24 Sep 2010

Santouka: Best Ramen in Singapore?

Went to Santouka for dinner today, with Azu-nyan in tow. (Probably my last post on this blog for a while. Busy with school projects, assignments, mid terms, and exam preparation.)

This place is listed as number 3 in HungryGoWhere's Top 10 Ramen places, below Tampopo and Ippudo, but 1 step above Marutama. Decided to try this place since I quite like what I had at Marutama.

First off was the highly recommended Aburi Tokusen Toroniku (BBQ Pork Cheeks) @ S$11 for 4 slices.

Pricey but delicious!The meat you eat here is much more muscular, unlike most Char Siew that aim for the more fatty parts of the pig. However, you get a nice layer of fats too under those muscles, so it's a nice balance.

Comparing it to Marutama's Char Siew is quite hard though. It's like comparing a well marbled Wagyu steak to a high quality non-wagyu steak. Both are good, but the wagyu is definitely more unique and satisfying due to it's melt-in-your-mouth mixture of meat and fats. Still, the pork cheek served here is definitely tasty, very flavourful. Azu-nyan is preparing some water for me for the next item...

Next up was the Char Siew ramen in salt-based soup (Char Siew Shio Ramen) @S$13.50. Noodles, soup, 2 slices of char siew kurobuta (black pork), bamboo shoots, kelp, naruto (fish cake), ume (pickled plum), and a dash of spring onions.

The soup is tasty and light, but very oily. From what I've read, this style of ramen originates from Asahikawa in Hokkaido, Japan. It's the only ramen style in northern Japan that uses pork bones in it's broth, which gives it more flavour than the typically salty ones you would find in the rest of Hokkaido. The oil added on top keeps the soup warm so that it's temperature remains the same throughout the meal. I tried my friend's shoyu (soy sauce) ramen and it was much saltier, which makes the noodles (which aborbs the soup) more shiok, but the soup itself was a bit too much to drink on its own.

Overall quite enjoyed the meal. The noodles, soup, and pork cheeks were all really delicious, but I still missed the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of Marutama's simple but dangerously addictive char siew slices. Good thing Azu-nyan poured me lots of water to wash down all that saltiness ^.^

Ramen Santouka (The Central)
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
The Central Singapore

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