Ramen Santouka

September 16, 2017 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Ramen Santouka
21 Cuppage Road

6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#02-76 The Central


https://www.santouka.co.jp/en


Ramen Lift
Ramen Lift



Delicious Speciality Pork Bone & Seafood Broth

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 5
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 7
Value for Money: 6
Spent about SGD $35 per person.


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Ramen Santouka has a long history, having originally been established in March 1988 in Asahikawa, in the Hokkaido prefecture of Japan. Having since expanded globally, Ramen Santouka opened in Singapore in January 2008, and quickly won rave reviews, regularly making the 'best ramen' lists. They are well known for their signature soup / broth, a secret recipe blend of the Hokkaido style dried fish stock, with the Kyushu style pork tonkotsu stock, made is made from scratch in-house.

Ambience at Ramen Santouka is basic, casual, and functional. The place harkens back to the small, streetside ramen stalls, with closely-packed furniture within a small floor space that looks and feels cramped. At least the seats and booths are sufficiently comfortable, though it remains a functional place for a quick meal. Touches of Japanese decor add character to the mostly black, brown, and wood colour tones. There is an open kitchen, but it's designed more for efficiency, and less for viewing. Due to the small space, even normal conversations can be heard by other people.

Service at Ramen Santouka differs depending on the outlet. I received decent, functional service at the Cuppage outlet, but the service at The Central outlet was amazing. With the former, staff had little engagement or interaction, and they did not make any recommendations during ordering. With the latter, staff were friendly and proactive, they suggested dishes to order, displayed good product knowledge, and even asked for feedback on the meal. While both were efficient at clearing away empty / dirty tables, the differing standards is like night and day.

Food at Ramen Santouka is naturally, Japanese cuisine, with a focus on ramen noodles and donburi rice bowls. Besides the delicious, signature soup / broth, which is made from scratch in-house, much thought has been put into crafting a flavourful bowl of ramen noodles, from the type of noodles used to the thickness of the bowl. They have a small range of side dishes on the menu, most of which are executed to a good standard of quality. Portions are sized for individuals. Prices are mid-range, budget about SGD $35 per person for a meal here.


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Ramen Santouka Signage
Ramen Santouka Signage


Ramen Santouka Exterior
Ramen Santouka Exterior


Ramen Santouka Interior
Ramen Santouka Interior


Seating Outdoors
Seating Outdoors


Seating Indoors
Seating Indoors


Ramen Santouka Menu - Introduction


Ramen Santouka Menu - Ramen


Ramen Santouka Menu - Ramen Add-Ons


Ramen Santouka Menu - Side Dishes


Ramen Santouka Menu - Drinks & Desserts


Ramen Santouka Facade
Ramen Santouka Facade



The Yuzu Soda (SGD $4.50) has a light tangy, zesty, sour sweet flavour. Rather fruity, though the flavour gets lighter and lighter towards the end of the drink. I think it's rather expensive.

Yuzu Soda
Yuzu Soda (SGD $4.50)



The Beer Kirin Ichiban (SGD $7) is an American style pale lager, brewed by the Kirin Company in Tokyo, in the Kanto region of Japan. It has a clear, straw golden colour, with aromas of malt, grains, skunk, and lemon. The body is light, crisp, smooth, with lively carbonation, and tastes of bread, metal, grass, and cereal. Has a slight sweetness and slight bitterness. Very drinkable but light, and refreshing.

Beer Kirin Ichiban
Beer Kirin Ichiban (SGD $7)



The Hiya Yakko (SGD $4.50) is like a create-your-own-side-dish appetizer. Chilled, soft silken tofu beancurd, smooth and light in texture, is garnished with robust savoury katsuobushi / bonito fish flakes. On the side, a trio of toppings to add as you wish; sharp pickled ginger, salty light soy sauce, and fresh crunchy spring onions. Part of the fun is pairing the different garnishings on the silken tofu beancurd. Good!

Hiya Yakko
Hiya Yakko (SGD $4.50)


Hiya Yakko



There are several add-on ingredients available for your ramen noodles or donburi rice bowls. The Kon / Corn (SGD $1) has fresh, juicy sweet corn kernels, lending a light crunch. The Komi Tamago / Seasoned Egg (SGD $1.50) is partially wobbly soft, partially set, with good eggy flavour and a hint of salty taste, but I've had better versions elsewhere. Still, it makes for a good addition to a meal.

Kon / Corn
Kon / Corn (SGD $1)


Komi Tamago / Seasoned Egg
Komi Tamago / Seasoned Egg (SGD $1.50)



Both the Ramen Shio (SGD $13.50) and the Ramen Shoyu (SGD $13.50) are almost similar, with a few key differences. The similarities - Each bowl has soft and thin ramen noodles with a light springy texture. Both feature crunchy strips of bamboo shoots with reduced salt, fresh spring onions, and a slice of bouncy naruto, a seasoned and cured surimi / fish cake. The highlight is the tender, fatty, meaty pork char-siu slices, made from pork back ribs, with a savoury salty flavour. Both are served in thick bowls, which help to keep the soup / broth warm and hearty.

The differences between both ramen - The Ramen Shio is the original creation of the founder, and features an additional garnish of crunchy earthy kikurage / black fungus / cloud ear fungus, along with a signature topping of pickled plum, which has a juicy sour flavour. The pearl white soup / broth is salt based, light on the palate, but the salty savoury flavour lingers. With the Ramen Shoyu, there is an additional garnish of crisp earthy nori / seaweed. The light brown soup / broth is light soy sauce based, robust and earthy salty savoury on the palate, but it doesn't linger.

Ramen Shio
Ramen Shio (SGD $13.50)


Ramen Shio


Ramen Shoyu
Ramen Shoyu (SGD $13.50)


Ramen Shoyu



Love the Ramen Miso (SGD $13.50), which has similar ingredients (ramen noodles, bamboo shoots, spring onions, naruto, pork char-siu, kikurage / black fungus / cloud ear fungus) as their other offerings. The dark bronze soup is miso / fermented soy bean paste based, bold and deeply savoury on the palate, with a hint of sweet flavour at the back, causing you to crave more.

The Iberian Pork Toroniku (SGD $12) features meaty slices of Iberian pork cheek, with the tender savoury salty smoky lean pork meat coated in a thin silver of fat, making it so succulent. Lovely when paired with ramen. Highly recommended!

Ramen Miso
Ramen Miso (SGD $13.50)


Ramen Miso


Iberian Pork Toroniku
Iberian Pork Toroniku (SGD $12)


Iberian Pork Toroniku


Homage Shot
Homage Shot



I like the Iberian Pork Tonkatsu (SGD $17) here. The large, moist fillet of Iberian pork is lightly savoury, coated in a crisp, golden crumb batter. It's not greasy, but the texture is a little more firm than my usual preference. Love the sour plum dipping sauce and fresh crunchy salad on the side.

Iberian Pork Tonkatsu
Iberian Pork Tonkatsu (SGD $17)


Iberian Pork Tonkatsu


Iberian Pork Tonkatsu



The Rosuto Gyuniku (SGD $7) features lightly roasted beef, perfectly medium rare. Sliced thin, it's served in a lively sauce of ponzu and wasabi - the result, each bite is tangy zesty sharp, then you get the meaty savoury salty flavour of the beef. Yum.

Rosuto Gyuniku
Rosuto Gyuniku (SGD $7)


Rosuto Gyuniku



My favourite dish here is the Roast Beef Ae-Soba (SGD $17). It's so good. Launched in September 2017, this dish is like a mash-up between ramen noodles and a salad. It features a bed of arugula / wild rocket leaves, lettuce, and cherry tomatoes, overlaid with chilled dry ramen noodles, and stacked with 150g of medium rare, roast beef strips. A sauce of wobbly soft onsen egg, wasabi, ponzu sauce, and wafu sesame dressing is poured over. The result is an explosion of flavour; tangy, zesty, savoury, salty, sweet, vegetal, eggy. Layered textures of juicy, crunchy, tender, chewy, gooey. Vibrant and attractive. Super shiok. Highly recommended!

Roast Beef Ae-Soba (SGD $17)


Roast Beef Ae-Soba
Roast Beef Ae-Soba


Roast Beef Ae-Soba



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