Friday, November 27, 2009

Addicted To Yoshimaru!!!

Have you ever had the experience of getting a first taste of a dish at a restaurant or food outlet, and falling so head over heels in love with it, so much so that it becomes an addiction for you? That's my experience when I first tasted the ramen at "Yoshimaru Ramen Bar"!!!

It isn't often that an authentic Japanese ramen shop opens up in the western end of Singapore (I mean, most of them would be set up at either Liang Court Shopping Centre, Central Mall, Cuppage Centre or Robertson Quay), so you could imagine my glee when I stumbled upon this "gem" of a Nihongo food haven so close to my home!

Ok, ok, so "8 Days" gave it a pretty lousy rating when they reviewed the place previously...but my personal mantra is "Never Trust Another Person's Ratings, Try It Out And Judge For YOURSELF"... so despite having read all the negative comments from the "8 Days" article, I still really wanted to give the place a go, to see for myself whether there was any truth to the words of this reviewer. And as it turns out, THANK GOODNESS I did!!! Because in my opinion, that "8 Days" review could not be more wrong! The Japanese ramen there was TO DIE FOR! In fact, the place is now my No. 1 go-to-place whenever my ramen craving creeps up on me... which, erm, is quite often... ha ha ha!!!

As it turns out, the "Yoshimaru Ramen Bar" is located right next to "Yee Chong Yuen Noodle Restaurant" which had since downsized itself to occupying only half its original store space, allowing for this quaint Japanese restaurant to take up its other half of the premise. That probably explains why the restaurant's seating space is pretty cramped up - especially for plus-sized individuals like me, who might find it a bit uncomfortable to be squashed into the four/six-seater booth (depending on the size of the patrons lah), and have to resort to sitting at the counter bar, or worse, on the stoolbars outside at the al fresco dining area for our meals instead. However, I assure you, once the food arrives at your table, any possible grouses you might have about the lack of space will swiftly be forgotten.

For first-timers to the place, you've got to try out the house specialty - "The Moridakusan (which stands for many/varied/all sorts) Ramen" (S$15.00)!!! In contrast to the Sapporo version (which features curly, springy ramen, served in a meat or fish-based clearer broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso), the ramen here is prepared using the Kyushu Hakata method, which presents ultra thin, straight noodles with an al dente (or in layman's terms, QQ) texture, soaked up in a "milky" Tonkotsu (i.e. extracted from pork bones) broth that packs a powerful punch of rich flavors! Throw in a generous helping of cloud ear mushrooms, a soft boiled egg (cooked to pristine perfection with its orangey yolk still creamy and running, rather than all dried up and flakey), leek, takana, mentaiko, seaweed, toasted seaweed, cha siu and dou miao, and there you have it - a bowl of Japanese ramen with a taste so marvellous that I still gotta slap myself to believe that I could find such heavenly Japanese foodfare in Singapore!!! (If you do not want ALL the works like I do, the menu also offers ramen with varying ingredient combinations OR just conjure up your own desired combination with the DIY Hakata Ramen)

The shop also provides all its patrons with a bowl of sesame seeds for you to grind and then sprinkle on top of your ramen to add to its aroma and flavor! What a fun and interesting idea huh?

Another reason why I love this place SO MUCH, is because aside from dishing out delicious, piping hot ramen, they also serve up a mean dish of cold delectable ramen! And since I LOVE cold ramen EVEN MORE than I do hot ramen, I gotta recommend this place's "Spicy Cold Ramen"(S$12.00)! Served chilled, with a dash of spiciness, and loads of leeks (my fav!!!), this has got to be the BEST cold ramen in town!!! YUM!!! (Its taste, for me, is actually a little reminiscent of a cross between the Beijing Zhajiang Noodles and the jellyfish cold dish appetizer, so if you love those two dishes as much as I do, I'm sure you'd LOVE this cold ramen dish too!)

I always add a soft-boiled egg (S$1.00) to my order of "Spicy Cold Ramen", cos I just LOVE its runny yolk!!!
Although not the focus of the shop (since the ramen bowls are the main draws here), the side dishes here are not bad too! Personally, I've tried the prawn gyozas (S$6.80 for 6 pcs) and the cha siu platter (S$6.80 for 6 slices), and both were quite "scrumptdelicious".

Ooh! And I also like how the shop serves BOTH hot and cold Ocha (i.e. the authentic Japanese green tea, not the sweetened kind)! I prefer the chilled version (S$3.00 per pax for free flow), as it is cool, refreshing and thirst-quenching - the perfect wash down after you finish slurping up your ramen!!!

And good news for Citibank Credit Card holders!!! You can get 10% discount on your total bill if you pay via your Citibank credit card!

Yoshimaru Ramen Bar
Holland Village
31 Lorong Liput
Singapore 277742
Tel: 6463 3132
Opening Hours: 1100 - 2300hrs (Daily)

Other Branch: Playground @Big Splash
902 East Coast Parkway
Block B #01-12
Singapore 449874
Tel: 6346 3132

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