Ramen Champion

January 19, 2014 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Ramen Champion
1 Kim Seng Promenade
#01-22 Great World City

201 Victoria Street
#04-10 Bugis+

65 Airport Boulevard
#B2-58 Changi Airport Terminal 3


http://www.ramenchampion.com.sg/


A Gathering Of Champions; Winner: The Customer

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 8
Value for Money: 9
Spent about SGD $22 per person.


.....


What makes a good ramen? The answer to this delicious question is varied, from the thickness of the noodle, to the type of broth, to the garnishings used. Ramen Champion attempt to answer this question, by scouring the regions of Japan, and gathering 13 individually outstanding chefs under the Ramen Champion umbrella, to battle it out with their signature ramen dishes.

Each of the 13 ramen brands are spread across all 3 of the Ramen Champion outlets in Bugis+, Great World City, and Changi Airport Terminal 3, and each outlet features some, but not all, of the 13 chefs ramen stalls. Ambience at each of the Ramen Champion outlets is similar, with dark wooden and teak colours scheme and furniture, and low lighting, with decor in traditional Japanese restaurant style.

Ramen Champion is self-service, where diners can choose which of the individual stalls to order from. Place your order, collect the buzzer, wait about 5 - 10 minutes, then collect your order when ready, payment only when leaving the premises; absolutely fuss free, and thus, no service charge! This competition for the title of Ramen Champion takes place throughout the year, with the stall selling the most bowls getting crowned Champion. Because Ramen Champion has outlets across the world, each country has a different Ramen Champion.

Each of the 13 ramen stalls hail from various regions in Japan, and usually offer the regional speciality, or inventive creations from the chef. Each stall features a menu that usually has 1 - 3 signature ramen dishes, along with several other side dishes and lesser items. The bewildering array of options at Ramen Champion means most diners usually gravitate towards the signature dishes from their favourite stalls.

In general, portions at Ramen Champion are usually quite generous and filling, with prices for an individual bowl of ramen costing an average of SGD $13 - $19. What I like about Ramen Champion is their use of premium, quality ingredients, which means you're assured a good bowl of ramen no matter which of the 13 chefs you choose.

The competition at Ramen Champion Singapore begins on 1st August each year, and runs all the way till 31st July the next year, when the results are tallied and the winner of is crowned. The competiton is currently into its 3rd year (01-Aug-2013 to 31-Jul-2014), having first commenced in 2001.


.....


There are a variety of drinks available at the drink counter, but these usually play second fiddle to the food. Look out for their happy hour specials!

Asahi Beer


Iced Yuzu


Iced Fuji Apple Berries


Sapporo Beer



.....


Chef: Masaki Yorozu of Gantetsu
Region: Sapporo City, Hokkaido Region





Signature Dish: Miso Ramen King Cha Shu Men
Broth: Miso | Noodle: Medium, Round, Curly
Garnish: Medium Pork Belly Cha Shu, Seasoned Egg, Seaweed, Spring Onion, Bean Sprouts, Bamboo Shoot, Black Fungus, Garlic




To win the ramen championship for 3 consecutive years is not easy. Even more remarkable, Gantetsu has managed to achieve this 3 time victory in the city considered to be the 'Ramen Capital' of Japan, and also the birthplace of Miso Ramen. Their signature Miso Ramen King Cha Shu Men (SGD $15) has a light but full-bodied broth, and their style of serving the ingredients on the side help to prevent soggyness. I also like that their meat is tender, well marinated and easy to chew. However, their seasoned egg tends to be slightly overdone.




Dish: Miso Ramen With Butter And Corn
Broth: Miso | Noodle: Medium, Round, Curly
Garnish: Medium Pork Belly Cha Shu, Seaweed, Spring Onion, Bean Sprouts, Black Fungus, Garlic, Corn, Butter




The Miso Ramen With Butter And Corn (SGD $13.50) from Gantetsu has a milky, flavourful broth with the addition of butter. The corn complements the crunchy texture of the black fungus, but the lone pork belly slice and lack of seasoned egg hurt this dish in terms of portion.




The nicely Grilled Teriyaki Hotate / Scallops from Gantetsu are fresh and meaty, paired well with the savoury sauce and fresh crunchy bean sprouts.

Gantetsu Sapporo Grilled Teriyaki Hotate



.....


Chef: Makoto Iwasaki of Bario
Region: Tokyo City, Kanto Region





Signature Dish: Ajitama Ramen
Broth: Tonkotsu And Shoyu Combination (Jiro Style) | Noodle: Thick, Broad, Curly
Garnish: Thick Pork Belly Cha Shu, Seasoned Egg, Bean Sprouts, Cabbage, Garlic, Chili




Bario proudly declares their ramen to be 'Made by Men, for Men'. Listed among the top 50 things to eat in the world, their signature Ajitama Ramen is served with a heaping mountain of crunchy bean sprouts, in a full-bodied, complex broth of pork, chicken and soy sauce, slow cooked over 12 hours. Flavour of the seasoned egg is strong, while retaining a soft texture, and the thickly sliced pork has generous amounts of fat. For added punch, they encourage adding heaping spoonfuls of garlic and chili. Their regular portion (SGD $13) is extremely generous, but those who want a challenge should order the large bowl. The chewy texture of the noodles may not appeal to some though.




Dish: Bario Ramen
Broth: Tonkotsu And Shoyu Combination (Jiro Style) | Noodle: Thick, Broad, Curly
Garnish: Thick Pork Belly Cha Shu, Bean Sprouts, Cabbage, Garlic, Chili




Think of the eponymous Bario Ramen (SGD $8) as a more manageable, downsized version of their signature dish. Essentially the same with somewhat lesser ingredients, it is still a filling and generous portioned dish in its own right. Featuring the signature chewy noodles and the thickly sliced pork belly cha shu, but lacking the seasoned egg, this is good for those who want a less extreme rendition from them.




The yummy Seasoned Egg from Bario is one of the few side dishes they offer. Tasty, and suitable for dunking in their soup!

Bario Tokyo Seasoned Egg



.....


Chef: Kosuke Yoshimura of Ikkousha
Region: Hakata-Ku City, Kyushu Region





Signature Dish: Special Ramen
Broth: Tonkotsu | Noodle: Thin, Round, Straight
Garnish: Thin Pork Belly Cha Shu, Seasoned Egg, Seaweed, Spring Onion, Black Fungus




For 2 consecutive years, Ikkousha has claimed the title of Ramen Champion Singapore, thanks to their signature Special Ramen (SGD $16.50). Their award winning broth is light, with a hint of sourness and spice, but rich, milky, and with full porky flavour. The seasoned egg is flavourful and beautifully done with a molten center, probably the best seasoned egg of all, while the soft, slender noodles goes down easily. The thinly sliced pork is still meaty enough to have some bite, and has a nice balance of fat and lean meat. However, some may find this dish to be too salty for their liking.




Dish: God Fire Ramen
Broth: Tonkotsu | Noodle: Thin, Round, Straight
Garnish: Medium Pork Belly Cha Shu, Seasoned Egg, Seaweed, Spring Onion, Black Fungus, Chili




The God Fire Ramen (SGD $13.50) from Ikkousha adds a level of spice to their signature dish, but otherwise, is similar in all other aspects. Those who like it hot may want to go for this, as the broth is quite spicy, and the burning heat builds throughout the meal!




I loved the perfectly pan-fried Gyoza from Ikkousha, that has a nice char on the exterior, skin which isn't too thick and won't break easily, and tightly packed pork filling that goes so well with the soy dipping sauce.

Ikkousha Hakata Gyoza



.....


Chef: Toshikazu Yoneda of Butaou
Region: Saitama City, Kanto Region





Signature Dish: Special Sukiyaki Ramen
Broth: Tonkotsu And Sukiyaki Combination | Noodle: Thin, Round, Curly
Garnish: Thick Pork Belly Cha Shu, Soft Boiled Egg, Seaweed, Spring Onion, Bamboo Shoot, Thin Pork Side Bacon




The signature Special Sukiyaki Ramen (SGD $16) from Butaou may anger ramen purists, because of its sweet taste profile instead of the usual salty umami taste of ramen, due to the addition of sukiyaki vegetable stock. I liked the slighty sweet taste of the soup, though I think it did get heavier and more cloying towards the end. I also liked that they have they most ingredients of any ramen here, the bowl is literally filled with pork!




I loved that the Chawanmushi Prawn from Butaou is perfectly steamed till the egg custard is soft and wobbly, with a fragrant aroma. There isn't much ingredients within though, only 1 beech / shimeji mushroom, 1 fresh prawn, and 1 ginko nut.

Butaou Saitama Chawanmushi Prawn



.....


Chef: Suzuki Takehiro of Riki
Region: Tokyo City, Kanto Region





Signature Dish: Nitamago Shoyu Ramen
Broth: Shoyu | Noodle: Thick, Broad, Curly
Garnish: Thick Pork Belly Cha Shu, Soft Boiled Egg, Bean Sprouts, Cabbage, Garlic, Chili




The signature Nitamago Shoyu Ramen (SGD $14) from Riki features the Tokyo style thick noodles, but the difference lies in their soft boiled egg, which sits wobbling in the center of the soup, rather than a seasoned egg. The soup isn't as potent with garlic or chili, and the portion is just enough for one person, without being too overwhelming. I noticed their pork cha shu is quite lean as well.




While I liked the semi firm texture of the Cod Fish Tofu from Riki, the taste was somewhat flat and lacking, being slightly more neutral in flavour. This was somewhat elevated by the sour pickles, but the dish is still below average overall.

Riki Tokyo Cod Fish Tofu With Pickles






.....


You Might Also Like