The buzz: One of Japan’s most well-known celebrity ramen chefs, Keisuke Takeda, is set to launch his first venture outside the land of the rising sun, with the opening of Keisuke Tokyo here.
The vibe: Welcoming white noren (Japanese entrance veil) and a display of ramen bowls sets the tone: The red and black themed interior feels young and contemporary, with black-and-white pictures of Takeda’s restaurants in Japan, and Japanese calligraphy hanging on the walls.
The food: Go for the ebi ramen—a ramen dish served in prawn stock cooked ala French consommé style. Besides the ramen selection, there are also items like the ebi gyoza or prawn dumpling and ebi-chachan or prawn fried rice, that you must try.
Why you’ll be back: For its innovative twist to the traditional noodle favorite.
Hidden away in a little enclave of Japanese restaurants up on the third floor of Parco Marina Bay, Keisuke Tokyo does take a little effort to find. It looks like your typical, casual Japanese eatery, but once you step through the noren, you’re welcomed warmly by the staff, who give you a sheet of paper to state how you’d like your bowl of ramen. It’s not just your preferred choice of ingredients; you get to dictate the softness/firmness of your noodles, the strength of flavor of your stock and the amount of oil in it (none to lots). The crab stock ramen with flavored egg ($15.80) sounded too good to pass up, so we settled on that, in addition to an order of three gyozas ($3). The gyozas disappeared quickly—the flavorful pork and lightly seared dumpling skin made us fight for the last one. Then came the ramen, looking quite regal in a large bowl and with a massive spoon. It’s sort of a freshly prepared luxury version of instant noodles, adorned with bamboo shoots, seaweed and an egg sliced in half. Although the stock was rich and creamy, like a seafood broth you’d order as an appetizer, and the egg yolk just right, overall, the ramen itself didn’t really stand out. For one thing, there was only one slice of pork. That big spoon comes in handy when you finish up the stock, though, and it’d be wise to wear dark colors to avoid any splash damage. For dessert, we had homemade mango pudding ($5), a delightful, simple finish with three cubes of almost-ripe fresh mango and a bit of whipped cream. We were hoping for a little more and weren’t entirely satisfied, but the service here is excellent (it’s nice to be treated well at an affordable establishment), the variety of ramen is as good as you’ll find anywhere and it’s an ideal place to catch up with someone over lunch or dinner.
♥ ramen? These get our loudest slurps.
|Address:||Keisuke Tokyo, #03-02 Parco at Marina Bay, Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Blvd., Singapore, Singapore|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 11:30am-11pm; Fri-Sun 11am-10:30pm|
|Parking available: at Millenia Walk|
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