Ikkousha Hakata Ramen 博多一幸舎

Published March 22, 2017 by piggie

This is not my first time visiting Ikkousha Hakata Ramen (first time to their Tanjong Pagar outlet though), but this is a tasting invitation where I’m obliged to provide the sponsor a link to my review, so I have decided to start a new post to distinguish from my previous visit. Previously, I had tried their God Fire Ramen as well as Red Tonkotsu Ramen, both on the spicy side. For this tasting invitation, me and my dining partner were treated to their standard Tonkatsu ramen.
Ikkousha Hakata Ramen can’t emphasize enough their broth are painstakingly made by simmering pork bones over long hours, distancing themselves from some ramen restaurants who saved these troubles by using broth essence. And I can testify that, because upon entering their outlet at Tanjong Pagar, I can immediately smell a strong scent, that can’t go wrong.
Upon ordering, Ikkousha gives diners the choice to choose the firmness of the noodles, as well as the denseness of the broth, along with other optional toppings. We left all options at normal, and added a plate of Gyoza because we felt uneasy to walk off without paying anything.
Before the ramen were served, let me touch on the condiments on the table. Ikkousha offers free-flow hard boiled eggs, along with Spicy Takana (Leaf Mustard), Furikake (rice seasoning), ginger, sesame, pepper, and a large jar of ice water. In a moment, I shall explain why I mentioned these.

Gyoza, S$5++

Our gyoza came almost immediately. Ikkousha’s gyoza are tiny, apart from the bottom where gyoza skin are crisply fried, the gyoza generally retains tenderness.

Tonkotsu Standard, S$12++

When our noodles were subsequently served, along came the scent of genuine pork broth. Although I am not really a fan of strong pork scent, but to retain that signature flavour, that means they can’t add too much spices to overpower the broth, however, something still needed to be done to neutralise the stink scent of pork bone. On the kitchen side, MSG sounds like a simple solution without altering too much of the flavour, but on the dining table, that’s where the condiments come in for diners to customise to their preferred taste, though that’s very much the same practice in almost any ramen restaurant elsewhere. As a Tonkotsu ramen restaurant hailing from Kyushu, naturally Ikkousha uses the thin and chewy Hosomen as their noodle, which, I understand, is proudly house made. The broth is sweet, and adds much flavour into the noodle. Their chashu are thinly sliced, I guess that allows its texture to blend with the broth easily.

Per my usual practice, I finished all my broth, but I felt the urge for more water after that. Good thing Ikkousha provides a large jar of ice water on the table conveniently.

Official Website:

Yomoda Soba (よもだそば)

Published March 19, 2017 by piggie

First and foremost, allow me to stress this is a sponsored article, but I will nevertheless stay neutral in this review. Let me start by giving a brief history on Yomoda Soba, but to begin with, I need to elaborate on Japan Food Town, where Yomoda Soba (よもだそば) and other 15 authentic Japanese restaurants are located.

Japan Food Town can be found inside Isetan level 4, Wisma Atria, it is a collaboration between Cool Japan Fund and The Japan Association of Overseas Promotion for Food & Restaurants. The former comprises organisation such as ANA, Isetan, JTB, and many other established corporations. When it was first opened in Wisma Atria last July (2016), it was met with much fanfare. Just like Eat at Seven in Suntec City, which also involves ANA, I feel it can hardly goes wrong, I trust ANA to select the best of Japan for diners here. ANA is a 5-stars Japanese airlines, and they would risk tarnishing their image and reputation otherwise. So, naturally for the first few months at least, I was expecting Japanese chef to helm the restaurants (or maybe they are here to stay for the long haul? I don’t know), pity I didn’t have the opportunity to visit until now, and my visit is certainly not disappointing.

The name Yomoda actually came from a Matsuyama (Ehime, Shikoku) dialect, meaning a jovial friend who loves to see the funny side of things. The soba restaurant is hailed from Tokyo, but its proprietor is actually an Ehime native, that explained. Frankly speaking, Soba is actually my least favourite Japanese noodle, I still prefer Udon and ramen anytime, provided of course, the noodles are done genuinely (definitely not the terrible Singapore flavour, particularly for Udon). Soba is probably the most economical noodle one can find in many parts of Japan, but personally, I don’t quite like the overpowering buckwheat taste.

Tempura Seiro Soba, S$23++

As an invited guest, I am allowed to choose between their Tempura Seiro Soba Set (S$23++), or their Tendon set (S$20++). Both sets include their signature soba, but I selected the former anyway. Seiro Soba is served cold, in Japan it’s marvellous for Summer, when diners dip their ice cooled soba into a bowl of cold dipping sauce, and usually enjoyed with an assortment of tempura. My Tempura Seiro Soba comprises a variety of prawn, braised pork, chicken, paprika, pumpkin, and kidney beans, dipped in tempura batter and fried. Yomodo claims their soba is Sarashina Soba, using only the inner part of buckwheat, which is why their soba noodle looks a little whitish instead of the conventional green colour, and handmade on-site using buckwheat from Nagano, a prefecture famous for their soba too. Yomodo’s soba is moderately springy, not so strong on buckwheat taste, for me, that’s really great! But having said that, they do offer traditional-styled soba such as Kitsune Soba, Hanamaki Soba (and also the less conventional ones such as Tomato Asari Soba, Hot Spicy Soy Milk Chicken Soba) too. Pardon me, I ain’t a Soba expert, you can refer to Japan-Guide for further elaboration. In addition, they also serve a thinner version of Sanuki Udon. As for their Tempura, it was crisply fried, not excessively oily, and the goodness within is mesmerising, it’s definitely fried on the spot, not pre-fried like my favourite Udon restaurant in Singapore did.

Yomoda Soba claims to import their flour, sauce, and rice from Japan. That’s probably one of the reasons why their prices (and probably likewise the other restaurants here) are much more than their outlets in Japan.

Yuzu Sorbet, S$5++

I didn’t want to walk away without paying anything, so I ordered a Yuzu Sorbet after my meal. It has a rich citrus flavour and plenty of fruit pulps, pretty appetising! Yomoda Soba serves free plain water, other than that, they have limited range of cold drink and dessert. But being a traditional Japanese restaurant, you can expect lots of sake!

Yomoda Soba (よもだそば)
Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Rd
Singapore 238877
Tel: +65 62623467
Website: http://www.japanfoodtown.sg/stores/yomoda-soba/

Opening Hours:
Daily – 11:30hr ~ 21:30hr

Tokyo Sundubu(東京純豆腐)

Published March 6, 2017 by piggie

eatatsevenPerhaps I should have mentioned this when I penned my review on Menya Takeichi, but before I go on to Tokyo Sundubu, allow me to briefly elaborate Eat At Seven, which comprises seven Japanese eateries (including Tokyo Sundubu, Menya Takeichi et al) in Suntec City, hence the name. Eat At Seven is a collaboration with All Nippon Airways, which is almost as good an assurance that these eateries are more than decent back in Japan to get selected in the first place. And in my opinion, Tokyo Sundubu certainly impresses!

Merely judging on the number of Michelin-star restaurants in Tokyo, I guess it is safe to assume that Japan has overtaken France as the culinary capital in the world. But Japan cuisine isn’t just your sushi, ramen, and Kaiseki ryori. External influence, such as western cuisines, have been constantly redefining Japan’s culinary path as early as from the 17th century, which is one big reason why I love Japanese cuisines, retaining the heritage while embracing innovation and fusion. It is based on fusion where I feel Tokyo Sundubu excels.

Tofu in Japan can be quite a delectable cuisine. Japan has no short of stream water, these lighter water makes tofu smoother than the one we have here. Some famous restaurants (notably in Kyoto) specialise in tofu are selling their tofu set meal at a premium price, and I somehow cannot help wondering whether their tofu is made of gold! I didn’t try those famous restaurants though, but I did try tofu from a renowned hotel restaurant in Hakone, it was indeed softer, smoother. But whether it’s worth that kind of price is another question altogether.

Tokyo Sundubu claims they made their tofu in-house, but I don’t know what kind of water they are using, nevertheless, their tofu did taste soft and smooth. Even though their selling point is the tofu, they knew very well mere tofu alone probably is not sufficient to grab a pie from Tokyo’s highly competitive culinary scene (just like any movie needs supporting casts too), so they came out the idea of integrating it with Korea stone pot, along with a rich variety of other optional ingredients such as beef, chicken, seafood etc, which is why I was saying earlier that Japan’s culinary scene is dynamic, more so than many other countries in the world.

Chicken Sundubu, $14.00++

Chicken Sundubu, $14.00++

Their hot pot basically comes in a selection of 5 spicy level, with Japanese standard at level 2, and Singapore standard at level 3. I suppose level 1 is mildly spicy, while anything more than 3 is a genuine test on your readiness to undertake a chili challenge rather than appreciating the goodness of the ingredients inside. I had their basic Chicken Sundubu at level 2, and found its spiciness adequate. My dining companion ordered Asari Clam Sundubu ($16.00++) at level 3, which I found to be a bit over spicy, but for me still manageable. I like spicy food, but not to the extent where the spiciness overpowered my taste bud and render the food almost tasteless, it’s not that I cannot take it.

And by the way, due to the volume and colour of the spicy broth, the content inside are not particularly visible, that’s how it was served, and the appearance for my partner’s Asari Clam Sundubu looks almost identical. Let me scoop out the ingredients for a more appealing presentation:

chicken_sundubu-p_20170226_121341The restaurant was not crowded during our visit, but even then that probably ain’t the reason why the chef didn’t make it more presentable the way I did. As a customer, I want the ingredients to stay immersed longer to make sure it stays hot and properly cooked too. For that reason, it’s difficult to distinguish my companion’s order from mine without scooping out the ingredients, hence I won’t bother posting another picture of it here. The difference is that, the Asari Clam Sundubu has more clams, naturally, but probably no chicken (if I remember correctly). In fact, to be honest, I find their chicken more tasty than the clams. I do love seafood, but frankly speaking, their natural sweetness will all be masked over if the taste of the broth is too strong, likewise for the spicy level. Nevertheless, let’s not deviate from the fact that in Tokyo Sundubu, tofu is the spotlight (and in part, the stone pot), other ingredients are mere supporting cast. As for the rice, I can only tell it’s Japanese grains, but the restaurant didn’t mentioned whether it’s Japan grown, or specifically, which prefecture it came from.


Published March 1, 2017 by piggie

taihwa-p_20170219_135416這家大華豬肉粿條麵對於新加坡人來説,應該無須多加介紹了,尤其在其入選2016年米其林指南之後,更可算是新加坡頂級的B級美食了。即便在其入選之前,在非繁忙時段我前往光顧也須要排上近半小時的隊,現在更加不必說,這次在周末用餐時段前往,排了近1小時,還看到老外、韓國人等,令我好奇的是,他們知道該怎麽訂餐嗎?因爲雖然攤位名稱為豬肉粿條麵,但其實他們的經典是新加坡所謂的肉脞麵,多爲所謂的麵薄(Mee Pok)及麵仔(Mee Kia),而且多爲乾麵爲主,反倒很少見人叫粿條麵。






吊橋頭大華豬肉粿條麵 Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Block 466 Crawford Lane #01-12
Singapore 190465
Website: http://www.taihwa.com.sg/

每天 09:30hr ~ 21:00hr

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin

Published March 1, 2017 by piggie
Katsu Curry, $17.00

Katsu Curry, $17.00

I know Tonkatsu from Japan tastes great, yet Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin truly awed me. With a history dating back to 1927, this Tonkatsu restaurant from Tokyo’s premium shopping district is still a revelation! I confess Singaporeans are spoiled for choices sourcing for food on this tiny island, and I probably won’t have visited Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin if I wasn’t attracted by their 90th anniversary 50% off set meal promotion.

How Ginza Bairin here works is, you pay for your order before grabbing a seat, there would be no service charge. I actually intended to order their conventional Pork Loin Katsu Set ($17.00), but even arriving shortly after lunch hour, I was still told ‘sold out’. Really? How amazing! I settled for the Katsu Curry somewhat reluctantly. I’ll explain. First and foremost, I’m not really a fan of curry, much less Japanese curry. I prefer local Indian curry, and to a certain extend, Thai curry too. But I always find Japanese curry lacks the punch, the spiciness. Basically, it’s sweet. Not that it doesn’t taste good, but that’s the Japanese’ taste buds, a flavour they are grown accustomed with, not me. Most significantly, Ginza Bairin’s selling point is their Tonkatsu, imagine submersing the crisply fried Tonkatsu into a sinful coat of curry and loses its crisp…

Well, good thing the chef at Ginza Bairin seems to read my mind 😛

Their curry and rice are served partially segregated so that I can still feel the fragrance of Japanese rice, with the Tonkatsu nicely placed on top of the rice, far from the curry sauce. Like that, I can dip it into the curry sauce only when I wanted, while at the same time savouring the golden crisp of the deep fried flour skin. In other words, I am tasting a varying flavour of it! Now coming to the spotlight, that Tonkatsu, it’s extraordinary juicy, with the pork so sweet I began wondering whether it came from Japan? I couldn’t resist double checking my receipt to see if I ordered Black Pig Katsu Curry by mistake. For those who are still not yet aware, Japan probably serves the best pork in the world, just like their renowned Wagyu. In Iberico ham, Spain probably has its own bragging right, but that is cured ham after all, it’s a different league altogether. The best pork in Japan comes from Kagoshima, notably their black pork (Kurobuta), which even the locals there struggled to find it in Tokyo, or otherwise at a much premium price.

I got so much obsession that I brought the old folks back over the weekend. However, this time round, the queue was some 15 meters long! Looking at the rate it was snaking, I anticipated a wait of no less than an hour. Forget it, back another day.

2nd Visit

I revisited Ginza Bairin in mid April 2017.

This time, for Ginza Bairin’s 1-for-1 birthday treat where my friend and I ordered their Iberian Pork Katsu Curry ($21.50) and Black Pig Katsu Curry ($20.00) respectively.


Kurobuta Katsu Curry, $20.00

Identical to my previous order of Katsu Curry? Well, I couldn’t tell the difference in taste too. Granted, I might have long forgotten the taste of their Katsu Curry, somehow, I feel my previous order tasted better though. But there’s really lots of factors contributing to the differential, such as a different cook, how long has the pork de-frozen etc.


Iberian Katsu Curry, $21.50

All pictures above looking similar huh? We ordered different meal just so we could taste the difference between Kurobuta (Black Pig) and Iberian Pork. But truth be told, we could hardly tell any. Japan is famous for Kurobuta, but not Iberian pork actually. Typical Iberian pork (Jamón ibérico) are seasoned like bacon, a generic way the Iberian peninsula natives pride themselves for over thousand years, and genuine Iberian ham ain’t probably gonna come this cheap.

Bottom line, unless your taste bud can really taste the difference, or else you will find their normal Katsu Curry good enough.

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin (銀座梅林)
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard #B4-39/40/41/42
Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 65098101
Website: http://www.ginzabairin.sg/

Opening Hours:
Daily – 11:00hr ~ 22:00hr

Menya Takeichi 麺屋武一

Published December 17, 2016 by piggie

I have heard about Chef KANAYA Mamoru in his Buta God days at Ramen Champion, though I have never tried his ramen before. I used to have the perception he’s more gimmicky than his ramen prowess, but my initial impression was immensely overwritten after visiting Menya Takeichi, where he is so-called ‘temporary’ helming.

Anyway, Menya Takeichi was hailed from Tokyo’s Shinbashi (also known as Shimbashi), and is quite a reputable ramen chain in Japan when it comes to chicken broth, promptly expanded to over 40 ramen outlets in the last 4 years.

Maze Soba, $15++

Maze Soba, $15++

For a change, I didn’t order the signature dish (chicken broth ramen) from the menu, and neither did my dining companion. I was very much enticed by their Maze Soba, or rather the look of it from the menu. If the picture above impressed you, I suppose I can reasonably assure you, so will its taste. For a start, the noodle used ain’t your usual soba as the name suggested, it was a flat and thick noodle that is more likely ramen than soba. I guess Maze Soba is just a convenient categorisation for these type of dry ramen which are still relatively new to the Japanese. I really want to emphasis on the noodle, which I understand is different from those used in their conventional chicken broth ramen. The texture was chewy, no, super chewy, and extraordinary smooth! It’s really an understatement if I proclaim this to be the best ramen noodle I ever tried! Then came the ingredients. You can see that ingredients are fully covering the noodle, which I actually deliberately dig out a ‘hole’ to show the noodle’s a flat, thick type. There are bamboo shoot, fried garlic, fried onion, leek, along with a poached egg, fried chicken, and grilled chicken. Before eating, stir and mix the ingredients well, and the flavour will gradually immerse into the noodle, the taste was really marvellous! I ain’t sure whether the accompanied soup is the same broth they used in their broth, probably not. It tastes good, not overpowering, but good enough to rival chicken soup from many Chinese restaurants.

Special Spicy Tsukemen, $17.50++

Special Spicy Tsukemen with special toppings, $17.50++

My dining companion ordered their Special Spicy Tsukemen with special toppings, serves with the same noodle as my Maze Soba. By now, if anyone still unaware what a Tsukemen is, it’s actually dried noodle without broth, but served with concentrated hot dipping soup, an invention by the late ramen god YAMAGISHI Kazuo. The concentrated dipping soup is not advisable to be consume on its own because it’s too salty. While ramen can trace back to its China origin, Tsukemen is an entirely Japanese invention. As such, YAMAGISHI Kazuo was held at high regard by ramen fanatics in Japan (on a personal note, I still prefer ramen with broth). Ramen Champion, where Chef KANAYA made his name in Singapore with Buta God, is the brainchild of Chef YAMAGISHI’s disciple Chef TASHIRO Koji. Let me get back to the main track. Like the Maze Soba, the noodle portion was very generous, and was served with chicken breast, grilled chicken, bamboo shoot, seaweed, and two halves of runny egg. I found it a little difficult to justify the price though, since the ingredients are more or less in same quantity as the Maze Soba.


Oh, as a J Passport member, I was also entitled to free 3 pcs gyoza! I had tried gyoza elsewhere, but none tasted better than Menya Takeichi’s. Almost all other gyoza I tried tasted dry, but not for Menya Takeichi, the gyoza skin still retained tenderness, and the overall texture was commendable.

Frankly speaking, I didn’t quite expect top quality ramen before I stepped into Menya Takeichi, but I walked out a very satisfied customer.

2nd Visit

Less than a month after my first visit, I brought the old  folks over. I strongly recommended them Menya Takechi’s Maze Soba, and again, it passed with excellence, so good that my mum urged me to return (again) for it.


Rich Shoyu Ramen, $13++

Rich Shoyu Ramen is Menya Takeichi’s most popular ramen from their Shinbashi outlet in Tokyo. Since this is my 2nd visit, I really should try their signature dish. Actually, Shoyu is my least favourite variance among Japanese ramen, but I will try to elaborate from a neutral point of view. The chicken broth is creamy and flavourful, and the noodle used was Kyushu-styled Hosomen. You can find leek, raddish, two tiny pieces of seaweed, one piece of chicken breast, one chicken charshu, and one chicken ball. Overall, I find this decent.


Truffle Flavored Ajitama

We got free Truffle Flavored Ajitama being member of J Passport. These runny eggs are sweeter than what we had elsewhere, not sure how Chef KANAYA done it, but you can see its edge is lightly coated with some sort of gravy. Seriously, when my dad grabbed two, it’s a testament how great it taste!

Menya Takeichi 麺屋武一 (Eat At Seven)
3 Temasek Boulevard
Suntec City North Wing #03-313
Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 62353386

Opening Hours:
Daily – 11:30hr – 22:30hr (Break between 14:30hr – 17:30hr)

天翼海鲜 One Ocean Restaurant

Published November 7, 2016 by piggie


虽然说新址位于万里,更贴切地说,应该算是兀兰路(Woodlands Road)旁(搭公车的话,大路边有楼梯口直上就是),昇松集团的货仓隔壁街的工业大厦就对了,兜了个圈,还是选在工业区啊!不过,也许正因如此,才能将价格维持在低于一般餐馆的水平。但餐馆藏在小山坡上,从经过的大道連招牌都沒見着,实在不容易发现,若非熟客或有心要找,还真难找上门。











我由于很少吃菜类,这道四大天王中使用的菜色只认得茄子与长豆,厨师再以巴拉煎炒透,辣味是到家了,但不晓得是不是不小心撒了过多盐,吃起来偏咸,好在有一大壶铁观音茶滤口(3 x $1.50)。

















天翼海鲜 One Ocean Restaurant
7 Mandai Link #01-06, Mandai Connection
Singapore 728653
Tel: +65 62563973
官网: http://www.oneocean.sg/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/One-Ocean-Seafood-401499773290483/
每天营业: 11.00am – 2.30pm, 5.00pm – 10.30pm