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Tanjong Pagar | CBD

a smorgasbord of flavors condensed into one soup.

you know, i think i finally understand what makes reviewing local delicacies so difficult for me. i take a relatively scientific (god forbid) approach toward savoring my food, trying to discern nuances between flavors and how they balance one another. the problem with asian food though, is that the flavors involved are usually overpowering and tend to dominate your palette at one time, not allowing for any taste balancing. now, this doesn’t mean that these local delicacies are any less delicious as compared to say french fare, but it’s just.. a different food concept. in essence, in asian food, the “zhup” (inherent sauce) is  helluva important.

so let’s look at exhibit A: whitley road big prawn mee (lorong telok). (hmm.. as an aside, its makes for really confusing names when you name your hawker stall after a particular location, but then start expanding or shifting stalls.. it’s like the conundrum of finding 2 variants of katong laksa and queensway shopping centre.. lol)

foodwise, i ordered the pork rib prawn mee noodle ($5). think the prawn broth was really good – an sensory-overpowering peppery warm soup with many nuances of different flavors. the flavor of the broth essentially gave taste to the noodles (which my friend commented weren’t too great) and the other condiments. adding the fried onions was an inspired decision, really adding sparks of tasting and crunchiness to the dish. also liked the prawns dipped in chilli sauce (soy sauce + green chilli). the pork ribs didn’t exactly change the flavor profile of the soup (i assume the broth is from one main pot) and so they were pretty pedestrian.

just another aside, my word of the month is now “pedestrian” –  its so irritatingly condescending when used on food. heard it from one of the comments of joe bastianich when he was reviewing some food on masterchef. that guy is a masterclass at giving mean comments. lol

anyways, the service here was a little annoying – by that i mean that the aunties kept badgering us to order (we were there for barely a minute in when they started their badgering). and they KEPT using the words “shuai ge” and “xiao mei” to end off their comments.. so essentially i think i heard like 10 “shuai ge”s within a span of like 2 minutes. and of course these aunties dun QC one.. they call any guy that is alive shuai ge… 

but all in all, a decent meal in my opinion, that left me wanting for more. my friend apparently didn’t like it that much and recommended me to give a rating of 4.. lol.. nahh.. i’ll be nice. 6.0/10

whitley road big prawn mee (lorong telok) |  18 Lorong Telok, #01-01 | local, prawn mee

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taste of italy

so restaurant week came and went, and i managed to cough out enough quid to go for two tastings, capricci and le saint julien (thanks to Mr WiseGuy =) but that’s another post). to be honest, for all the misgivings towards irritating booking-hoarders, restaurant week is actually a really good event that can allow for much restaurant promotion and also benefit the hordes of food lovers who want good food at an acceptable price. i mean, its only at this time that you get 3 – 4 course meals at prices like 30 -55, that would normally fetch an asking price of easily 70 – 100+ and above. so yeah, go for the next edition of restaurant week if you have the chance. but DON’T be an ugly Singaporean and book-hoard all the restaurants. *grumbles*

ok back to Capricci.. so its this restaurant thats along the main street of tanjong pagar leading to maxwell market, sharing the street with bridal studios and facing many a korean BBQ restaurants. you can’t see it from the exterior, but its actually decorated in quite a homely and italian eatery kinda manner that’s quite inviting. the restaurant is decorated simply, with requisite posters of italian locales like trevi fountain and the bridge of sighs. there’s quite a well-stocked glassed-in wine cellar, typical of italian restaurants, and also a warm, homely baked bread smell wafting in from the ‘external’ kitchen where the head chef (i suppose) was smilingly preparing some delicious toasted focaccia in between serving and mingling with patrons. smart guy…  i wonder if it was a conscious decision to move the bread oven closer to patrons to whet their appetites. let’s get to the food.

complimentary bread

tasted delicious, especially the focaccia with the assorted spices. pity that this became a negative point for our experience at the restaurant because we want more, but were informed that we would be charged for another basket of bread. i mean, i guess it’s understandable from the restaurant’s standpoint, but it in no way leaves a good impression to the patrons and neither does it really make much sense — most high end restaurants have quite exquisite selection of breads and they actively approach their patrons to refill their bread. seriously how expensive can bread get to be that calculative? i recall a similar experience in db bistro moderne when we were sampling a special menu created specially by daniel boulud himself — we really enjoyed the lavash bread and asked for more, to which the waiter explained apologetically that the bread was limited to one table a basket, but that he would convey the request to the chef to see if anything could be done. and voila, more bread was served. and that’s what i call good restaurant service — sometimes you need to lose a little to gain much more.

appetizer: 36 months cured parma ham with rock melon sorbet

best dish of the night – what with the really ingenious take of a traditional classic of parma ham and rock melon slice. by choosing a sorbet instead of a simple slice of rock melon, the chef managed to amplify the sweetness of the rock melon to that which was comparable to the intense savory flavor of the Parma ham. simply put, this dish was perfectly balanced and delicious, with the innovative use of sorbet being a great pleasing factor.

appetizer: orange perfurmed Maguro tuna tartare with avocado puree

hmm not too impressed. decently put together but lacked the oomph, largely due to the fact that the tatare didn’t feel fresh enough. think such a dish works only if the raw ingredient is served refreshingly cold and fresh, with the crisp vegetables to enhance the natural goodness. this didn’t really accomplish that.

mains: homemade paccheri with homemade Italian sausage

the waiter explained paccheri to be some sort of a folded pasta, to which my sis didn’t particularly enjoy, citing that it was too thick and starchy. i thought it was decent, because the cream-based pasta sauce mixed with tons of savory sausage was really flavorful and balanced out the starchiness of the pasta. to be honest, as an aside, why would you order pasta in a set menu, knowing fully that pasta dishes typically cost 10 bucks less than other mains?  i mean, my sis was attracted to the “homemade” paccheri which seemed unique, but to be honest, in my opinion, “homemade” is a tortured, overused word to hype up a dish and subsequently double the price. its like “artisanal”. -_-

mains: oven baked suckling pig Sardinia style with mirto liqueur on a hat of portobello mushroom

really liked this dish. the suckling pig skin was fried to a crisp (not like the typically chinese peking duck style), and the combination of portobello mushroom/suckling pig meat on top of the crisp skin as a base made for a really delicious main dish. my parents commented that the meat was kinda similar to typical chinese peking duck but i disagree – think the mirto liqueur added a really good flavor to the meat.

mains: lemon zest perfumed risotto with pan seared fresh scallop and sweet spanish cherry wine reduction

did not like. i like my risotto savory so this rendition was wierd with the lemon zest and to be honest, the scallops were kind of paltry. maybe it’s an acquired taste.

desserts: panna cotta drizzled with strawberry coulis

didn’t try this, but this doesnt seem particularly innovative.

desserts: lava cake with vanilla ice cream

not very impressed as well, despite this being a signature from the restaurant. the lava cake was pretty good, with the chocolate oozing out amply when bitten into, but i couldn’t really understand the placement of the dish – shouldn’t the ice cream be on top of the cake so the flavors would combine? the dessert was pleasant but not particularly inspired.

overall, a generally pleasant dining experience with mostly hits and some misses. i liked the suckling pig and parma ham+ rock melon sorbet especially, felt the service was generally good but marred by some very off comments by the waiter who came off as slightly too pompous. 6.5/10

capricci | 27 tanjong pagar road | italian, fine-dining ($55 for restaurant week menu)

boutique beer

i’m starting to really love the duxton hill area, what if the general artsy, designer-ish vibe juxtaposed with the traditional chinatown alleys, the many real cool hiding places and nooks and cranies that have been converted into chic meeting spaces, art galleries and bookstores, and of course, the many interesting food places around. as my dad was driving us around the area, I was excitedly pointing out of the various restaurants i had seen online and had wanted to try, be it buyan, bonheur patisserie and the likes.

anyways, our trip down this time was for group therapy (the place, not the activity). its this small, hidden restaurant/event space run by two charming, efficient ladies  right above etna italian restaurant. its kinda not too conspicuous, considering that its basically one small door tucked within the alleyway, but i guess its cool for what it is. and i liked the fact once you head up and opened the door, it was like heading into a friend’s cosy studio apartment in some boulevard in paris, where you could sit, chill, have some chips and beer whilst staring out at the balcony gazing at the streets below (not that the balcony was open). you know, that kinda feel…\

but yeah, there’s a very homely feel to it, and its also quite a small, cosy place. there is essentially one long communal table along with 3 side tables and a bar counter at the dining area, and a larger event space area filled with cushions and chairs. being a friday night, this place was comfortably crowded, all the tables were filled bar none (which we took =)) and there was an air of cheery merriment due to tgif. ok lets get to the food.

squid-ink ravioli (see that black stripe?) stuffed with mushrooms and topped with a basil/tomato sauce ($20)

this dish was surprisingly refreshing and light what with the mixture of basil, mushroom and tomato sauce. couldn’t really taste out the squid ink from the pasta but overall the dish felt healthy, tasty good and left me wanting more. and hmm, the price point was tad steep for such a dish perhaps (i suspect the ravioli wasn’t cheap) but its good stuff for vegetarians. (methinks an infusion of pine nuts would have made this dish even better)

beef shank stew with carrots and potatoes, paired with 3 pieces of grilled bread ($15)

simple, home-cooked food eh? i think its a real cool concept actually, its like having house-warming with friends and seeing them cook behind the bar counter at the semi-messy stove. to be honest, the food isn’t like outstanding or like pushing culinary innovation or something, but just well-cooked, well-intentioned food. and somehow the notion of pairing delicious-looking grilled bread with stew is something that can never go wrong. hehe.. wish they had gone more along the route of a beef bourguignon and had added a little red wine into the sauce =)

chicken ham and egg pie ($11)

wonder where they bought the pie because the crust was really delicious. (and if they pre-made it, then i really want to know how to make such crusts) the crust was flaky and buttery and overall the pie was yummy. essentially, it’s easy cafe food somewhat like delifrance, but more delicious and better prepared.

belgian waffle with blueberries and starberries, ice cream, almonds and maple syrup ($11.50)

the waffles crust was just right and delicious really good. hehe, though i wish some maple butter was added into the mix to send you to saccharine heaven. =) and on a sidenote, i realise how my family is turning into quite a small-eating, health conscious bunch. i mean, we shared this dessert among four people!! i remember how in Cornell freshmen year, we would totter to RPCC and like make ONE such waffle and drizzle all sorts of condiments, ice cream and fruits and eat it alone. shudders.. no wonder i got fat. =)

but make no mistake. the cakes here are pretty huge. i spied my neighbor’s table 4-layered carrot cake and noticed they took a full hour to work through half of it.. (well and also cos they were “pak tor-ing”) and i noticed the apple crumble was one massive horizontal slice of goodness. so yeah, share your desserts here.

there are also boutique beers and ciders for people to try — its a nice, lighter alternative to the common vino places. you know, seeing such a place makes me really yearn to set up my own cosy eating establishment.. sigh

all in all, a fun, cosy place to relax, have some desserts with friends and just enjoy the atmosphere. i like. =) 7.0/10

group therapy | 49 duxton road, #02-01 | desserts, chill-out, brunch

friday night reverie.

so after my disappointment in not being able to secure a table at absinthe during restaurant week, i decided to just screw it and head down there with my folks on our own account and try to food. apparently there was this OUB chef’s creation promotion with a 4 course dinner going for $64 per pax. it’s not exactly cheap, but its within an acceptable range depending on the food i suppose.

so absinthe is located along a kinda shabby portion of chinatown, along bukit pasoh street that has seen an injection of new life with swankified restaurants and refurbished hotels taking over old shophouses and sharing the same road with authentic chinese clan houses. this mix of traditional and noveau riche style is really quite something, and its obviously successful, judging by the many beautiful sleek cars parked by the roadside and just the general crowd within the restuarants. absinthe is right at the corner, and with an unpretentious storefront, it is easy to miss it.

once you step into the restaurant, you feel like you have walked into say a mid/high end east village french restaurant – the furnishings aren’t opulent nor as polished as that of say St Pierre, but there is a definite sense of luxury and french flair within. likewise, the service of the maitre de is topnotch, though my sis did complain that she couldn’t understand his french accent. lol. interestingly, patrons are given a glimpse into the bustling of the restaurant via a long horizontal window that well.. kinda diminished the illusion of transporting you away from singapore.. ah well.. i spied chef francois mermilliod bustling round the kitchen and he actually came out to serve patrons and recommend dishes in a warm, friendly and humble manner. i think that was really a cool gesture for someone of his stature. good job. ok let’s get to the food:-

our appetizer was this crab cake within a toasted brioche-like pastry paired with some garden greens, thai sweet sauce and melon candy at the side (see picture above). the crab cake was every bit the refreshing and went really well with the sweet sauce and garden greens to create this refreshing feel on your palette. i noticed that the pastry that contained the ingredients was shaped like that of a crab, which added a creative and playful nuance to the dish. however, methinks it was slightly difficult to break apart and made for not a very easy eating experience with me trying to taste all the flavors together. but overall, besides that mild inconvenience, the dish was fresh, tasty and a perfect way to start of the meal.

french onion soup with toasted bread covered with cheese

lol. i shall not pretend i know the cheese, but the combination of dipping the bread into the warm soup to let the cheese just slightly melt and soak up the onion soup was a stroke of genius and tasted really good. wished there was more such bread =(. found the soup otherwise nicely balanced but hmm.. somewhat not exactly out of this world. methinks soups always taste better was slurped down on a cold winter’s day.

beef cheeks with mashed potato and long beans.

the highlight of the night. the beef cheeks were absolutely tender and melted in your mouth upon eating. but what really made it work was the mixing of the beef cheek with pommery mustard (you must get this mustard when they ask which mustard you want)  and a dollop of mashed potato. the mix of flavors is really heavenly, with the meatiness blending with the smooth mashed potato and the tangy, unique flavor of the pommery mustard. i googled pommery mustard and found a website hailing it to be truly a historic gem in the culinary world and otherwise known as moutarde de meaux. someone who is making a trip to france, please buy it for me! i savored this dish for a full half an hour or so, having every portion slowly invigorate my tastebuds. =) we paired this with a 2010 canet vallete antonyme saint-chinian, a red wine that reminded me somewhat of beaujolais as it was fruity, smooth and easy to drink.

caramelized apples paired with hazlenut pastry, vanilla creme and apple creme

to be honest, i didn’t get the name of the dessert when the maitre de tried to explain it to me. he explained it was a traditional french dessert that resembled that of the mille feuille but with the creme substituted with apple-creme. hmm, judging by what actually came out, i guess i heard wrongly as well. lol. what i got was a caramelized apple slices paired with vanilla creme (bottom tier) and apple creme (top tier) separated by a hard hazlenut (i think) pastry. its.. interesting, but i think it lacked the oomph i expect with french desserts. the creme layers were really good but i didn’t get the combination of the flavors. hmm it was a pity.

overall, a nice french restaurant with a few culinary tricks up its proverbial sleeves. we noted that the restaurant was completely packed on a friday night with everyone pretty much dressed to the nines which must say something about its appeal. i found the ambience to be pleasant, service was really good, and the food to be overall pretty good. of course.. with what we paid.. hmm, i conclude that this place will work wonders if you are willing to splurge on it, because the inherent creativity of the chef can be found within the dishes. so head there if you have the cash and want some innovative culinary journey eh? 7.5/10

and sadly i didn’t ask whether they served absinthe. though i spied a few bottles on display. hee

absinthe | 48 Bukit Pasoh Road | french, fine dining, creative, contemporary

cornucopia.

finding fellow salad eaters is a difficult task here in singapore, so it’s a great relieve to find people who wouldn’t stare at you if you order a salad as your main and instantly assume you are on some insane diet or some religious mumbo-jumbo. no, i actually find salads nice and a refreshing choice if prepared well. no kidding. =)

anyways, finally got down to going to antoinette @ mandarin gallery after many misguided aborted attempts during the weekends. this place is really getting alot of buzz and probably raking it rich, considering a third outlet is being set up near ann siang (the first being at penhas road). there’s something posh, french and atas about the place that i think is irresistible to most girls and the find also matches the ambience – the menu serves all-day french breakfasts with crepes, waffles, pain perdu (french toast) as well as other french classics ranging from salads to beef bourguinon. and then of course the highlights which are the desserts. the fact that i really liked my salad dish but was still salivating at the dishes being served at other tables is testament of how well the menu has been crafted to attract crowds. =)

i think what creates the ambience is mainly the dim lighting, the posh victorian style cushioned furniture, the beautifully monogrammed napkins and menus all contribute to creating this fantastical theme of being in Versailles and living the life of Marie Antoinette or her many courtiers. mind you, this is a very good singaporean interpretation of french olden luxury. whoever did the branding for this place really did their work. ok lah, let’s get to the food.

salad lyonnaise, $14.00

I got the salad lyonnaise, which had a garden greens, tomatoes, buttered croutons, pieces of bacon strips and topped with a runny egg. felt that the combination was really pretty good, with fresh ingredients which is essential for a good salad. this salad is like a semi-guilty salad — u avoid alot of carbs (just the croutons), you get some sinful food in the form of the bacon, but it is offset with the greens and a general sense of lightness. its a good salad, perhaps a tad expensive. ahh well, paying for ambience again -_- but to be honest, i haven’t found many places that really pay attention to their salad selections and put in efforts to create delicious, creative novel salads (i mean, besides like mesclun and salad shop but they are irritating located in the CBD area and closed on weekends. like hello? it’s not only bankers and stuff that eats grass you know!?)

exotique, $8.00

the main highlight of course was tasting the desserts, since my friend and I were both very into desserts. we got the exotique and some meringue +creme + passionfruit compote confection (can’t remember the name) to share. the exotique was some mango layer topped onto a mousse and sponge cake with gula melaka fillings. the mango was somewhat slightly too tart initially, and it was only till u managed to get to the center to taste the gula melaka and balance out the tartness did the dessert kind of work. my friend commented that this dessert grew on her, lol.. guess that’s another way to interpret it. it’s interesting, but probably not good enough to warrant gushing over it or waiting for a second try.

meringue/creme chantilly/passionfruit compote confection. $8.00

 again a really interesting dessert, not some traditional cakey stuff. this dessert essentially was two meringue bits that enclosed the vanilla creme chantilly and passionfruit compote (which was spread kinda unevenly). the meringue tasted pretty light, but not light enough as compared to french patisseries (lol) but combined well with the vanille creme chantilly. i particularly like the creme chantilly (but errm i guess its pretty easy to make) but found it difficult to taste or interpret the passionfruit compote within the dessert. another ok dessert.

overall? to be honest, this restaurant works because it fills a niche that surprisingly hasn’t been fully developed in singapore excepts perhaps by canele — the posh-feeling, french-inspired patisserie + mid-range restaurant that attracts girls like bees to honey. the cakes are interesting but not as fantastic as they are hyped to be (wished we could have tried the antoinette but it was sold out by then). the salads are nice, but well, its a little overpriced and i guess i can’t comment on the level of cooking because i didn’t get any complex dishes. nevertheless i want to come back and try them. it seems weird but i cant really think of another place that serves similar food, except perhaps hediard, but even then, hediard only mainly serves croque monsieurs.

another thing that is nice is that despite the seemingly posh environment, you still can order ice water/hot water for free, no one scoffs at you if u are just ordering desserts and service is generally acceptable. its not like those irritating places that charge u money for fricking water. -_- overall, expect to see more antoinettes and antoinette-copy cats around town soon. 7.5/10

antoinette333A Orchard Road, #02-33/34 Mandarin Gallery | desserts, french

afternoon respite at ann siang

headed down to k ki and the little drom store with my sis today for some afternoon cakes and tea and some time for catch up. i noticed that my tendency to want to “hoard” things up led my to be ridiculously scrimpy with my leave so far and it was the realization that the people around you might not be with you forever that prompted me to take some time off and.. well, reconnect.

anyways, i love the district at ann siang, with the interesting curio shops selling stuff beautiful picture books to cool vintage wear, along with really chic and expensive-looking eateries, bars and cafes. k ki is cited slightly off from the intersection of ann siang hill/club st/ann siang rd and is super inviting, with bright glass windows showcasing a clean, minimalistic , Scandinavian aesthetic within.

k ki’s ambience is one of quiet, whimsical respite. people troop into the store for casual glances at the cute stuff sold at the little drom store, whilst others stay longer for some afternoon coffee and cakes. its the sort of place to go to to be reacquainted with yourself, spend some time just gazing through the window and musing about life, or get a close friend to escape and while the lazy afternoon away. it’s really undisturbed bliss, albeit for a short duration. let’s get to the cakes.

my sis got the noisette ($8), layers of hazelnut fillings with an occasional crunchier layer. its very light, not too sweet or rich, perfect for people who desire non-jelak desserts that can actually be finished by one person in a sitting. the nuances within the layers individually came through but also melded perfectly together for a delicious dessert.

i got the antoinette ($8), a white chocolate cake with a mango creme center and topped with some ginger bits. honestly, one of the best cakes i have tasted in a long time. its equally light, as with most japanese interpretation of western pastries. the white chocolate cake is like a semi-hard mousse sort of cake that melts in your mouth upon tasting and gives you the light, sweet white chocolate flavor. the mango creme, situated in the center of the cake, forms the PERFECT counterpart to the white chocolate, bringing a secondary, differently-nuanced sweetness to the palette. it reminded me of a typicaly hk-dim sum custard bun, but much lighter, more nuanced and more well balanced. i fully recommend this for sweet-toothers.

mango creme filling in the middle

overall, the perfect cafe for a lazy afternoon catch up session with a close friend. dun miss this. 8.0/10

 k ki  | 7 ann siang hill, #01-00 | desserts, cafe, japanese, chillout

pound out the flavor.

my dear friend’s review of tonkotsu king keisuke ramen piqued my interest small unpretentious ramen shop, considering that he pretty much used the words “best ramen in singapore“. boy that’s some tall praise considering how saturated the market has become for ramen. and yeah perhaps one of my posts in the future will be on the top few ramen places in singapore.

anyways, i don’t really understand why, but to me, you need a certain mood and time to eat ramen. ramen is a relatively heavy meal, consisting of a thick broth soup, noodles and other condiments which each determines how good the entire bowl will turn out. to me, ramen is only eaten on days when you have that “i need some tasty soup but not exactly prawn mee” kind of craving. but those days come quite often, so I guess it works out for ramen shop owners. =)

ok anyways, as per what the above review mentioned, there was a sizeable queue outside the stall when we walked from tanjong pagar mrt station toward the shop. and the queue moves slowly, simply because it moves only when patrons within have finished their meal and have vacated their tables. its that small a restaurant. please don’t come with like a bunch of 20 friends, because you wouldn’t fit inside. even with like 12 friends, you practically need to book the entire ramen shop because there are pretty much like 2×4-seaters, 3×2-seaters and a bartop seating another 4. but since people do realise that there are hungry hordes waiting for them to finish their meal, they are relatively brisk and no-frills after they finish their meal, which is much appreciated. =)

so we got in after queuing for around half an hour, by which the friendly waiter had taken our orders already via some handy sheet of paper-order where you indicated the type of ramen you wanted – normal, black spicy (a more peppery version that’s apparently the signature ramen here) and red spicy (i suppose to cater to the singaporean’s liking for red hot spicy stuff). you also chose the accoutrements you wanted, either inoli (seaweed), char siew, onsen tamago (egg that is boiled in a precise onsen (hot-bath) temperature to give a semi-runny, semi-hardened consistency with the yolk – amazing) or just be greedy and get all in. of course, me being me, i got the black spicy special ramen with all the ingredients added in. cheers.

whilst waiting for our orders, we took in the surroundings a bit. this place conjures up fond memories of kenka in st marks place, NYC, a really vibrant, hip japanese restaurant which i tried with sheryl+cheewei once and then another time whilst catching up with chen kiang after his work. ahhh memories.. the reason for the resemblance i suppose comes from the old shop japanese posters that were plastered on the walls, the crowded, packed-together seating and just a genuinely authentic japanese feel to the place.

kenka, st marks place, NYC

ok let’s get on with the food.

[ black spicy tonkotsu ramen special, $15.80]

 this thing smelt amazing, a wholesome aroma of peppery, meaty goodness which tasted really good upon first tastings. the broth is really interesting as the pepper adds a certain zing to the soup but does not mask the underlying pork broth flavors. noodles are thin and pair well with the soup. the onsen-tamago is to die for – perfectly made such that when you bite into it, it slowly melts outward giving a really textured response. seaweed was a little awkward to eat since it was essentially one big piece stuck to the side of the bowl, but after we broke it up and mixed it in with the soup, it also joined in the symphony of deliciousness within the brew.

note that this place serves free eggs and slightly spicy beansprouts at the side for u to supplement your meal, making for a really full dinner. they also provide condiments such as bonito flakes and the jap chilli flakes but imo its not too necessary. hmm my issues with this ramen? well two main points – one was that whilst it tasted amazing and special one first bites whilst everything was piping hot, once it slightly cooled down, the taste became slightly too overpowering, like you know how peppery bak kut teh that has slightly cooled suddenly doesn’t taste as nice? imo this place needs like warmers to maintain the heat within the bowl, or well, you just have to finish it fast and not be like me, snapping many shots merrily at it. -_- (i think the restaurant is banking on most people doing the former). another thing was that, the soup broth, on closer examination, really conjured some health worries within me because whilst it tasted amazing, i think i spied on chunks on pork fat within the soup which really sends my health-conscious mind into a cardiac arrest. lol.

overall a tasty, interesting ramen option that does duke it out well with other established ramen shops in singapore. do go try it once, though be prepared for the wait, and dun expect it to be some chill, cozy place where you can slowly finish your food, kick off your sandals and relax. be courteous. 7/10

tonkotsu king keisuke | 1 Tras Link #01-19, Orchid Hotel, S078867 | ramen, authentic