Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ruined for Ramen

Since tasting the incredible tonkotsu ramen at Ichiran in Fukuoka (see blog entry "My deathrow meal"), I have been saddened at the prospect that I probably will have to wait for another trip to Japan in order to reconnect with the euphoria and pure bliss from this ultimate dish.

While having tasted greatness is something that I am deeply grateful for - I feel like I have been inflicted with ramen snobbery - every bowl of noodles outside of Japan that I have found to be pretty good in the past now tastes bland, ordinary and almost an insult to what the original versions should taste like. Yes... its true, I have inevitably become a right wing ramenist... discriminating every ramen's brothright and judging them by their texture rather than treating them as equals.

And so was the case at Menya Shinchan, a ramen specialist located in Robertson Quay in Singapore which has won a huge following with locals and Japanese expatriates alike for their handmade noodles. I ordered the spicy tonkotsu ramen - so wanting it to remind my taste buds of my experience in Fukuoka... but was sadly disappointed.

The broth was generic - lacking depth and richness found in the Ichiran version - and more importantly was low on the umami factor which is so crucial in a good bowl of ramen. The noodles while al dente didn't have the texture and consistency that made every slurp as delectable as what I wanted it to. I also found that the addition of menma (simmered bamboo shoots) distracting and unnecessary (but that's just a personal preference).

It wasn't that Menya Shinchan makes a bad bowl of ramen... I would probably have enjoyed it more if I had tasted it prior to my trip to Fukuoka... but I have been ruined for ramen... a bigot to all tonkotsu ramen outside of Japan... but I remain unrepentant - it's their fault or all tasting the same anyways.

Menya Shinchan
30 Robertson Quay
#01-05 Riverside View


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