Being at the Ramen Revolution festival is no easy feat. One has to be willing to spend money on bowls after bowls of ramen, try out new flavours, but most importantly, be able to stomach more than 1 bowl of ramen.
Over the weekend, I grabbed a fellow ramen-lover along to try out different bowls of ramen. Afterwards, we were so stuffed we were barely able walk. But we agreed that it was a worthy event, and here are some of the ramen that made it so:
1. Ramen Atelier
The first booth that caught our attention was Ramen Atelier’s French inspired ramen.
Duck Confit Ramen
My personal favourite. Due to the complexity and uniqueness of flavor. This dish is served dry ramen style, and the noodles were drizzled with a tangy citrus-soy dressing. This saltiness works well with the shredded duck confit, and the taste is balanced out by the sweetness of the onsen egg and crunchy purple cabbage.
A trick to eating this is to mix well, and then to have a bit of every ingredient as you scoop it to up to have all the flavors mashing up in your mouth.
Squid Ink Miso Ramen
Another unique ramen flavor from Ramen Atelier, the squid ink ramen fascinates and intrigues us. As you can tell from its name, the key ingredient to the broth of this dish is squid ink. We loved how the squid ink miso was rich in flavor and extremely well-seasoned, yet not too thick and “jelat” after some time. The noodles are softer and more bland as compared to the former, but still maintained its texture and chewiness.
2. Menya Masamune
A crowd magnet, this stall had people making a beeline to the queue since the event started. Why? Their ramen has been crowned the grand champion at two separate ramen contests in New York City, that’s why! Naturally, as two warm-blooded Singaporean foodies, we gravitated towards the queue too.
After waiting in line for about 15 minutes (we were quite lucky actually), we finally got a bowl of Masamune Shio.
At first look, the ramen appeared to be rather greasy, but to our surprise, it had a light flavor that was not too heavy on the tastebuds. In fact, we really enjoyed the broth. Kudos to the leek that was thrown in, giving its taste more depth and complexity. They also practice something unorthodox – barbecuing the charshu slices, and using them to marinate the soup. This probably gave the broth its oily sheen and unparalleled taste, while getting a soft, tender charshu. Pure genius!
Toss in chewy noodles, and gooey lava egg, I’d gladly pay $20 for a bowl of this any day.
3. Ramen Keisuke Lobster King
Not doing too bad in the other corner is the Lobster King Ramen. At this point, the both of us were pretty full and decided that if this was going to be our last bowl of ramen, it had to be a bowl of lobster ramen.
The noodles were a tad too soft (“lao hong”) and starchy for my liking, but it was the broth that sealed the deal for me.
Brewed for over 5 hours, the stock consists of a special blend of herbs and vegetables, giving it its distinct aroma and sweetness. The rich broth may prove to be too much after some time, but this problem is easily fixed with the vegetables, black fungus, leek, and bamboo shoot added. (uh huh, all these in a bowl of ramen worth $10!!) These ingredients helped add a crunch to soup, giving every mouthful a fresh burst of flavor. Honestly, the soup was so satisfying that we found ourselves slurping it and ignoring the noodles eventually.
Overall, despite the smaller portions, the ramen served were worth the $10, some even more so.
However something that irked me was the excessive use of disposable bowls and cutlery. Hopefully, should this be an annual event, the organizers will consider the use of recycling bins.
Aside from that, I eagerly anticipate the next Ramen Revolution! Here’s to ramen!