Saturday, October 25, 2014

Takumen on Circular Road, Singapore

Katsuura Tantanmen Bingiri

These guys (66 Circular Road #01-01, 6536-4875) are still in soft launch mode, and hence are only serving two of their six bowls at the moment. But I liked both of them, particularly that katsuura tantanmen above, which featured a surprisingly strong hit of sansho peppercorns...not to mention what must have been an entire onion diced up in there (great for shoveling rice down with afterwards). The other tonkotsu-based bowl also used just the right balance of ginger, sesame, and fatty chashu.

So what's the deal with this six bowl total? Well, these guys feature ramen from six different places in Japan, with the first two above from shops called Bingiri and Honda Shoten, I believe. If that sounds a bit reminiscent of Ramen Champion, it is a similar concept, but they are also worlds apart. It's not a bunch of tacky-looking stalls; these guys serve all six bowls from a single tiny shop, and all with the proper use of ingredients. There are pictures of the ramen chefs, but printed out on humble little sheets of paper and stuck to the wall, unlike Ramen Champion's huge illuminated signs.

Either way, the taste is ultimately what will draw me back here. The rest of the ramen scene in Singapore has become so played out lately, making me lose interest. But these guys have reminded me of the flavors that got me so interested in ramen in the first place. Interestingly, their kitchen tickets actually show a "Localized (Singapore)" option for each bowl, which basically means that they toned down the saltiness of the broth. That also means that they will do it the more potent Japanese way if you ask for it.


p said...

dude, you've got to check out sanpoutei at lido.. it's damn good.

even their tonkotsu is very very different from the usual.

the one to go for is the shoyu though.. it's mixed in with a fish broth.. so light yet tasty/umami at the same time. accompaniments are all top notch - char siew, menma, egg and noodles (made fresh on site)

bma said...

You mean these guys?

p said...

yeah! that's the one. they also have a pretty good tsukemen and maze soba!