This is not the cheapest ramen you can find but it seriously is one of the best I've had. I've been to Japan and this is by far the closest thing to that. The soup was rich, salty, slightly sweet and seasoned perfectly
Finally, I've killed 2 birds with 1 stone :) Visited Ramen Champion & satisfied my ramen craving!
I have yet to find the ramen in Singapore that blew me away until here I am, in Ramen Champion.
6 stalls to choose from but only hubby & I so we have decided to take it slowly and go for:
Tetsu's Very Rich! Special Paiten Tskemen - When I saw "Very Rich", I knew it was calling out to me! Special indeed as normal broth are only cooked in 1 main kind of ingredient which most of the time is pork bone. At Tetsu, they do it OTT with chicken, pork & seafood but definitely not OTT for me cos such richness is nowhere to be found. With their thick, shiny ramen and kid you not when I say shiny ( I have pix to proof but I haven't been able to upload any :( ) The texture is al dente and springy and when dipped into their very rich broth, the result is empowering. Love the bamboo shoots they have in it.
Ikkousha's Hakata Ajitama Ramen - Indeed, very well flavored with no porky taste/smell as it is soaked with the goodness of mushroom! Besides porcini, this will be the 2nd strong mushroom flavor I have ever tasted. This ramen is in a class of it's own. Ramen is different from the norm, thinner but like a stronger, thicker version of our mee sua. I had half a bowl of Tetsu's super rich before eating this and boy am I amazed. My taste buds detected every single drop of their soup I had and soon it was all over my mouth. I am very surprised that the previous soup didn't kill my taste buds at all.
The above has proved the special capability that a small bowl of goodness has such effect over people. The Japanese has once again, show us the way of eating and cooking. It can be strong but it don't have to kill. I was so afraid that the rich broth of Tetsu could be an overkill but it didn't!! This is real cooking!
As for the rest, I will be back again.
Found in the under-renovation Iluma, adjacent to Bugis Mall, Ramen Champion sounded a mere promotional gimmick when I first heard about it. The concept: 6 ramen shopowners from Japan were invited to participate in a competition here whereby the stall that gets the most votes from the general public wins! The prize is the title of “Ultimate Ramen Champion 2011” and will get their own restaurant.
Their “stalls” are quite attractively laid out as well in the mall. Within their territory in the mall, one can order from any stall and will get a buzzer which activates when your order is ready. In no particular order, we tried out a bowl of ramen from each stall over several visits.
BARIO, Tokyo a tonkotsu broth (thick pork-based soup), which is extremely porky in flavour but it goes a short step further and has lots of fatty essence floating around as well. Ah, but odds are you won’t visibly see it, as the bowl is literally covered up to and over the brim with a generous amount of beansprouts and cabbage. The ramen noodle itself is also somewhat contentious as it’s like no other ramen noodle, being very springy and thick; my jaw muscles ached a little towards the end, especially as there was A LOT of noodles given!
IKKOUSHA, Hakata Broth: thick and super porky, less fatty than Bario. Noodles: thin and firm, save some soup for a kaedama if you’re a big eater.
GANTETSU, Sapporo The broth here is much more balanced when compared to the previous two tonkotsu stalls and has a sweeter tone to it, probably due to the sweetcorn. Yet, the dollop of ginger paste gave the bowl a slightly sharp tinge although it does dampen the sweetness a bit.
MENYA IROHA, Toyama We tried their signature dish, Negitama Ramen, which had loads of spring onions. The soup was the ‘cleanest’ out of all the samples we tried, being much clearer (not the colour!) and simple compared to the richer and more complicated broths from other stalls. There was a slight charred tinge to the soup though and I felt that the spring onion was a bit on the strong side. The noodles were of medium chewiness and quite similar to Gantetsu’s.
TETSU, Tokyo Now we’re moving into the final two stalls which both specialize in tsukemen, which is essentially dipping ramen into a more concentrated broth rather than a usual soupy concoction. This can be eaten with the soup being hot or cold. The dipping sauce/soup/broth we tried here in Tetsu was the “Very Rich! Special Paitan Tsukemen” which is made of pork, chicken and seafood.
TAI-SHO-KEN, Tokyo The other tsukemen stall here in Ramen Champion, this stall has a rich dipping sauce/soup made from pork, chicken and anchovies. It’s somewhat similar to the Menya Iroha, being much cleaner in flavour and texture. The noodles are quite nice and bouncy as well, similar to Tetsu’s.
For photos and full review, visit http://www.pigpigscorner.com/2012/02/ultimate-ramen-champion-singapore-part.html
Total I went about 2 times, both gave me a satisfying and fulfilling bowl of ramen. The most recent one which I went for, is an unique ramen to me. I had it as separate noodles and it soup. At first, the chef asked me whether want it to be hot or cold one. I looked quite blur when being asked, so luckily for me. The chef proposed cold one is always popular. Yes, I always like cold cha soba too.
It turned out to be, the noodles indeed cold, but the soup is hot. I am quite like the soup taste, and the noodles soaked in easily. Though I don't like so much onions and spring onions stuff. A good to try out and repeat order if I go there again.
Being a ramen lover, how could i miss this place?! Ramen champion located at illuma or now knowns as bugis plus is a good place to have a meal first before we go to play darts. there are several stores of ramen in the place and you can choose what type of ramen and flavour from hokkaido to tokyo.
there are different soup bases that you can choose from and the different thickness of noodles.
personally i like to go for the spicy selections and i really like the concept of having so many ramen stores in one place.
Ramen champion is a unique japanese ramen dining concept in that it houses a variety of many different ramen store owners who each boasts their own unique recipes and style of ramen preparation. This gives customers more choices to choose from and it certainly is beneficial especially as for a meat lover like me i would prefer to have extra pork meat in my ramen. Most if not all of the stores offer much more than ramen, they also include snacks like chicken kaarage and other tthings too. Drinks are sold at a separate counter and the main drinks include green tea and beer. Payment is made at the counter via the ordering gadget at the end of the meal so i must say this whole self service idea at ramen champion is actually pretty refreshing to say the least.