Strictly speaking, this ain’t the first time I try Ikkousha, I last visited them when they were still with Ramen Champion, and now that they started their own branches, it ain’t appropriate if I park this review under Ramen Champion again.
Alright, I love ramen, but the price of ramen here ain’t cheap. It’s such spectacular 1-for-1 promotion I’m looking out for to answer my on-off appetite for Japanese food addiction. And Ikkousha deserves a re-visit.
For a start, I prefer tonkotsu broth over Hokkaido’s varieties (although I do love Hokkaido scallop in my bowl of noodle), and I really love these thin noodle which doesn’t get soggy too easily. This way, I can appreciate my noodle in a leisure pace without appearing to be rushing somewhere. Ikkousha seems to have copied Keisuke Takeda very well, they started offering “free-flow” hard boiled eggs although I only found 4 per table (Well, health conscious patrons ought not to eat too much anyway), and they also let patrons select their preference such as spring onions, noodle texture, broth taste, and chargeable toppings. Beside these, Ikkousha also offers a wide range of condiments such as salt, black pepper, sesame seed, rice seasoning, gyoza sauce vinegar, spicy takana, ginger, ramen sauce salty, and garlic. In other words, you have a great hand to customise your favourite taste. This is in stark contrast to when they were used to be at Ramen Champion’s Bugis+ outlet & Changi Airport T3 outlet (or are they still there?).
I have to mention the rice seasoning, although I did not order any rice entry during my visit, I actually first tried these in Japan a month ago, in Hakata to be exact, but not at Ikkousha’s outlet there. I don’t know what’s its actual name (oh, now I got it, it’s call Furikake), it is a mixture of bonito flakes, seaweed, sesame, and some even include tea powder, it’s very appetising and certainly brings up the taste of plain rice. You may find these in major Japanese supermarket (such as Meida-ya) but not Daiso.
Right, let’s get back to the noodle!
Hakata Ikkousha declares every 15th day of a month as “Ikkousha Day” when they will offer one order from their menu or sometime a special item. Why 15th? Because Ik-kou sounds like Japanese pronunciation of one-five (ichi-go). Today, that offer item is their Red Tonkotsu Ramen.
I opted normal stiffness for my noodle with spring onion and a broth with Japanese taste. To be honest, I couldn’t distinguish its taste from a normal red broth, both tasted equally spicy for me. And after a long lapse since my previous visit, I couldn’t relate this to their other spicy order, the God Fire. My bowl of noodle comprised of two thin pieces of charshu (which thankfully retained a good level of tenderness), negi, black fungus, I threw in two hard boiled eggs and some takana (not shown in picture), and the overall taste was rather flavourful.
Just to share a little finding while I was in Fukuoka (Hakata), I grabbed a map from Hakata train station, found Ikkousha and Ichiran ramen indicated all over the map. Oh, I thought Ikkousha only have one outlet in Hakata, I didn’t expect they have such presence back home. Even some Hong Kong and Taiwan foodies came to know about Ikkousha too (Last I heard Ikkousha does not have outlets in those region)!
Look out for their promotion on their Facebook page if interested: