At the suggestion of my brother, the parents and I went to Ramen Matsuri for dinner for what my bro feels is “better ramen” than the ones at any typical ramen joint in Singapore.
Ramen Matsuri literally means “ramen festival” and this little restaurant along North Canal Road specialises in ‘maze-soba’ which is dry ramen with various types of toppings served with a bowl of soup.
This Okinawan jasmine green tea was really quite fragrant and the flavour was quite subtle. This is the only tea that they serve free with refills (not sure for how long more). If you want hot green tea, that’s chargeable. I suggest getting this jasmine tea without ice. It’s cold and a nice refreshing contrast after you’ve eaten the hot soupy ramen.
|The open kitchen|
What I liked about the ambience of Ramen Matsuri is that it does remind me of a lot of eateries that I visited in Osaka and Tokyo. It’s small, cosy but doesn’t feel congested and the people there are very nice! My brother liked the fact that it’s a Japanese who is cooking and serving so you know that the flavours haven’t been localised too much.
|Mum’s Original Maze-soba|
Only instruction about the maze-soba is to mix everything in the bowl together before eating. But it did come with a bowl of soup right? So…my take on things is to dip the mixed noodles into the soup before eating. I’ll tell you why later.
What is also different about Ramen Matsuri’s soup broth is that it’s chicken and not pork. The chickens are boiled for at least 6 hours to produce their signature thick broth. Hence, the taste of the soup is a bit more subtle and does not have the same ‘stickiness’ that tonkotsu tends to have.
Mum chose the ‘safe’ option of the original cha shu maze-soba (S$16.80++)and the soft boiled egg yolk added creaminess into this dish. It’s almost like how I make my carbonara spaghetti.
|My Cod Roe Mayonnaise Maze-soba|
As you know, I’m a little more adventurous with food so I chose the Cod Roe Mayo maze-soba (S$16.80++). I opted to change the soft boiled egg to a flavoured onsen egg because I know how hard it is to cook this thing and then soak it in sauce for hours. Besides, I had mayo so the mayo would act as the cream in this dish. As usual, I had asked them to leave out the spring onions. The results of mine was a very salty but quite delicious maze-soba.
Remember what I mentioned earlier about dipping the noodles into the soup? Another reason for doing so is because the soup alone was very peppery but it went perfectly well when I dipped the noodles inside. As mentaiko (cod roe) is very salty, the soup also took away some of that overpowering saltiness.
You can ask for soup refills and if you still have a bit left like I did, you can ask for complimentary ‘oimeishi’ which is a very small serving of rice that you can put into the soup. What I did was to dump the rice first into the empty ramen bowl, gave it a good stir to pick up the remaining mentaiko before pouring my soup inside. Yummy!!
|Dan Dan tofu|
We also ordered a side of Dan Dan Tofu and yup, that’s a whole tub of tofu with loads of spring onions (eeks) and some fried pork and served with a generous amount of spicy Dan Dan sauce. We wanted to try their Gyoza but it was completely sold out!
I walked out of Ramen Matsuri completely full and satisfied. I reckon that if I were with friends, we might’ve ordered the Toriage (fried chicken) and beer as well. Haha. If you’re around the Raffles Place/ Boat Quay area, you should give Ramen Matsuri a try. Even if you think you’ve eaten better ramen (did someone say Ippudo?), the whole atmosphere and quality of the ramen does make you feel like you’re having a mini Japanese festival in the middle of Singapore.
7 North Canal Road
Tel: +65 6533 0845