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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: To Noodle or Rice it? Have your pick at Ramen Kagetsu Arashi!

I've always been to The Cathay for various reasons but somehow I never quite had the chance to visit this Japanese Ramen joint. I should have earlier, for I was about to realise how much I was missing out. Ramen Kagetsu Arashi, a much-loved ramen name which boasts a delectable, staggering variety of over 100 creative flavours and a successful 290 chain outlets worldwide!

Besides its not-to-be missed signature Garlic Tonkotsu broth that its commonly known for, it now introduces two great-tasting exclusive dishes to whet our local palates: Ginjiro ramen and Itameshi dry curry rice.

I found the store layout relatively cosy; with orange and black as its main interior theme. The place was buzzing with business, with some people waiting for seats. Seems like its a pretty popular eating place for social gatherings, as I observed teenagers trickling in as dinner time sets in.

Ginjiro Ramen ($13.90), at long last we meet.

Ask anyone and they'll tell you without hesitation that I'm quite the ramen junkie, or any noodles for that matter. And choice by default, I usually order spicy soup bases being authentically Singaporean (everything add spice!), but the Ginjiro soup base is so savoury I held back. This naturally sweet taste with mild hints of garlic, is accounted by simmering pork bones over several long hours. Multiple thinly sliced pork pieces are paired with relatively chewy ramen noodles, a delicious concoction. No wonder its a best-seller back in Japan!

(Another fact that fatty pork slices are rich in Collagen must also be a contributing factor for returning female customers, I reckon)

Interesting note: the egg is hard-boiled so as not to have the yolk mix with the soup base, which causes the taste to be diluted and takes away from the savoury taste. Also, they use sea-salt instead of the usual processed salt, which ups the healthy ante and gives a more pronounced flavour.

The boyfriend says its abit salty for his liking, but I find it quite ok for myself. The restaurant has a table center-piece of 4 toppings for you to customise your ramen easily:

Freshly crushed garlic
 Special in-house seasoned chives prepared daily
 Specially imported black pepper
 Soy sauce made from Kagetsu Ramen’s secret recipe, which has been passed down from generation to generation (not pictured here)

I don't usually choose rice when dining out, but this could all change with the Itameshi Dry Curry rice ($12.90). The rice is crispy to the chew, with the sweet and slight zingy taste of the Japanese Curry. Similar to the concept of Pepper Lunch, a small saucer of curry is poured over the sizzling hotplate of rice, eggs, sausages and spring onions before mixing well. Leaving it longer to cook gets you a fragrant thin coat of rice crust that adds to to the crunchiness of rice. 

After a good mix, voila! There you have it, a fragrant golden mixture of crispy rice pearls, swathed in sticky curry, a taste that kinda reminded me of home-made fare. However, I'm quite sore though that they do not give you more curry sauce if you try to ask for it.

We were told to try one of their loved side dishes, the 
Gyoza ($6.00). Boasting fresh pastry skin that's specially brought in from Japan, the skin remains soft and chewy while just a tad over-grilled on the outside. The filling is just right, with the vegetables and the meat remaining sweet and moist with every bite. A light-hearted dish for in-between meal bites.

So, have you decided to Noodle or Rice it? ;)

Personally, I still can't decide, I like them both a lot! But, perhaps I guess the Ginjiro Ramen has the upperhand as I find it rare that the soup stock was nicely stewed to get the authentic taste of sweet-saltiness, something that is hard to achieve in other ramen restaurants I've been to so far. That and well, I guess I'm just a consummate ramen lover to boot :)
Head down to the nearest outlet to day to grab a bite today! Ramen Kagetsu Arashi is located at the following locations:

The Star Vista 1 Vista Exchange Green, #01-41, Singapore 138617 
Telephone : 6339 0335 
Operating Hours : 11:30 AM to 11 PM (Fridays, Saturdays and eve of Public 
11:30 AM to 10 PM (Weekdays) 

Tampines 1 10 Tampines Central 1, #02-09/10, Tampines 1 Singapore 539536 
Telephone : 6854 0335 
Operating Hours : 11:30 AM – 10 PM 

The Cathay 2 Handy Road, #B1-01/02/03, The Cathay Singapore 229233 
Telephone : 6736 3055 
Operating Hours : 11:30 AM – 10 PM  

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