Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ramen Champion @ Great World City

Ramen Champion Great World City (GWC) opened in early November 2013. This is its 3rd outlet after Bugis+ and T3 Changi airport. Was recently invited to try the ramen from the four contenders of Ramen Champion GWC.


They are Bishamon Zero, Tonkotsu Itto, Miyamoto and Butaou.

who's going to be Ramen Champion?
nice colourful backdrop
huge lantern inside the restaurant

My first time trying all four brands so was anticipating for the first sip of soup, texture of the noodles, flavours of its ramen egg as well as how its chashiu is going to be like.

First up, Bishamon Zero. Not new to the ramen scene in Singapore. Originated from Sapporo, Hokkaido but interestingly, it has a China-born chef, the boyish Chef Wang Hu Rong. He has undergone intensive training with Mr Koji Tashiro of the Menya Koji Group.

stall front

Bishamon Zero sent out its Sapporo Miso Special Ramen. Soup was flavourful due to its meat (chicken and pork) based broth and miso taste was evident. Not too salty and warms the belly. If the corn had been sweeter, it would've been perfect!

Noodles were springy and cha shu was tender with good ratio of fats and lean. Liked the thickness. The eggs were good, with both the whites and yolk well-flavoured. Yummy. The spicy beanpaste (豆瓣醤) added some kick to the ramen.

Bishamon Zero's beautiful bowl of Sapporo Miso Special Ramen (@$14.80++)
springy curly noodles

For the hungries, one can try the side-dishes too if that bowl of ramen wasn't able to fill you up. Chicken karaage was pretty good. Looked abit flat but its meat was tender enough. Batter tasted very familiar ;)

tori karaage (@$4.80++)
mentaiko gyoza (5 small pieces @$5.80++)
Okonomiyaki Gyoza with bonito flakes (5 small pieces @$5.80++)
snow pear juice is available

Chef Wang made a special appearance, so here's a snapshot of him.

Chef Wang Hu Rong

Next up, sampled the Special Tonkotsu Ramen from Tonkotsu Itto. This brand originated from Tokyo and helmed by Chef Yukihiko Sakamoto. This is his first outlet  outside of Japan, and serves Hakata-style ramen.

Singaporeans are very familiar with tonkotsu (豚骨) broth, boiled for several hours from pork bones resulting in a rich tasting broth.

Tonkotsu Itto's - Special Tonkotsu Ramen (@$16.50++)
cha shu overflowed as it was served in a rather shallow bowl with thin straight noodles

Liked the robust tasty soup full of pork-bones goodness but there was too little of it! Noodles were rather thin and abit soft. Cha shu was good, firm to the bite and not too lean. The wood fungus added some crunch when eaten together with the noodles. The ajitsuke tamago has good flavours in its yolk but the egg whites portion were rather bland.

After this elegant, dainty looking bowl of ramen from Tonkotsu Itto, next was a rather masculine looking one! The Pork and Vegetable Ramen from Miyamoto. Helmed by Chef Ryutaro Miyamoto, this brand was voted as 2012 Narita City Most Popular Ramen, and runner-up in 2013.

Miyamoto - Pork and Vegetable Ramen (@$16++)

Loaded with lots of bean sprouts and cabbage, and had a small mound of chopped garlic. Noodles were of the thick variant kind (similar to mee hoon kueh texture but in noodles form). It's a huge bowl. Generous servings of thick cha shu slices too. Cabbage taste is prominent in the soup. Best amount of vegetables amongst all the contenders. Frankly, this bowl of ramen is not much of a looker but it tasted good. If you fancy thicker noodles and wants more vegetables in your diet yet able to have enough meat, then Miyamoto Pork and Vegetable ramen can fulfill these.

best flavoured yolk!

Finally, it's Butao's turn. Originated from Saitama Prefecture in Tokyo, and was awarded Outstanding Ramen Rookie Award at Hong Kong's The Ultimate Ramen Champion competition. Doesn't that makes you eager to know how well it'll fare in Singapore?

Butao - Special Sukiyaki Ramen (@$16++)

Chef Toshikazu Yoneda had indeed created something special. Poached egg? Sukiyaki soup base for ramen? Ok, a first for me. Soup was sweet as expected of a sukiyaki broth cooked with pork bones and vegetables. Light tasting with sweetness. Break the poached egg, stir well into the soup. Quite yummy. Didn't like the pork slices though as they were a bit tough.

soup slurped up in no time!

Also tried a personal favourite of Malcolm. Butao's fried chicken wings. One pax can easily polish off a plate of these. Beer food, or children's favourite?

sprinkle with lots of chili powder, add a squeeze of lemon

Don't forget to vote for your favourite ramen contender to become the Ramen Champion!

whom has captivated your tummy?

Special thanks to Malcolm, Komars Group for the invite. Ramen Champion, ごちそうさまでした!


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