Akamaru, or Red Sea Ramen
The Husband and I first chanced upon Ippudo Ramen when we went for a holiday in Fukuoka about 2 years ago.
We just arrived in Fukuoka, cold and hungry and decided we will eat at the first 'yummy-looking' restaurant. It turned out to be a ramen restaurant and we later realised that it was Ippudo and that Ippudo is a rather famous Kyushu ramen restaurant.
Kyushu ramen is distinct amongst Japanese ramen for its rather thin, really ordinary-looking noodles and cloudy, hearty broth.
Ippudo is famous for its Shiromaru ("White sea") and Akamaru ("Red sea") ramen.
Shiromaru is Ippudo's version of traditional Hakata (Kyushu) ramen, with the typical cloudy broth made from pork bones. Akamaru is supposed to be a stronger in taste, and the soup has red miso (which is supposed to be a little spicy but it doesn't taste at all spicy to be) and garlic oil added to it.
We were really satisfied with our Ippudo experience in Kyushu, so when I found out that there is a new outlet in town, I was really pretty excited.
Ippudo Singapore is evidently a lot classier decoration-wise compared to its Kyushu counterpart. The noodles are, accordingly, more expensive too. A standard ramen with egg cost $17.
Here's my verdict on the noodles at the Singapore restaurant (I had the Akamaru ramen):
1. The Noodles - Good and al dente
2. The Charsiew (pork slice) - Chewy and very flavourful. Very Good.
3. The Soup - A little more oilier than expected.
4. The Egg - A big disappointment. I expected it to be cooked to perfection, with just the slightest bit of yolk being still in liquid state... but it was cooked through.. but 100% hard boiled.. but no jiggly yolk.
The Kyushu restaurant generously provided Japanese pickles for customers to add to their ramen. The Singapore restaurant charges $6 for "assorted Japanese pickles" (or so I remembered). Naturally, I didn't order any.
Overall, the ramen is pretty good and I might just go there to satisfy my Japanese ramen cravings again.. when I get them.. Although I think I would prefer my favourite Sapporo ramen store at Gallery Hotel. But then... the Japanese black bean with cream cheese appetizer is very good though. I might just go there again to eat that.
Bottom left: The black bean cream cheese with baguette.
Top right: The disappointing boiled egg...
Ippudo Ramen (Mandarin Gallery)Address: 333A Orchard Road, #04-02/03/04 Mandarin Gallery
Tel: 6235 2797