Ventured into relatively unknown territory today – Japanese ramen. There are few shops in Singapore that specialize in ramen, and Noodle House Ken is one of them. Its appearance is small and unimpressive, but I’ve heard that this is one of the better authentic ramen shops in town.
There are only about 8 choices of ramen on the menu, with different soup bases and toppings. The small selection didn’t really bother me. On the contrary, I often experience consistency in quality when a chef specializes in doing what he’s best at.
I had the tamago ramen, or stewed boiled egg ramen, recommended by the server. Ramen in broth was topped with pork slices, a stewed boiled egg (duh!), spinach, pickled bamboo (I think), spring onions, and a piece of seaweed.
Since this was all pretty new to me, I had no benchmark by which to gauge the ramen. But I liked the texture of the fresh, springy noodles. It was firm and full of bite.
It was easy getting used to the noodles; can’t say the same for the broth. On the menu, the proprietor and chef, Ken (he’s from Nippon-land), proudly states that he double-boils his soup broth for 8 hours without any MSG. Indeed, the broth was hearty and flavorful, but a tad too salty for my taste. To be fair, I’ve noticed that Japanese soups tend to be on the salty side. Guess my palate is more used to lightly seasoned fare.
Thankfully, the toppings were quite plain, which helped to offset the salt. The star was the gorgeous soft-boiled egg. With lightly-set whites and a creamy, oozy yolk, it was to DIE for. I swear, it’s really darn good!
I’m no expert on ramen, but I love gyoza, and I’ve gobbled more than enough gyoza to know that Ken’s are da bomb. Fat, meaty, and juicy, these gyoza had dumpling skin that was paper-thin. Cooked using the steam-fry method, the bottoms were lightly crisp and browned, while the tops were still soft and delicate. They were slightly expensive, but absolutely worth it.
With a satisfied tummy and piqued curiosity, there’s no doubt that I’ll be returning to Noodle House Ken to try the other types of ramen. In the meantime, I shall have to work on my noodle-slurping skills.
Total bill, inclusive of 10% service charge and 1% cess, was S$18.70. And yes, free iced water was served, no questions asked.
Noodle House Ken
150 Orchard Road#01-17/18 Orchard Plaza
Tel: (65) 6235 5540
Weekdays: 12 noon to 2 pm, 6 pm to 2 am
Sunday: 12 noon to 10 pm
Closed: 3rd Sunday every month