Santouka Ramen

10 04 2010

In sooth, there’s not a single place in Singapore whose ramen I can confidently say is perfect. Nothing even comes close, but that was before I visited Ramen Santouka. Occupying a rather small premise that houses around 25 people at most, a snaking queue at meal times is not uncommon.

3 of us(S, K and myself) had the Combination Set Meals which came with a choice of Small Ramen(add $1 for a regular bowl), Small Rice Bowl and Salad. The salad was not worth mention so I shall skip it. 4 types of tonkotsu ramen stock are served here, namely Miso, Shoyu(Soy Sauce), Shio(Salt) and Spicy Miso.

I had the Regular Sized Shoyu Ramen with Curry Rice Bowl($18.50++). First, the tonkotsu stock taste test. It was Legen…wait for it…Dary! Undoubtly the best tonkotsu stock I have had in Singapore. The ramen was QQ too but still had some room for improvement. The bamboo shoots added a nice crunch and now comes the best part, the melt in your mouth Chashu! Most succulent Chashu I have had in any ramen. I can die without regrets now…swoonz

I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it but how could I not order the Curry Rice after hearing vivid details of the ones at Curry Favor from E a few days back? Then again, Curry Rice from a Ramen Shop? Don’t you be expecting too much…

K had the Regular Miso Ramen with Grilled Salmon & Salmon Roe Rice Bowl($20.50++). The Miso Ramen looked exactly like my Shoyu one but with an evidently richer taste from the Miso. Anyway, I shall share with you my dummies guide of telling apart Shoyu from Miso Stock. Apart from the richer taste, Miso also tends to stick to your throat while Shoyu stock doesn’t.

For the Salmon Rice Bowl, the Grilled Salmon was utterly dry and tasteless. Don’t let the pictures fool you, I’m just a great photographer :p


S had the Regular Sized Spicy Miso Ramen with Natto(Fermented Soy Bean) Rice Bowl Set($18.50++). I thought that the spiciness didn’t complement the stock at all. It killed off the stock’s flavourful taste and together with the Miso, proved to be very choking(for me at least). Unless you are a true blue chili eater, I suggest sticking to the non-spicy stocks.

I love all Japanese food, or at least I thought I did till I encountered Natto today. Why would anyone eat it? It’s bitter and slimy and looks like cockroach eggs! Ok i sound super unobjective but seriously eeewwww…

Despite the substandard rice bowls, I think Santouka serves possibly the best ramen in Singapore but just to make sure…next stop – Nantsuttei @ Millenia Walk!






TEL: +65 6224 0668

Otto Ristorante

10 04 2010

We all deserve that occasional pampering once in a while. For that pupose, there are spas, medicure & pedicures, massages, facials and there is Otto

Otto’s lunch set menu($35++) varies weekly, which is great because it not only shows off the full extent of the chef’s abilities but at the same time gives him flexibility in cooking as well. One will never bore at what Otto has to offer.

Though touted as Italian Fine Dining, I felt that the low ceilings and confined space allowed for too many decibels which made my dining experience there a little less than private. Then again, the service mannerisms, furnishings and food were able to hit the mark of a fine dining venue.

Amuse Bouche came in the form of a Gratinated Cauliflower. A palate teaser to whet the appetite…

Choice of Appetizer (Roast Beef with Tuna Sauce “tannata” or Classic Caeser Salad with Garlic Croutons and shaved Parmesan Cheese or Cauliflower Soup

The Roast Beef with Tuna Sauce could hardly be called an appetizer. The portion was huge! Not that I’m complaining. Easily my favourite dish from the meal, I was entralled by the hedonistic pleasures derived from popping these streaks of thinly sliced beef in my mouth. The capers also gave the beef a savoury kick.

Despite throwing in strips of fried egg, it proved to be nothing more than an accessory for aesthetic appeal and I found the Caeser Salad boring, unable to detect the presence of Parmesan. The only thing worth mention was the crispy and flavourful Garlic Croutons.

Choice of Main (Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cheese & Walnut Sauce or Pork Loin Scaloppini with Marsala Wine Sauce and Vegetable Ratatouille or Confit Grouper Fillet with Cauliflower Veloute)

I am used to the chinese style of steaming or frying grouper till its flesh is tender so eating grouper cooked in this style was a first for me. The thick slab of Grouper confit was surprisingly firm and I thought the Cauliflower Veloute(similar to a soft mash) paired nicely and did well to make this dish a little more exciting. Still, Grouper won’t be replacing Cod as my perennial choice of fish anytime soon.

You can give it a long and fancy name but at the end of the day, it’s just a Pork Chop and it didn’t wow me.

Choice of Dessert (Pear & Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Sauce or Otto’s Ice Cream or Sherbet)

I thought this was going to be a typical chocolate fondant. Instead, what arrived was a warm and crisp Pear Cake whose texture and taste reminded me of a Carrot Cake with a mild Vanilla Sauce drizzled at it’s base. It didn’t matter at all that I couldn’t really taste the chocolate. This was oomphalicous regardless!

Otto’s Ice Cream on the other hand was just erm ice cream…good old comfort food.

I like pampering and I like Otto, do you?

Bon Appetit!






TEL: +65 6227 6819

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