Sunday, April 01, 2007

Arrrgh.. Oh for the love of noodles

Marutama Ra-men
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#03-90, The Central
Tel: 6534-8090

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Had I known better, I would have acted faster. Just last week, CH had asked if I had about this new ramen shop that had opened up at central, to which i answered no. But when i headed down today there was a long queue, whaaaaat??? Didn’t this place just open? Seriously, I even observed that the paint on the menu wasn’t even completely dry! My mystery was answered when I later found out that just yesterday BT had ran a story about the Japanese eating hub that Central has turned out to be yesterday, and I was caught up in the foodie mob that had been biten by the curiousity bug.

So as we waited it out with others in the queue, with a growling stomach and a the common sentiment that one other waiting diner uttered 'well since we are here, we might as well wait for a while', my only comfort at that moment is that, this noodle shop draws Japanese that are willing to patiently wait for their bowl.

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My current favourite ramen shop is Ken’s Noodle House, which is fantastic for post-drinking and comforting after a long late night at work. There the stock is good, the soft boiled egg is divine and their cold miso noodles used to be one of my favourite lunch meals when I worked nearby. After having lunch at Marutama, I think it gives Ken’s a good run for its money. At Marutama, I had Ramen char siu with an additional soft boiled egg and a side serving of kakuni (pork belly braised in soy sauce). My bowl of noodles and hot stock glistened from the layer of oil or maybe it was chicken fat that topped the soup for flavour and to aid the noodles in sliding down your throat. Comparatively, they both have robust stocks – Ken’s uses pork and Marutama uses chicken – I liked both, but if I have to pick a side, I think I might lean towards Ken’s. As for soft boiled eggs, both are on par. Where Marutama has an edge is its noodles, it is slightly skinnier than the strands at Ken’s but what makes it a winner is the perfect ‘QQ’ texture that it has. The owner is also fastidious about the quality of his noodles, as he refused a takeaway request that a friend of mine made because it would have ruined the quality of the noodles, so as a compromise that same friend returned with a container to take away a bowl of soup, without the noodles.

So was the bowl of ramen worth standing in line for? Yes, it was good and since I’ve been there and spent some time observing the cycle and the peak of the lunch hour, the next time I’m going back, I’m going to try to beat the crowd.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ramen looks great! Heard so much abt Ken's but have not tried it. Have you tried Ramen Ramen at Bukit Timah before? Just wondering how it compares to these...

10:08 AM  
Blogger allie said...

Ken's the best! The egg is just amazing - it's consistently done like that each time I'm there! Yumz yumz yumz!

7:27 PM  
Blogger allie said...

Went to try the ramen at Central. And yes... it's delish! Another great place for ramen! :)

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the stewed egg noodle at Ken's a couple of months back but found the broth and the egg not as good as the Tonkatsu ramen at Nanten! Don't know if I went on an off day as lots of people seem to rave about their eggs. The one at Nanten which I've had many times is just the right softy gooeyness in the yolk whereas I felt the Ken one was overdone.

11:46 AM  

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