Aoba Ramen at Manpuku, Singapore
A lot of buzz has surrounded the new Tampines 1 mall and its Manpuku food hall in Singapore. With so many imports from Japan sitting there, I had an itching to brave the massive crowds as well as the long ride out to suburban Tampines to give some of the food a try. Tonight, I ventured out there...and at the top of my list of vendors to try was Aoba, a ramen shop from Asahikawa.
I was pretty let down when I saw my bowl...the egg was clearly overcooked, and the shio ramen broth was a bore. Fortunately, the chashu was tender, and the curly noodles were super springy. But that wasn't enough to turn around what I was hoping would be a great bowl of fun. Is this the way that Aoba does it in Japan? If so, then maybe I just ordered the wrong thing; looking back, perhaps the shoyu ramen would have been the wiser choice.
With the plastic Manpuku charge card still in my hands, I wandered over to Toku Toku, a chain that is apparently known for its handmade udon in Japan. I was rather bummed with this one too, as the texture of my zaru udon really wasn't that different from some of the frozen stuff that I buy at the supermarket. I was scratching my head here - was I missing something??
Well, there was one thing that I liked: some of the kushiage I got was flaky on the outside yet tender on the inside. And I suppose that I still like Botejyu, which was also one of the vendors here. But with an outlet of Botejyu in the city, there really isn't much motivation for me to make the trek all the way out to Tampines again. Unless if I wanted to buy something from Uniqlo downstairs.