21 Cuppage Road, Cuppage Terrace
Tel: +65 6235 1059
Mon–Fri: 12pm–3pm, 5.30pm–12am
Sat: 12pm–12am
Sun & PH: 12pm–9.30pm

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