Ramen Champion was shipped to Singapore some two years back, bringing along the best of Japanese Ramen Chefs. Converting a hot favorite from abroad to one in another country is one a challenge very demanding. It’s not as simple as just doing what you do back there, but to tweak your dish to suit the palate of the locals. Hence, a successful ‘franchise’ is an establishment to be respected.
This Ramen ‘Marketplace’ has been around for really quite a while now, and I feel ashamed to have tasted it only now. It’s a free-seating, large area, with stalls selling the same thing – Ramen. Ramen Champion is a competition in bid to crown the Ultimate Ramen Champion, dishing out the best Ramen in town. For the past two years, Ikkousha has outshone his competitors from Tokyo and Sapporo to make Hakata proud by winning the title for two consecutive years. Of course for a first-timer, I had to have Ikkousha.
I break down Ramen into a few arms in deciding whether it floats my boat. The first of which is its (1) Broth. The broth, boiled with locally produced pork bones, ranges somewhere above the average in terms of thickness and flavor. The aroma of pork was evident, but might come across as a little too cloying for me. Towards the end, I got somewhat badly thirsty, though I do not think there was any MSG involved. With regard to its saltiness, I thought it was perfect for local palate; Absolutely spot on and bearable, as compared to many other Ramens served in Singapore. In all, it’s a just pass for me on the broth.
Next comes the (2) Noodles. Available in options of soft, normal or hard, we were advised by the experts that normal was just fine, and we stuck to that. I loved the thin, flat cut noodles of Ikkousha; one that isn’t all too common in Ramen Restaurants. It is comparable to that of Ippudo Singapore, a Ramen establishment which I thought has more or less perfected most areas of a bowl of goodness. Texture of the noodles was alright. I’d say, go for either the normal or the soft. It’s a yes for me on the noodles.
Moving on to the (3) Chashu, the portion was generous here, with big slices of tender Chashu conquering the entire surface of the bowl. The thin but still distinctive in bite and taste slices of Chashu came in just the right amount of fats and lean meat, which I thought made the course easier to complete with the variations. An Ikkousha meat hard to beat.
Granted, I have yet to go around Singapore tasting all the Ramen, this is the best (4) Soft-boiled Eggs / Hanjuku / Ajitsuke Tamago I’ve had so far. Yes yes, I indeed have had runny Soft-boiled Eggs before, but this trumps the rest because it is so adequately seasoned. It is flavored in its own and was a joy eating it separately. It’s slightly salted and I literally took my time to savor every last drop of the yolk, and white. If you are a lover of Japanese Ramen Eggs, and would usually order a pop or two more, here is the place to do just that.
At the end of the meal, I concluded that it was definitely above average. However, it could have been a perfect bowl of Ramen if its broth was less consuming and deadly and more taste-friendly and clearer. Notwithstanding that, it is still one of the more decent Ramens I’ve had.
—> Note #1: GST is charged, but not Service Charge. It’s a self-seating, self-ordering, self-collection, and self-payment concept at Ramen Champion.
Address: 201 Victoria Street, Bugis #04-10
Telephone: 6238 1011
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10.30pm (Daily)