Youmenya Goemon, Singapore
I'd been wanting to come down here for a while now but have just been too busy at work to be able to break away for lunch. But today I finally got the chance to come down to the new Marina Bay Link Mall, which in and of itself was surprisingly filled with people and restaurants (man, have I been cooped up for that long??).
Anyway, this is a chain from Japan that has set up shop in Singapore (8A Marina Boulevard #B2-03, 6509-4670), and I liked it enough that I came back again tonight for dinner too. Both times, the noodles were cooked nice and firm, while the sauce - particularly in the shabu shabu pork sesame spaghetti - was loaded with pleasantly rich butter. The cocktail of savory flavors in my mentaiko karashi takana dish above worked well for me too. And service was super fast, which was a huge bonus when one needs to rush back to the office.
Yes, I like this place a lot more than other Japanese pasta places like Bentendo and Pasta de Waraku. It definitely isn't as cheap as Saizeriya, but the tastes here were uniquely punchy enough that I'm coming back to try the other varieties. I just need to remember to avoid the ones with negi during lunchtime unless I want to terrorize the office with dragon breath afterwards.