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Savour 2013

Published April 13, 2013 by piggie

Savour EDM_Generic

Appetite_FebMany thanks to Appetite Magazine, I was able to make Savour 2013 this year with a pair of Savour Lounge Passes to interact with the sumptuous gastronomy that many established chefs brought from all over the world and savour them inside air-conditioned lounge with free flow beverages!

First and foremost, I was impressed by the ticket sales, where Savour Pass for many sessions were sold out, particularly for the weekend. However, does these people really knew what they were paying for? A Savour Pass is only valid for entry to the Gourmet Market, where they can view and purchase produces but cannot enter the Gourmet Village, where the main actions really are, and where one can savour the many excellent cuisines offered by renowned chefs as well as taking part in cooking workshops at the Gourmet Auditorium helmed by them. This is clearly specified by the organiser, but I can’t help suspecting many simply didn’t bother to read the (not so) fine print. In my opinion, the Savour Pass is simply not worth buying, at the very least, it shouldn’t cost more than the Savour dollar enclosed.

Having said that, let’s begin our gastronomy adventures!

We arrived at Savour Village around 5.45pm, there were hardly any queue at all, so the privilege of priority queue for Savour Lounge Pass holders was rather redundant. Soon as we entered the village, I suggested a lite drink to start off our gastronomy journey, which my companion gleefully agreed. I had a white Tyrrell’s wine while my friend sipped some Taiwanese Lychee beer. Afterall, given a pair of Savour Lounge Passes, we should utilise it to the optimal 😛 However, we were told, that once we stepped inside Savour Lounge 1, we had to stick to it, and could not venture into Lounge 2, but anyway, the beverages served would be the same across both lounges despite a slightly different theme setting. I guessed it was one way to segregate the crowd. And I probably preferred Lounge 1’s setting anyway.

Bo Innovation
#15 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants
#52 World’s 100 Best Restaurants

X-treme Long Bao ($6)

X-treme Long Bao ($6)

We did not stay long inside the lounge, so as to maximise our time with those heavenly cuisines. We started with Bo Innovation, obviously the star attraction of Savour 2012 & 2013. Michelin 2-Star celebrity chef Alvin Leung, otherwise known as Demon Chef, is excellent in playing along extreme visual stimulation with his devilish dishes such as Dead Garden, Sex in the City, and X-treme Long Bao (right). Chef Alvin did not bring the first two cuisines to Singapore this year, but here’s X-treme Long Bao. I did not try this personally, my friend told me it tasted very different from conventional Xiao Long Bao, however, she could not describe the complex taste in detail, but apparently, she wasn’t very impressed. I play with a little camera trick here, does it looks like cat’s eye? LOL!

Chicken With Rice

Bo Chicken Rice ($10)

Anyway, we also tried their Bo Chicken Rice (a.k.a. Chicken With Rice), partly, we were expecting magical taste from Alvin’s cuisine and we thought this could be a bit filling for our empty tummies, particularly this being our first encounter with molecular food. Secondly, I owed Alvin my inspiration in acquiring this opportunity visiting Savour 2013. This is basically cooked with yellow chicken stock and served with abalone jelly. I was a little disappointed with this to be honest, the jelly certainly did not taste anywhere near an abalone, and the rice just tasted like mixing rice with egg yolk. Not that the presentation was as eye-catching as his other dishes anyway. We were unimpressed.

The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais, South Africa
#57 World’s 100 Best Restaurants

Seared Scallop, Aerated Scallop and Dill Vichysoisse, Barley and Squid Ink Crumble ($10)

Seared Scallop, Aerated Scallop and Dill Vichysoisse, Barley and Squid Ink Crumble ($10)

Our next venture was the result of a peep from the next table diners’ order, Seared Scallop, Aerated Scallop and Dill Vichysoisse, Barley and Squid Ink Crumble by Margot Janse of The Tasting Room in South Africa.

The seared scallop looked so tantalising that we consented we ought to give it a try! The thinly crust of the seared Hokkaido scallop was a joy to consume, with its internal texture remained tender. And the creamy vichysoisse was a great  combination together with the crispy crumble, offering a diversification to the taste bud one normally expecting from only a plain scallop. It’s a long time since I last tried squid ink in Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan. To bring these two Hokkaido delight together by a South African master was truly wonderful. Needless to say, it’s tasty too! I had tried some African cuisine in Mauritius before. For my companion, it was an eye opener, even though I don’t really regard this as genuine African cuisine.

OSIA, Singapore

Lychee Frozen Martini, King Crab ($8)

Lychee Frozen Martini, King Crab ($8)

Lychee was perhaps my friend’s delight, but king crab is definitely without any doubt. I wasn’t surprise when she ordered this from OSIA, an Australia-Singapore collaboration between chefs Scott Webster and Douglas Tay, who won a few rare accolades. This order fusioned together fried crab meat and lychee martini. As expected, king crab’s meat tasted a bit bland, and it had to depend on the flour skin to spice it up a little, while on the other hand, lychee juice certainly sweetened the frozen martini, the end product was a rather smooth martini shaved ice.

Gunther’s, Singapore
#43 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants

Cold Angel Hair Pasta, Oscietra Caviar ($18)

Cold Angel Hair Pasta, Oscietra Caviar ($18)

This is yet another dish apart from Bo Innovation’s Xtreme Long Bao that I can still recall from last year’s Savour, and in my opinion, the best dish I had for the evening! The pasta used here was the thin type, known as Angel Hair, almost as thin as rice vermicelli, in a way, I found that a masterstroke by Chef Gunther Hubrechsen of Gunther’s Singapore, because this thin pasta was able to absorb the fragrant taste of truffle oil thoroughly, and the Oscietra caviar was sweet, bearing a good reminiscence of ocean flavour like that off a fresh salmon. I don’t usually like cold meal, but this chilled cold pasta was here flavoured with truffle and Oscietra Caviar, this is the best pasta I ever tasted! Going for $60 at his restaurant, it’s consider a steal at $18, nevermind if it may or may not be a portion of  the original serving. I wasn’t a fan of foie gras, certainly don’t know how to appreciate it. So this day, I had the privilege to try the two best ingredients of the world, an absolutely perfect match of the best ingredients on land and from sea! Merely a couple of weeks back, I had some Salmon Rillettes with Caviar, but those caviar were almost tasteless comparing to this. Well done, Gunther! On the contrary, my dining companion was quite critical of it, she found the smell of the caviar too strong, something like stink fishy smell, I would rather use the term fresh and oceanic to describe it though.

Wild Honey, UK – 1 Michelin Star
Arbutus, UK – 1 Michelin Star

Squid and Mackerel 'Berger', Salad of Sea Greens, Moroccan Lemon Peel ($12)

Squid and Mackerel ‘Berger’, Salad of Sea Greens, Moroccan Lemon Peel ($12)

Slow Cooked 1824 Beef 'Cottage Pie', Hot Smoked Potato ($14)

Slow Cooked 1824 Beef ‘Cottage Pie’, Hot Smoked Potato ($14)

Arbutus and Wild Honey are two UK restaurants helmed by Anthony Demetre (together with manager Will Smith), each with 1 Michelin Star. We were quite fascinated by how he ‘merged’ squid and mackerel into a ‘burger’ and ordered this dish. My companion was attracted by his Slow Cooked 1824 Beef ‘Cottage Pie’, Hot Smoked Potato as it was recommended in the event festive guide hence she also purchased this. I suppose she’s hungry for some beef, especially in such gourmet event, she probably thought it would be a big miss if she didn’t try some best beef cuisine from world renowned chefs.

Let’s start with the squid and mackerel ‘burger’. It was very different from what shown on the event guide, the presence of seaweed was quite unexpected. I suspect Chef Demetre replaced some green vegetables salad that he had problem acquiring here, but that somehow fell in line with the theme ‘sea green’ in the title of this cuisine. That’s rather secondary, the chief objective was the burger itself. Instead of calling it a burger, I would say it resembled more of a meat patty, a thick one at that. It was basically a mackerel patty filled with squid fragment inside, not a composite. The lemon peel was a little delight, adding a finishing touch by providing a thin citrus sweetness to the salad, but otherwise, the patty tasted a little plain, which honestly, was natural for most mackerel dishes.

As for the beef ‘Cottage Pie’, I was rather bemused by the title, why 1824? I suspect it has something to do with some recipe from Mary Randolph’s cookbook “The Virginia House-Wife” published that year. Randolph, by the way, was Thomas Jefferson’s cousin. My friend complimented that the beef was soft, I don’t know whether she really meant it when she said ‘melt in the mouth’. She’s very stingy on compliments, so I take it that it’s good! However, it must be noted that the end product looked very different from the brochure.

Astrid Y Gaston, Peru
#35 World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Hot 7 Cold Combination: Traditional Fryede Fish with Milk, Chocolate & Andean Grains Chupetes & Jalea de Pescado with Iced Dulce de Leche Lollypops ($18)

Hot & Cold Combination: Traditional Fryede Fish with Milk, Chocolate & Andean Grains Chupetes & Jalea de Pescado with Iced Dulce de Leche Lollypops ($18)

The accompanied dessert

The accompanied dessert

This is interesting! I had tried cuisine from almost all continents in the world, but not South America. Like it or not, I do not see much signature cuisine from North America, which basically referring to US & Canada, who were readily embracing food culture from Europe. So, LATAM’s food culture is really the defining thing, of course, whether one likes it or not, is another matter entirely. I was eager to try out one of the best restaurants in Peru, if not South America. Astrid Y Gaston of Peru was the sole America flag bearer here! We witnessed an event staff enjoying a plate of the Hot & Cold Combination while we were having cuisines from Wild Honey and Arbutus, and decided to add ourselves a little Latin fanfare. It actually came in two portion, hot, and cold. The hot portion was the main course, the cold a dessert. It’s very difficult to translate the ingredients, basically, Jalea de Pescado is a Peruvian cuisine usually meant fish fried with salt, pepper, and onion. Andean Grains are something like those breakfast grains, but usually hardly found in this part of the world. Chupetes is the Spanish word for lollipop, right here, the closest example I can quote, is something like Kellogg’s Coco Pops, not those candy lolly. Simply put, the main dish contained onion pickles, fried potato, and fried red snapper. While the dessert was an ice dulce de leche with Andean grain lollipops.

Chef Emilio Macias’ clever use of sauces and dressing was a midas touch, adding much desired latino heat in his cuisine. The snapper was mildly spicy on the outside, and tender within. The fried potato was quite tastefully done, not a bit of it tasted bland. Whereas the onion pickles had been masked off its strong pungent with the clever use of dressing. Overall, this was a very appeasing entree in general!

Ice Cream & Cookie Co

Ice Cream Cookies

Ice Cream Sandwich ($6)

Up till now, my friend and I decided to call a little break, to walk about for some digestion before we indulge in more cuisines. Otherwise, it would be difficult to savour the goodness with a relatively full tummy. So we had ice latte from a Nescafe kiosk with the coupons inside our given tote bag before proceeding to the Gourmet Market for a bit of shopping. She then came across this Ice Cream & Cookie Co kiosk and attracted by their Ice Cream Sandwich, which comprised of two cookies buffering an ice cream. She had a chocolate cookies with vanilla ice cream, and was told to wait 5 minutes before consuming because it was frozen hard. We waited for more than 15 minutes and still having difficulty cutting the cookies with a steel fork, couldn’t imagine my tooth! Personally, I didn’t find anything special about it, the cookies was rather normal, the ice cream was nice, certainly better than Swensen’s, but nothing exceptional.

When we thought we had enough digestion, we returned to Savour Lounge 1 and stuck there until the event ended. While there, we tried a few other cuisines as we were appreciating wine. I had a few glasses of Tyrrell’s red wine and kept myself busy filling up many contest coupons while she was getting the food.

Mikuni, Singapore

Truffle Kampachi ($14)

Truffle Kampachi ($14)

Almost all renowned chefs struggled to bring their delicacies to Savour as close to their original visual presentation as from their restaurant. But one outstanding visual coup must be that from Mikuni of Fairmount Hotel, Singapore. For this cuisine, Chef Moon Kyung-Soo probably didn’t re-produce the exact form as in his restaurant (usual price $28), he possibly outshone it. Served in a Mikuni tin can, slivers of yellow tail lightly dressed with rice vinegar, truffle essence, light soy, black volcanic salt and garnished with micro-greens, it probably drew more creative juice than most chefs who simply do with plastic plate or disposables. But of course, the importance was, the sashimi was very delicious too! This dish also came with a tiny cup of sake, but my companion wasn’t touching it. For one moment, I thought of finishing it. But my friend cautioned me since I was already drinking red wine, the composite might be rocking. Very well then, it’s not that I was deliberately wasting food.

Stellar@1-Altitude, Singapore

Stellar Grill ($16)

Stellar Grill ($16)

She also had this Stellar Grill from Stellar@1-Altitude, Singapore. It was another recommendation from the event guide, comprised of smoked beef short rib, served with Pommes Gruyere (fried cheese?) and Condiments (sauce?). I am not a beef eater, I guess I was probably too drunk to remember what she commented on this order 😛

JAAN, Singapore
#22 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants

55 Smoked Organic Egg ($10)

55° Smoked Organic Egg ($10)

Yet another recommendation from the event guide, I was not sure whether the rosemary-smoked organic egg was heated at a temperature of 55°, but it was certainly sporting a less appealing presentation than that from the brochure which usually cost $44++. It was served with smoked ratte potatoes, winter mushrooms and chorizon Iberico. I didn’t try that by the way, my companion did.

Sjômagasinet, Sweden
1 Michelin Star

Wagners Seafood Salad with Parmesan Dressing ($12)

Wagners Seafood Salad with Parmesan Dressing ($12)

I love Seafood, but how a Swedish Michelin Star chef interprets it would be interesting. It was indeed exceptional, not so much on the seafood itself, but on the salad instead, which comprised of pine nuts, raisins, bacon, and Permigiano Reggiano (I guess that means Parmesan cheese dressing). The salad gave the seafood a fruity and nutty touch, it was an absolutely accommodating combination, offering seafood dishes a different dimension! However though, my companion expressed a distaste for it, I suspect the seafood was probably fried with garlic, which she really dread.

Chocolate Brioche ($6)

Chocolate Brioche ($6)

We also ordered the Chocolate Brioche from Sjômagasinet, with that, we finished off every single Savour dollar in our possession. This was also a recommended dessert. However, I was forced to finish it in a gulp that I hardly recall the taste of it as it was already 11pm then, the closing hour of Savour. I didn’t even realise it was that late! Pity.. Pity.. But looking at the picture, it must be quite delicious.

To wrap up our culinary journey, I have to confess some cuisines were rather overrated despite their outlook. We had our disagreement over some dishes, but that’s totally natural, given the fact we have different taste for food. But in some cases, we agreed that even dishes from Michelin starred chefs can be off-coloured. On our way home, my companion commented that it was an eye opener, yet she won’t be anticipating next year’s event. I couldn’t help but to agree. Take for example, a recent Hong Kong Michelin Star restaurant opened a new franchise in Singapore, I tried before from their HK outlet but didn’t find it exceptional, despite it currently drawing long queue willing to wait for hours before been served. In fact, some of our much cheaper hawkers’ cooking tasted better to be honest, what they lacked are mainly the presentation. Personally, I have a little regret that some chef didn’t bother to put up pictures of their own cuisines during the event, and that Alain Passard did not make Savour this year. Alain is a 3 Michelin Star chef, and it will be fantastic if we can savour his costly cuisine at discounted rate here. But nevertheless, Savour is still a good experience!

风盛熟食(炒粿条)Fong Sheng Cooked Food

Published April 10, 2013 by piggie

The last time I patronised this humble stall in Bukit Mareh Center was almost 2 decades ago. Between now and then, I had tried to revisit several times but always get turned away, either I was too late for their business hour, or it happened to be their rest day, and so, I turned up at their competitor, Day Night Fried Kway Teow instead.

Fried Kway Teow ($2.50)

Fried Kway Teow ($2.50)

With prices starting at $2.50, I hardly saw much price hike. It was $2 the last time I eaten, and that was a pretty 20 over years ago. I would be lying if I claim I can remember the taste 20 years back. I can’t. All I can remember is, it was nice & tasty, which was why it was always on my mind whenever I was nearby, which as a matter of fact, is seldom these days ever since the MRT ply Redhill.

So, I happened to be at Henderson Industrial Park on a Tuesday afternoon, around 3pm, I made it a point to drop by and glad to see them opened for business! Seriously, I only had vague recollection how the stall owners looked like, they appeared to have aged much apparently. But that somehow also turned out to be their forte, over 30 years of skill in a humble plate of fried kway teow! As soon as my order turned up on my table, I could smell the heat dissipated from it. That is to say the aroma was well retained by the fire while cooking. The end product was sweet, and generous in ingredients such as sausage, egg, cockles, and fish cake. Really, for $2.50, that was as good as one can get. At the odd hour I visited, the vendor did not stop cooking despite the missing of a queue. I noticed that many of their patrons were wearing casually, chances are, they were residents nearby who frequented this stall. If I have to compare this Char Kway Teow with that from Day & Night, I have to say Fong Sheng’s sweeter, more generous in ingredients, but Day & Night offers a little deviation with the provided lime. Actually, both are decently good!

风盛熟食Fong Sheng Cooked Food
Block 163 Bukit Merah Central #02-13
Bukit Merah Food Centre
Singapore 150163

Depot Road Claypot Laksa 德普路真善美砂锅叻沙

Published April 8, 2013 by piggie

DSC05289-Ex-Depot-Road-Zhen-shan-mei-Claypot-Laksa

I suppose this outlet needs no further introduction. Reputably the best laksa in Singapore, Depot Road ‘Zhen Shan Mei’ Claypot Laksa was previously in Depot Road before shifting to their current location at Alexandra Village Food Centre.

Their ingredients are nothing to shout about, very typical tau por, fish cake slice, cockles etc., but their spicy gravy is thick with rich coconut milk. However, their laksa is truly unique in Singapore as it is served in claypot, which retains the heat of the food for a prolonged period. So unless you talk a lot during your meal, otherwise, their laksa is guaranteed warm until you finish it, hence, one gets to indulge in the aroma of the gravy while you are eating, making it extra enjoyable!

Be prepared to sweat a lot..

德普路真善美砂锅叻沙
Blk 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-75
Alexandra Village Food Centre
Singapore 150120
Tel: 90889203
Opening hours: 8.30am – 3.30pm (closed Mon)

Tamoya Udonたも屋うどん

Published April 8, 2013 by piggie

Tamoya-SAM_0936

I used to dislike Udon before I went to Shikoku (Kagawa in particular) in 2011. I found it the most tasteless noodle I could find in Singapore, what’s more, with its thickness, it was double the displeasure.

My mindset changed after my Shikoku trip. It was then that I realised, the fault’s mainly lied with the noodle maker, and Kagawa is actually producing the best udon in the world, they certainly know how to get the best out of this thick noodles.

When I recently learned that Tamoya has established an outlet in Liang Court, offering traditional Sanuki udon (Sanuki is the old name for Kagawa), I was tempted to give it a try. In order to attract a band of Japanese patrons frequenting Liang Court, Tamoya has set up their first oversea outlet here, a conservative move indeed, before the good name of udon is restored after the injustice for so long.

Bukkake Udon with Pumpkin and Chikuwa Tempura

Bukkake Udon with Pumpkin and Chikuwa Tempura

Like many Udon outlet in Kagawa, Tamoya allows patrons to choose their preferred type of udon, with the option to be served hot or cold, before selecting a range of tempura, something like our mixed vegetable rice. Right here, it’s fair to say that their variety is not as much as I found in some Kagawa outlets, but I suppose they are taking a humble step for a start. I had a Bukkake Udon ($4.80), added Pumpkin Tempura ($1) and Chikuwa Tempura ($1.50). After payment, patrons then proceed to utensil counter to top up your noodle with your desired topping such as sauces, spices, tempura flakes, seaweed etc, at no extra charges.

Bukkake Udon ($4.80)

Bukkake Udon ($4.80)

Tamoya’s udon noodle was smooth, chewy, and absorbed the sweet fish broth well. It’s the best udon I ever had locally, and tasted closest to the real stuff in Kagawa. Although I did not select the Ebi Tempura ($2.50) & Fried Chicken ($2), I strongly recommend these after trying my dining companion’s. Tamoya’s tempura was surprisingly not too oily, crispy, not to mention delicious. It offers value for money especially if you compare to ramen. Back in Japan, I always opt for udon if I had a choice because it was usually much cheaper than ramen, and tastier than soba, particularly if the noodle came from Kagawa.

Personally, I am grateful for Tamoya in bringing this Kagawa delicacy to Singapore, for Kagawa is far from a popular tourist spot and not usually favour by travelers in this region, it isn’t easy getting there without some deviation on the road. I finally can introduce my love ones on authentic Sanuki Udon from Kagawa, where they are unlikely to visit. Oh, and I have yet to mention Tamoya Udon was established in 1996 by Sanuki Udon Champion, Tamotsu Kurokawa. I could have spent more time talking about this fantastic prefecture and its star attractions, particularly for fans of Tadao Ando, however, it’s not within the objective of this post 😛

Tamoya Udon Singapore たも屋うどん–シンガポール
177 River Valley Road #01-32
Liang Court
Singapore 179030
Tel/Fax: 63370301
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun: 11:00 am – 9:30 pm

Afternote:

Tamoya has since, changed the name of their Bukkake broth to Sanuki broth. I guess the reason was that Bukkake is associated with some hentai terms 😛 I was in a shock when I first google about that, but I thought it could be pronunciation with different meaning. Anyway, my previous visit I ordered Bukkake broth without realising their quietly changed the name, yet still, they gave me the same darker broth than Kake without questioning me, it was then I saw the name Bukakke was no longer on the menu, replaced by Sanuki. And now, they also started charging GST.

Dim Sum Love

Published April 4, 2013 by piggie

dsl-SAM_0914

Dim Sum Love is a humble outlet hidden in a remote corner of Chinatown. It shares a common shop space with a book store, that provides a good atmosphere for diners, but almost certainly not the other way round 😛

Thanks to Wheretoeat.com, I was treated to a complimentary Dim Sum Love Daily Special Platter with a Pot of Tea Voucher worth $15.80. Let’s disregard some stringent condition for it to be effective and focus on the quality of the food!

Dim Sum Love Daily Special Platter with a Pot of Tea Voucher ($15.80)

Dim Sum Love Daily Special Platter with a Pot of Tea Voucher ($15.80)

Prior booking was necessary despite the restaurant was hardly filled. Even then, it still took a while for my order to be served. I was not complaining, especially when I witnessed their effort to lay out these simple dim sum, I felt it was worth the wait. Of course, all these come to nought if the quality fails to live up to expectation, but rest assure, they certainly did not disappoint!

I started from the left. The Char Siew Bun was sweet and juicy. Siew Mai was normal, but at least it didn’t come with the unpleasant smell many other competitors failed to rid of. The Crispy Vegetarian Spring Roll was OK, good thing it was still hot when I tried, the heat was a great aid to disguise its mediocrity. Pan Fried Carrot Cake was nothing to shout about, thinly fried, smooth, though I personally prefer a more crispier skin. Now this Baked Mini Egg Tart was a bit special, highly recommended by the friendly waitress aunty there. There was a pleasant fragrance from within the custard which took me a while to recall what was that. It’s pandan leaves! It gave the egg tart an extra dimension, and a bit of nonya touch without overshadowing the essential egg fragrance within.

Frankly speaking, $15.80 sounds a bit expensive given 5 bite size dim sum, but not to forget it came with a pot of Chinese tea, which usually cost $6 (Though I understand it’s not refillable). Personally, I found it more economical ordering ala carte though. In any case, all their dim sum are serve in bite size, need not worry about can’t finish it. Rather, worry about not sufficient to fill your tummy.

dsl-SAM_0917

Steam Creamy Custard Bun (3 for $3.90)

I also bought some Steam Creamy Custard Bun home, it was surprisingly nice! The filling was so aplenty that my hand was full of the overflown custard with egg yolk. The molten custard was never too sweet, with a tint of light yolk taste which I found absolutely delightful!

Dim Sum Love
18 Cross Street #B1-05
China Square Central
Singapore 048423
Tel: 6536 7667
Operating Hours: 8am – 11am (Breakfast)
11.15am – 9pm (Lunch & Dinner)
7.30pm (Last Order)

Ramen Play

Published April 4, 2013 by piggie

I have always constraint myself from patronising Ramen Play, I never recognise their food philosophy, and when first, I heard they were collaborating with Sanpou Co Ltd of Niigata, Japan, I have some reservation of their quality. Because, first and foremost, Niigata is never a major ramen prefecture, which is more famous for rice, so anything to do with rice, particularly the Koshihikari variety, are suppose to be great, but definitely not noodles.

RamenPlay-Promo

When I learned that Ramen Play was having a month-long promotion of 50% off selected ramen, I was finally tempted. So, I walked into 313’s Ramen Play and ordered their Cha Shu Tonkotsu Ramen on the day of their promotion.

Cha Shu Tonkotsu Ramen, special offer $6.90++

Cha Shu Tonkotsu Ramen, special offer $6.40++

I have to emphasise, at $6.40++, the ingredients was very generous, with 5 slices of cha shu, half a moist egg, some dark veggie, spring onions, and dark shoyu cum sesame sauce.

Let’s begin with their broth. It wasn’t thick, but adequately sweet, and hardly any taste of MSG, I like that. They added some shoyu and sesame sauce on top the broth, which proved to be great! The portion was just nice, however my serving gave me an impression as if it was prepared by an apprentice, the noodle was anything but springy, I found it a little firm, certainly lacking character. The moist egg, on the other hand, was over-cooked and hardly moist at all. Cha Shu was tender, not that soft. Overall, if that is the standard of Sanpou’s ramen back in Niigata, I can understand why Niigata’s ramen was never on the map. The restaurant was not even crowded during my visit, there’s no reason for any distraction for the substandard. Nevertheless, quality should not be compromised, to me, they had wasted such a nice broth. Hence, I found there’s still much room for improvement, until then, I don’t believe it deserves the original $12.80 price tag, not to forget the relevant taxes. Afterall, as their name suggests, they Play Play nia, don’t take them too seriously 😀