Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Marutama Ramen @ Central Mall, #03-90

Finally came down to check out Marutama Ramen (Central Mall, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #03-90, Tel: 6534-8090) as this place has caused great excitement in the foodblogging community.

I must say, I can't have eaten any good ramen in recent history, because there is no memory of any ramen-eating experience which has evoked any particular emotion or craving. I mean, let's be frank, it just tastes like instant noodles right? There isn't much difference between a well-cooked myojo mee and a mediocre ramen... and the ingredients: egg, char siew, spring onion... the same stuff go on my myojo too.

But I decided to give ramen a chance.

DH is into Japanese anime at the moment, and he loves this series about a boy who learns to be a ninja. The male protagonist, Naruto, is a conflicted character who vacillates between good and evil... and his favourite food? Ramen. So, it can't be that ramen doesn't taste good, it's just that I haven't tasted good ramen.
Marutama ramen uses chicken stock for its broth instead of the more ubiquitous tonkotsu (pork soft bones), miso (soy bean paste) or shoyu (soy sauce). I chose the signature marutama ramen (SGD 12) (it comes with 1 slice of cha shyu) and then added an order of cha shyu (SGD4 for 4 slices) and an egg (SGD 1).
Verdict: I liked the ramen, they were springy and chewy and tasty. The cha shyu was sublime. It was sliced so thin, and it was still so flavourful and it literally melted in my mouth. Very good. The egg was cold when it arrived but was revived by the hot soup. The centre of the yolk was still soft and was neither overcooked nor undercooked. The chicken-based broth tasted very strongly of chicken. I think I would still lean towards tonkotsu, as to me it tastes sweeter and more robust. The fried garlic chips and toasted sesame seeds on each table added a fragrance to to the ramen, and was a nice touch.
3 slices and half an egg (I shared the additional orders with my friend) didn't last very long so I was eating plain noodles for the rest of the meal. Towards the end I got a bit bored eating the ramen only, but I was still hungry. I could have added another portion of ramen to my broth for only SGD 1 (it's an option called Kaedama) but no thanks.
Dessert next. I wanted shiratama azuki and thought I could get them at Azabu Sabo, a Hokkaido-based ice cream chain. But turns out, there were a mere ice-cream stand, with no dessert menu or sit down area.
So we walked around and ended up at Paisley & Cream Cafe (#01-09 same place). It was such a pretty and inviting cafe. Very girly.
My dear friend and I shared a cheesecake with strawberries (SGD6). It was nice, dense and not too sweet. It was the no-bake type which I've made before. It's not too difficult. maybe I should try sometime soon.

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