Japanese Ramen took Singapore by storm many years ago and it is still one of Singapore’s favourite type of Japanese dishes. Many Japanese restaurants have appeared on our little red island and here’s one that specializes in Ramen, particularly from Hokkaido, Japan. Let’s see how this compares among the rest! To put things upfront, we are not expecting grade-A ramen from here but it’s always worth trying something new, no?
Stepping in for the first time, the interior definitely caught our eyes. This outlet isn’t very big and could probably seat 50-60 pax. I quite like how the restaurant uses these “crates” as the overhead lamps. Maybe the purpose is to illuminate your soon-to-be-served ramen (or for us to take better pictures?!).
Honestly we didn’t do an exact count but judging from the menu there are approximately over 15 different types of ramen and set combinations for you to choose from. Just choose any ramen you like and add on another $3/- and you can choose an extra side order and a drink. Pretty good deal, we thought. So why not?
Walk into any ramen restaurant and you will definitely see Cha Shu (think Japanese version of Char Siew) as of the ramen flavours. The soup base for ramen are traditionally cooked using pork-bone (tonkotsu) or miso but for something different, try the Shio (aka salt flavored) Ramen. Comparing the Shio soup base to the Tonkotsu soup base, I would say the Shio soup base doesn’t feel as “oily” and neither does it have much of the sweetness the tonkotsu soup base offers but if you want something close to that of Tonkotsu, this is gonna be it. It’s also not too salty for my preference. Just nice!
One of ramen’s unique ingredients is the runny egg aka Hanjuku Tamago. Think hard boiled eggs egg whites but with extremely smooth and runny yolks from soft boiled egg! We have to admit that we have tried better ramens with better hanjuku tamago but this is not bad at all.
This restaurant uses fat and slightly wrinkled ramen noodles for all of their ramen. It’s rather springy and tastes really good with the Shio soup base but you probably couldn’t help but think for a moment, are these noodles from an instant noodle pack because not just that they looked as though they are, so is the taste!
Next, we chose the Shio Scallop Ramen. Our first impression was that we could have more of those juicy scallops. We could easily count the number of scallops served within the bowl at a glance. This is the same Shoi soup base as the Cha Shu Ramen. Same comments on the noodles and hanjuku tamago.
We chose the 4pc Tako Yaki (Octopus Balls) and the A. Dashi Tofu (Fried Tofu) for the add-on side items under the $3 meal bundle. If you love Tako Yaki, you will realize that the ones serve here are slightly smaller than what you might be used to eating and they don’t come with any mayonnaise or takoyaki sauce. We tasted more of the batter than the tako (octopus). Not to mentioned the diced tako within the Tako Yaki is pathetically little. On the contrary, the A. Dashi tofu is rather well-done with very crispy skin on the outside and piping hot and smooth on the inside. The sauce that comes with the tofu compliments each other rather well too.
The Aoba Hokkaido Ramen shouldn’t fail you, provided if you don’t place your expectations too high on ramen quality. All in all, we have no complains on the Shio soup base, although there has been feedback in the past that the soup base might be too salty. The setting of the restaurant is cozy and well-decorated, ideal for a get together with friends and family. That said, Aoba Hokkaido Ramen might not be the place if you are looking into authentic proper ramen, such as those served at Sapporo Ramen @ Suntec City. That probably says alot for a place that specializes in ramen, no?
Ratings: 3.0 foodiedoos out of 5.0
Aoba Hokkaido Ramen (Multiple Outlets)
1 HarbourFront Walk
Tel: 6376 9519
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9.45pm