with Larry, Prof. Horolographer, Dr. Mycroft, SJX
When new ramen outlets hit Singapore, queues usually follow outside the store. Such was when Ippudo opened in Mandarin Galleria. I went about 2 weeks before, during prime lunch time...about 12:30 till 1:30pm, and we walked right in without any queue. The ramen was quite good, but not able to unseat my prime favourite at Santouka or even Tampopo.
But Nantsuttei is rather different. I had sampled their ramen in Tokyo once, and remembered it to be rather good. So off we trotted, when it opened in Singapore...to secure a place, we dropped in early...about 11:30...no queues, but it started to form from about noon. By the time we left at about 1pm, the queue looked like it will take 20 mins to clear.
We ordered the super duper, all in version...what they call their Maru-toku Negi Chasu Ramen...a mouthfull...but it was just their regular ramen with shiraga-negi, bannou negi...types of Japanese spring onions. We added a seasoned egg.
The soup was superb, if quite salty...in fact way too salty. And an attempt to ask for less salt, met with the very polite waiter saying that it was not possible as the soup was "machine made"...we wondered what he meant by that. But the soup was hearty, tasty...but as I already mentioned way too much salt.
The chasu was nicely done. But I wished for a cut which is a bit more marbled. Though it was tender enough. And they were fairly generous, we counted 5 pieces of rather nicely sized chasu. The egg was not interesting...it was hard boiled, and not much deeply seasoned. Tampopo still holds the crown for me...soft inside, cooked but just barely so...the yolk gorgeous and still soft. Well seasoned.
We also ordered the gyoza
These were mini gyozas...really small. But these were tasty morsels. We ended up with 2 orders, each with 5 gyozas. Superb.
Overall, this does not unseat my previous champions. But the ramen is very nice indeed. Santouka and Tampopo is still tops.