Regarded as too sophisticated and too avant garde, Keisuke Takeda’s first ramen venture in Singapore — a sleek, upmarket eatery specializing in prawn-broth ramen — failed to take off.
Undaunted, he opened a second outfit. This time, it was scaled down to a rustic, hole-in-the-wall diner that seats no more than 16. The tight menu focuses on just one item – hearty tonkotsu ramen served with slabs of chashu. Diners are free to help themselves to condiments like free-flow eggs, pickled beansprouts, and roasted sesame seeds. Keisuke Takeda’s second attempt was a wild success.
And it seems like he has struck gold again. Practically just next door down the road, Ramen Keisuke Tori King looks very much like a clone of Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu. However, version 3 is nearly twice as large in space, and features a new twist — chicken.
Chicken-based ramen has never really won favour among ramen lovers in Singapore, as it’s oft perceived to be weaker in flavor.
But Keisuke’s version is truly robust! The broth is boldly fat, salty, and flavorful. In fact, the broth is so viscous I was afraid it would gel into solid if allowed to cool.
More fowl stuff besides the broth, in the form a whole chicken thigh. Grilled just before serving, the skin is lightly crisp. The meat is soft enough to be pried from the bone without much effort using chopsticks.
Just like the other outlets, you can customize your ramen to your preference. I picked “normal salt” level, “less chicken oil”, and “normal” noodles, which turned out to be pleasantly al dente.
There was hardly much free space on our table, because it was mostly taken up by a boatload of condiments — hard-boiled eggs, pickled beansprouts, bonito flakes, roasted sesame seeds, chilli powder, spicy sauce, soy sauce, and mayonnaise!
There’s a reason why the free-flow hard-boiled eggs are mostly untouched. Trust me, shell out an extra buck for the runny flavored egg. It’s way more satisfying than plain boiled eggs!
Another must for me are the chilled spicy beansprouts and crushed roasted sesame seeds. They really add more punch to the ramen.
Besides Original flavor chicken broth ramen, there’s also Black Spicy version (spicy black peppercorn oil) and Green Spicy version (wasabi) for those who prefer their ramen to have that extra kick.
Prices listed are before 10% service charge and 7%GST.
Ramen Keisuke Tori King
100 Tras Street
#03-15, 100AM (next to Amara Hotel)
Tel: +65 6604 6861
Open daily: 11.30am to 10pm
The images in this post were captured with Sony Alpha NEX-6 (review unit from Sony Singapore).