Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Menya Shinchan Japanese Noodle Restaurant, Robertson Quay

I've noticed this place (30 Robertson Quay, #01-05 Riverside View, tel: 6732 0114) for quite a while already since I have the habit of unknowingly ending up at Robertson Quay more often than I think I would. I've never really paid it much attention since it's wedged at the back, behind Ryoriya Sangokushi and out of sight often means out of mind. Until the mentioning by a couple of friends, I probably wouldn't have recalled this ramen place that reminds me of Crayon Shinchan. Lol.

Names aside, I'm quite impressed with this place due to an incident that I will not mention. Suffice it is to say that the owner belongs to the category of someone who takes pride in his business in food. Which kinda goes along with what is explained of the history of this place which is set up by a Japanese guy living here who likes ramen.

This is something that one probably doesn't see often in ramen places which is called mazesoba. It's essentially a bowl of dry (non soup based) ramen heaped with fried shallots, some toasted and crispy noodle bits, crunchy pieces of cabbages, bean sprouts, shredded pork and sliced pork. Interestingly, there was a also a dollop of mayo and a slice of cheese. Honestly, I tried this because it didn't look like any other ramen and I'm not so concerned if this wasn't traditionally authentic. The presence of cheese helped in that decision too even though it was just of the regular sliced variety. As it turned out, this is pretty damn tasty with a nuttish and mildly spicy gravy at the bottom.

The ramen that was used was much thicker than usual and there was an option to choose between soft and hard noodles which was determined by how long the noodles were cooked. This is something that I really appreciate since I feel that most ramen too soft for me. The thicker noodles here, despite being unfamiliar to me was quite firm and I thought it wasn't too bad. The yolk of those eggs that you see are amazingly soft despite them looking not runny at all. The sliced pork? Very tender indeed.

There are a couple of options for the soup here. One gives you the choice between rich or thin flavor. Another option which was available is the seafood one on top of the standard shio, shoyu and miso soup base. This ones as they explained had sardines in the soup base, but it really tasted to me like dried anchovy in the soup (ikan bilis). These fellas really exercised the hard noodle option and the al dente like texture was definitely very agreeable with me. I spied a large bowl of their signature sinjiro ramen sitting in the front of another diner. Something tells me I'll be back to try some of that.

No comments: