I dunno what’s up with my body these days – I must have swallowed a timer by accident in Korea or something, cos I keep getting hungry automatically every 4 hours. I kid you not. Even now as I type this at 11pm, my tummy’s growling cos I had my dinner at 6+pm, and it’s totally not helping that I’m staring at all these photos of the delicious ramen meal I had last Friday. Drools.
I first chanced upon this restaurant when le BFF was getting married last year at Chijmes, and now, they’re having new additions to the menu. more noms for the happy belly 😀
The first thing that caught my eye when I sat down – a free flow of boiled eggs if you’re a fan. I resisted though – I needed my tummy space for ramen, plus, I’m a bigger fan of the Japanese Ajitama (soft boiled marinated eggs)
Condiments at the table (which I realised I didn’t need, since the soups were so flavourful and yummy). A Must-Try: The Spicy Takana (spiced Japanese mustard leaves – they’re kinda like an appetiser and a Japanese version of the Korean kimchi. It was SO yummy that I practically wiped out the entire container (yes, it’s that good).
NEW ITEM #1: SOY SAUCE RAMEN
What it contains: Pork belly slices, fish cake, ajitama, fragrant soy broth
The soup is somewhat clear, and is flavourful without being overly salty. The noodles are of the perfect consistency (not too chewy and not too mushy). The slight downside to this dish for me are the pork belly slices – on a personal taste level, I’m not a fan of anything fatty, so I’d have preferred it with non-fatty meat. That said, the pork belly slices are indeed tender, and the fat is surprisingly soft as well.
NEW ITEM #2: BONITO RAMEN
What it contains: Chicken + pork bonito stock, tender pork belly slices, onions and bamboo
Now I’m not a fan of the word “Bonito”, because it immediately brings to mind a certain local business that I wouldn’t term “delicious”. However, I’m so glad that this Bonito Ramen doesn’t put me off – it may not look as visually appealing as the other 3 new items, but the broth is certain the most flavourful. You can taste the essence of chicken, pork and bonito in the soup (in fact, this bowl was the only one that saw its soup drained dry). The pork slices in this aren’t as fatty as the ones in the Soy Sauce Ramen as well (vaguely Cha Siew-style with some fat), and is totally my favourite among the 4 new items.
NEW ITEM #3: CHANPON
What it contains: Crunchy vegetables – cabbage, carrots, peas, shitake mushrooms, udon noodles, tonkatsu shio-base soup
Now the name of this also sounds similar to a dish in Korea – jjamppong (which is spicy seafood soup noodles). This Japanese version couldn’t be more different – this looks and tastes so healthy and wholesome. There is indeed a lot of crunch in each bite from the large amounts of fresh veggies. The menu said there’d be udon, but this version came with ramen though – not fussed about it cos it’s still yummy.
NEW ITEM #4: TSUKEMEN HANADORI
What it contains: Super-rich chicken broth, bonito flakes, noodles, chashu.
This is a dry-style noodle dish, to be eaten soba-style, but a warm/hot version. Dip the noodles into the broth, and eat/slurp it. You can customise the soup to a slightly spicier version, but I prefer to eat it as it was meant to be. The broth is indeed rich – very chockfull of chicken essence-taste. Personally, I’m a fan of soupy dishes, so I found that the broth wasn’t enough for me. The consistency of the noodles were (as always) the right mix – not too soggy and not too rubbery.
GOOD OLE’ FAVOURITES
Here’s one dish from their usual menu that I love – the God Fire Ramen. It packs a pretty mean punch in terms of spice (but nowhere near the crazy Fire Noodles from Korea though). This is an enjoyable level of spice that doesn’t choke me with every sip I take, and the broth is not overwhelmed by the spiciness – I can still taste the flavourful broth, and it goes perfectly with the chashu slices. If you’ve got a high tolerance for spice, you can up your game by asking for extra chill, or by adding the spicy takana (spicy mustard leaves) in.
Hakata Ikkousha, Chijmes
30 Victoria Street, #01-07
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11.30am-10pm | Sunday: 11.30am-9pm
Hakata Ikkousha, Tanjong Pagar
Blk 7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #01-104
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11.30am-10pm | Sunday 11.30am-9pm
This post can also be found on my food & travel blog at hungrygrumpy.wordpress.com