One of Chef Keisuke's first ramen joints in Singapore, this hole-in-the-wall tonkotsu ramen joint always has snaking queues.
The second Singapore offering from Tokyo-based chef Keisuke Takeda, TV Tokyo’s Ramen King of 2011, this petite 18-seater ramen joint channels an old school, if clichéd, Japanese vibe. There’s only one pork-based soup stock, but it’s fantastic and well-worth the 10-20 minute wait (it’s strictly first-come, first-served). There’s something to be said for going back to basics and Tonkotsu King’s got our tick of approval.
The ramen craze has died down (thank god), although we still have the odd one or two joints popping up.
At first glance, Tonkotsu King is one such place, but not to those in-the-know. This tiny 18-seater is actually the second (and better) Singapore offering from Tokyo-based chef Keisuke Takeda, TV Tokyo’s (reigning) Ramen King of 2011; Keisuke Tokyo is its sister outlet.
This petite package channels an old school if clichéd Japanese vibe, is more focused (with only one pork-based soup stock) and in our opinion, truer to Takeda’s roots; not one gyoza to be found.
Show up at lunchtime and you’re guaranteed a 10-20 minute wait, at least, with other hungry noodle-slurpers; even the rain doesn’t deter, as we found out the hard way. After finally being seated, we worked on grinding our serving of black and white sesame seeds with the provided suribachi (mortar) and surikogi (pestle); good fun.
There’s also an endless supply of hard-boiled eggs, both white (normal) and brown (lower cholesterol), marinated bean sprouts and bonito flakes. In the name of thorough research, we’d ordered all three flavors ($10.80-$15.80): original tonkotsu, black spicy (black pepper) and red spicy (red chili); you can even customize your portion by choosing between light, normal or strong soup intensity, as well as how hard or soft you like your noodles.
The first was a success: al dente noodles (we went with hard), a brilliant tamago (flavored egg) with a sexy runny yolk center, “normal” broth so rich it was almost creamy and char siew (if there was a fault, this wasn’t the showstopper in comparison to the other components, but now we’re just nit-picking).
Skip the overpoweringly peppery black spicy in favor of the red chili version for those after something spicy. There’s something to be said for going back to basics and Tonkotsu King’s got our tick of approval, but damn do we hate to wait.
Your best bet at Tonkotsu King: Order the original tonkotsu ramen. Check out our favorite ramen at Singapore's best ramen-ya.
|Address:||Tonkotsu King, #01-19 Orchid Hotel Singapore, Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link, Singapore, 078867 Singapore|
|Opening hours:||daily 11:30am-3pm; Mon-Sat 6-10:30pm; Sun 6-10pm|
|Nearest train||Telok Ayer|
|Parking available: at Orchid Hotel|
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