Uma Uma ramen is a ramen restaurant brought in by Ignatius Chan of Iggy’s. To quote their website, the name Uma Uma stems from “Wu Maru”, a Ramen shop established in 1953 by the father of Uma Uma Ramen’s current President, former actor Teshima Masahiko. Upon taking over the business in 1994, “Wu Maru” was renamed “Uma Uma Ramen”, a play on the original name of the restaurant as well as a pun on the Japanese word for “tasty”. Hailed from ramen kingdom Fukuoka (a.k.a. Hakata. Well, there’s actually two ramen kingdom, the other one being Hokkaido), it’s not difficult to apprehend their ramen adopted the conventional Hakata styled Tonkotsu ramen.
If I come here just to savour on this ramen, I’m sure I will leave the restaurant somewhat disappointed. With ingredients that include Chasiu (strange, this is hardly the way a Japanese will spell it), Spring Onion, sesame seeds, and egg, Uma Uma’s Tonkotsu ramen somehow lacks character. The soup leaves a significant pork scent, I thought they could have added some spices to neutralise it, but otherwise, like any Hakata ramen, they are using the thin Hosomen as noodle, which, in my opinion, at least blended well with Tonkotsu broth.
For $2 more, Uma Uma’s Spicy Chasiu Ramen is a better option in my opinion. With a generous portion of spring onions, leeks, chili oil, runny egg, and spicy marinated chasiu, this is certainly a more appetising option. Likewise, the noodle used here is the thin Hosomen. Perhaps because of the overpowering chili oil, which masked out any unpleasant pork scent, it also takes away some sweetness off the Tonkotsu from my tastebud, but this is not uncommon anyway, and I am very much impressed by its chasiu (or charshu, whatever). The two pieces chasiu in my bowl was of medium thickness, and unlike many other ramen restaurants, Uma Uma’s chasiu possesses a good flavour and texture, better than many other ramen restaurants out there.
Maze actually means ‘mix’ in Japanese (Japanese have a unique way of English pronunciation), so Mazesoba means mixing soba noodle with sauces, in this case, an egg as well. Mazesoba is the dry version of soup ramen, similar to our local dry noodle, and Uma Uma’s Mazesoba includes spring onions, bamboo shoots, leek, egg, and of course, their signature chasiu, to the soba noodle. When all these are mixed and stirred well, the end result is rather flavourful. Pardon me from saying, I find soba and udon cheaper than conventional ramen noodle in Japan, so if soba is used here, and minus the significant broth which normally takes long hours to cook, I find it a bit hard to justify the $16 price tag. I must stress, nevertheless, that their Mazesoba Chasiu tastes great, and the noodle actually tasted closer to ramen than a soba. In fact, Uma Uma created this ramen for Singapore market, but the reception was so good that they eventually brought this ramen back to their franchise in Japan!
There are actually many positive reviews on the web with respect to their Chasiu Don, perhaps more so than their ramen, but the one I ordered here is their spicy version for the same price. Uma Uma’s chasiu has a somewhat similar taste and texture to our local char siew, only softer, and they marinaded so well that makes this side dish truly flavourful. Of course, the using of Japanese rice here is a big complement.
I am not a big fan of Chicken Karaage, some restaurant tend to over fry them or having a flour coating too thick, hence diverting the attention away from the chicken. But Uma Uma did it brilliantly, the chicken was tender and the flour coating was adequately thin, so the emphasis stays with the chicken, not just the flour.
In addition, Uma Uma also serves bincho grilled yakitori and kushikatsu, as well as great cocktail! In a way, Uma Uma is unique, while most ramen restaurants simply focus on ramen, Uma Uma is pretty diversified, and pretty great at all front. I’m also rather surprise despite situated at a very extreme end of Millenia Walk’s Nihon Food Street, Uma Uma managed to pull in capacity patrons during dinner hours. Uma Uma also has another outlet in Forum The Shopping Mall.
Uma Uma Ramen
9 Raffles Boulevard #02-06, Millenia Walk
Tel: +65 68370827
Daily 11:30hr – 24:00hr (Sunday until 22:00hr)