Slurp On This

Ramen is love. Ramen is life. It’s like we always say – the only men who never let you down, are ramen.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Ramen is love. Ramen is life. It’s like we always say – the only men who never let you down, are ramen.

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It may be the new kid on the block, but KURO-OBI, which means “black belt” in Japanese, is no lightweight in the ramen category. A takeaway concept by Japanese restaurant chain IPPUDO, KURO-OBI is situated right next to its Marina Bay Sands branch – which is super-convenient if you find yourself getting too hangry in the infamous queue. Shorter waiting time aside, KURO-OBI’s ramen bowls are customisable and start from $8, which make them a wallet-friendly alternative for when that ramen craving hits. What’s unique about the Singapore branch is that the soup base used is Tori-paitan, a silky broth made from chicken, and the ramen is topped with chicken chashu instead of the usual pork chashu. Don’t expect the same type of ramen noodles used in IPPUDO. Since this is a takeaway counter, the noodles used here are made with tapioca flour and are thicker and shorter to ensure the noodles do not get soggy or lose their bite quickly.

KURO-OBI is at #B2-54/55 Marina Bay Sands.

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Tomo Izakaya

Tomo Izakaya isn’t exactly a big name in Singapore’s competitive ramen scene, but its three new ramen offerings might change all of that. Designed by Chef Hirotaka Murata, an expert in Japanese fine dining with over 20 years of experience, each has a distinctive character. For seafood lovers, there’s Kai Ramen, $14, which features jade-green noodles and clams swimming in a delicious briny broth. If you like your meals spicy, go for Shake-TanTan Men, $12, a creamy miso-based ramen dish. But the highlight is Tokyo Ramen, $9.50. Based on a recipe that has been passed down for two generations by Chef Murata’s master, it’s a simple combo of egg noodles and tender slices of kurobuta pork sitting in a bowl of clear shoyu soup. It’s the latter that sets this unassuming dish apart – made from pork bone marrow, chicken bones, Bonito flakes, dried scallop and prawns, the broth is jampacked with umami flavours that will make you want to slurp it to its last drop.

Tomo Izakaya is at #01-14 Clarke Quay, 3A River Valley Rd.

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Tsukiji Fizz, $22, from Nutmeg & Clove

If you ever find yourself craving a cocktail, drop by Nutmeg & Clove, a watering hole nestled on the second storey of a shophouse along Ann Siang Hill. And if you’re feeling adventurous, do yourself a favour and order the Tsukiji Fizz – the bar’s own unique, umami spin on the Ramos Gin Fizz. It’s creamy, citrusy, and there’s some squid ink (!) involved. And if you’re wondering how it tastes, well, it strongly reminded us of Yakult, but with an adult twist!

Nutmeg & Clove is at 10 Ann Siang Hill.

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Additional Reporting Chow Rong Qian, Syafii Ghazali.

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