Saturday, May 19, 2007

Marutama Ramen

Tiny Singapore recently saw the opening of Central, a SOHO building sitting atop Clarke Quay MRT station. Boasting a cluster of Japanese dining outlets on the third level, it is probably the only mall in Singapore to house so many Japanese eateries under one roof. Marutama Ramen is one such eatery within the cluster and that was our choice for dinner that evening.



Deep Fried Garlic

Marutama's interior is quite small and can be rather uncomfortable at times due to the close proximity of the tables as well as the lack of open spaces. Seating capacity should hover around 30 pax or so and the decor is kept clean and simple. If you so happen to get a table with a window, you are in for a stressful session as the only thing that seperates you from the queuing customers outside is the window. Imagine people peering at you and your food. Not a nice feeling if you ask me.

Aka Ramen - Seven kinds of nuts soup base Ramen with Coriander

This soup base was supposedly of a limited nature aka while stocks last. It was a little spicy and tasted very strongly of coriander. Honestly, I couldn't make out the taste of any of the seven nuts and it was really salty, not to mention "sweet" from all the MSG in it. It was quite bad really. I had to down glass after glass of water just to get rid of the MSG induced thirst. That aside, the noodles were quite springy, but tasted rather flat. From what I understand, the soup base is supposed to be flavourful to make up for the flat ramen, but its really like two extremes coming together but not exactly jelling well.

I had added on a side of Char Siew and it was simply fabulous. The fatty portions of the Char Siew literally melted in my mouth and the meat was tender and flavourful. I've honestly never tasted Char Siew like that. The only bummer was the not too generous servings. Please note that it is not your usual Char Siew that you can buy from the marketplace. In case you are wondering what are those balls in the picture, its some kind of a meat ball with a weird taste to it. Nothing fancy or impressive though.

Marutama Ramen - Chicken Base Soup Ramen

This soup base came across as slightly heavier and tasted rather common. As with the Aka Ramen base, it was heavy on the MSG and way too salty. The additional side of pork belly was good though. Quiveringly tender, it dissolved ever so readily in my mouth. This is definitely as good as the Char Siew.


Considering that it was only 2 bowls of ramen with an additional 2 sides, $40 is heck of a lot to pay. The noodles and soup base were not to our liking, but the Char Siew and pork belly could prove to the biggest draw. Having said that, I don't think I'll be back in a hurry, especially with the mad queues.

Final Verdict:
Food:6.5/10 (8/10 for the Char Siew and pork belly)
Value for money:6/10


Address: #03-90/91, The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street

Contact: 65348090

Had ice cream nearby after dinner.

Not too bad, but pretty expensive!


LiquidShaDow said...

Does every ramen have corriander in that place?

fatpig said...

Actually I'm not too sure, but I think probably lol

Anonymous said...

You got the 2 ramen pictures wrong, the one with coriander and meatball is the aka ramen, the one with the pork belly is the normal chicken base. Only the aka one has coriander overload.

I didn't think the soup was that salty, I had more powerful ones, but the strong chicken taste can take some getting used to as this is not normal ramen you get even in Japan. But being very salty and strong in taste means it is very authentic Japanese ramen. Blander ones you get at other places are adjusted for Singapore tastes used to lighter taste.

LiquidShaDow said...

actually, I would probably go for a stronger taste as long as it's not MSG laden. I should drop by and check it out soon.

fatpig said...

Hi japrpg, thanks for your comments! I've made the changes to the photos. Think i got mixed up :p Thanks!
Just to point something out, stonger soup base is one thing, having loads of MSG is another. I've eaten ramen in Japan quite a few times and its really a different kind of strong. Cheers.

R said...
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R said...
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R said...

In addition, I'd like to say that Marutama serves what seems to be Tokyo-style ramen- more salty and oily! lol.

fatpig said...

Rei: I'm impressed with your long but informative review. Will go try out Ichibantei asap. Thanks! :D

ps: I would love to hear about the ramen from Tampopo. Have been meaning to try it but lazy :P

R said...

Oh dear, it dawned upon me that it's somewhat rude to place an entire review into a comment your blog. Thus, replacing it with a link. XD Thanks for the comments fp! (:

Anyone wants to read my comment regarding Marutama/my review on Ichibantei please click here.

fatpig said...

Rei, dont worry about it. You didn't have to set up a blog just to post the review lol. Appreciate the gesture though. :)

Anonymous said...

it's fried garlic mate not onion :)
n marutama's from tokyo which explains the chicken soup based. pork bone is usually hokkaido/kyushu style. of coz there are so many styles to choose from and with the no. of specialist ramen stalls here, i do hope u get the chance to try them all. do note some can be a real salt overload! oh i believe u are refering to the black pig ramen at tampopo liang court? my take on it..tasty but not authentic enuff. but one of the better ramens in town. u won't regret it. :)

ps. u stay ard gardens?

fatpig said...

Hi MD,
is it really garlic? Cause it certainly doesn't look or taste like garlic. Garlic doesn't come in such big slices I think. Maybe I'm mistaken.

ps: Ya I live around gardens :D

fatpig said...

Just confirmed. Its garlic alright. Didn't taste it so couldn't tell. Thanks MD!

Anonymous said...

haha. no worries mate. me n my colleague finished the whole (full!) bottle on the table the last time the 2 of us were there..haha kinda embarassing but it was just so nice to snack on while waiting for our ramen to come. well let's catch up sometime for a meal or 2 then. i'm also staying in gardens. contact me via msn..( would be nice to know a fellow foodie :) take care then.

fatpig said...

Added. Cheers!

Unknown said...

May I know where is the ice cream stall located? I would like to try that too.

fatpig said...

There's one at Marina Square and the other is at Central just along the Singapore river.

Sharon said...

i've tried a few times at this ramen store. i would say it's considered good. the salty taste and the flavouring are actually more to the japanese taste coz japanese tend to prefer a more heavy taste. =) this is just my opinion but i think it's relatively much better compared to some others.

fatpig said...

Hi Sharon, thanks for the comment. To each his/her own I guess =)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for mentioning the MSG. My friend is allergic to MSG so it is very useful when you mention the use of it in your reviews. Cheers.