Ramen Champion should be of no stranger to local foodies who crave for a good bowl of traditional and tasty Japanese ramen. Also known as a ‘Ramen Museum’, Ramen Champion is a concept by Komars Group that gathers the best ramen masters from all over Japan in a common venue.
Ramen Champion is actually an annual ramen competition held in all of the major cities in Japan and let’s face it – Singaporean foodies do love Japanese cuisine and that includes the all-time-favourite ramen.
Chef Kazuo Sukuraoka, despite being a Tokyo-born Japanese, runs most of his ramen restaurants in Gunma and has 10-over restaurants under his belt just within Japan alone. This year, he has decided to compete for the Ultimate Ramen Champion 2012 which will happened towards the end of 2013.
Chef Kazuo Sukuraoka was recently in town for the launch of his first ramen stall in Singapore called Keishoken and I had the great pleasure of meeting up with him in-person to understand abit more about his delicious ramen.
I am glad to be allowed access into the kitchen to see in-person Chef Kazuo Sukuraoka at work. Ultimately, he don’t step into the kitchen often to do the cooking since he is running multiple stores across Asia so it was definitely a great opportunity to take some shots of him ‘in office’.
So, what does the cheerful and friendly chef has in store for us? Let’s find out!
The White Ramen is a combination of tremendously rich and creamy original pork broth, accompanied with a generous serving of thin and firm ramen noodles, crunchy black fungus and slices of pork belly. What I love most about this ramen is the salty pork broth that is so creamy that initially I thought eggs were added into it but I was so, so wrong!
Even though the broth has the eggy texture to it, Chef Sukuraoku said there aren’t any eggs added to the ramen during the cooking process. It’s all about the fire and heat control to achieve that creamy and eggy-sort of texture. It’s just the first bowl and the chef has already impress me well enough.
Just when I thought the White Ramen was tasty enough, here came the Black Ramen. Even ‘heavier’ than the original White Ramen, the Black variant comes with a distinctive smoky flavour that comes from the generous serving of Ma-Yu (Sesame Oil) with garlic blended in it.
It’s surprising how a simple addition of Ma-Yu could change the entire taste of the dish. It has a tiny hint of spiciness to it but shouldn’t be a big deal for non-spicy eaters. Pork slices are aplenty here and not too oily (although it might look like it is!). I couldn’t stop eating and I eventually finished the entire bowl of soup as well. It is that good!
Again, the same salty pork broth but now with added hot and spicy chilli space which turns the heat up by a notch. Alright, perhaps I’m over-exaggerating by a little. It’s not that spicy by local standards (especially for those who are really into spicy food) and best of all, the chef is able to retain that creamy, eggy broth texture throughout.
I can only say that we are really spoilt for choice in terms of food right here in Singapore. Just when I have tried some of the best ramen in town, Chef Kazuo Sukuraoka with his Keishoken Ramen came into the picture and redefined the word ‘best’. Have you ever tried eating something and yet kept craving for it days after eating it? That’s exactly how I feel right now. Keishoken Ramen has just raised the bar to the term ‘great ramen’. Thanks to Prue from Komars Group for the invitation!
This is an invited media tasting event.
Keishuken Ramen @ Ramen Champion
Changi Airport Terminal 3