Sanji Kagoshima Ramen 面家三士

Food, food, food!
another food review from the Tea-Flavoured Fish! Last saturday was a eating day for the us, the LandLady Fish and me. After the long-finned fish and Fishuui left us, we meet up with our October Cousin, Songster and Captain Kerk for ramen at a ramen-ya nearby.

Menya Sanji is fairly new establishment located on the first floor of Orchid Hotel, round the corner of Tonkotsu-Ou a popular ramen place that attracts a queue every dinner time. Having eaten at Tonkotsu Ou before we decided to give Sanji a try. The soup is all pork bone based and alllows variations by putting behind seasoning.

Being the safe one, I had the orginal tonkotsu shouyu ramen with added Seaweed topping:

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Songster tried the original spicy:

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Captain Kerk had the special Black sesame Soup:

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and the LandLady-Fish had the Gyokai Ramen (tonkotsu soup mixed with bonito stock):

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When the noodles were served we went around tasting everyone else’s soup. The original soup was flavourful but not oily or too salty. As ramen is something that is very full-bodied/heavy I usually find the ones that I have ate, it too salty for me, so either they have scaled it to suit the Singaporean taste-buds or they are the “lighter ramen”. The soup was fragrance, and did not have the pork-ish over taste that some pork-based soup has, so it was soupy (as opposed to some ramen soup that is more gravy like), but not watered down.

The Spicy version, was nice, however it was not spicy at all. However you have to consider the fact that we are Singaporean and chili is a common spice in South East Asia and most of us a a higher tolerance to spicy food. Despite that the chili oil and spice added a hint of spiciness, with a little more flavour that the original soup did not have.

I had mixed feelings regarding the Sesame Soup. On one hand it had the same pork bone soup-base, on the other hand instead of using shouyu (soya sauce) they added black sesame to it. It reminded me of Black Sesame Paste (芝麻糊), a popular dessert that has grounded black sesame cooked into a paste. As much as the soup was nice it reminded me of the dessert too much, and I don’t like mixing my mains and my desserts.

The Gyokai ramen was pretty good. I have taste the very strong bonito flavour in the soup. It doesn’t clash with the pork based soup. However as I am not a very big fan of fish, I don’t think I will order this.

LandLady Fish and I personally think that the noodles is a winner here. It is springy, and goes down well with the soup. Unlike some noodles like would expend and start to disintegrate into the soup causing the soup to be starchy, this noodle  did not, making this an enjoyable eating experience.

However the char-siew (sliced pork pieces) were kind disappointing. They were tough and lacked flavour, so it probably was not braised long enough. However as I usually think the soup and noodles are more important aspects of ramen, it did not marr the experience too much.

So overall we had a good meal, although the location was rather cramp and we were seated under a spotlight making it extra hot. So if you are tired of queuing for Tonkotsu-Ou do drop by Sanji, you will not be disappointed.

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Food Review: Tsukada Nojo (塚田農場)

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Lately one of the malls in Singapore had an expansion, with it came new eataries hailing from the region. Notably(at least to me) was Nana’s Green Tea and Tsukada Nojo. I will describe our adventures at Nana’s in another post but yesterday the fishes went to Tsukada Nojo to try their fabled Bijin Nabe (美人鍋) that is filled with collagen!

Beside having only 1 branch in Singapore the venue had limited sitting as well, resulting in Long queues everyday. Nonetheless this fishie went and joined the queue ard 4.30pm for thr dinner service at 5.00pm.

So we a bijin nabe that served 4, 3 Nikumaki Oinigiri (riceballs wrapped with meat), 2 siew mai and an assortment of drinks.

The selling point of this place was their chicken broth base which was made by cooking chicken and bones from Miyazaki until it disintergrate, forming a thick base. It is then cooled into pudding (shown in photo above), when applies to heat it starts melt back into soup form. then veggies are added to form our dinner for the night!

The soup was good! the flavour of the chicken was there without overpowering feel of oiliness that you sometimes get with chicken soup. This is the soup you would be craving for when you are sick. The veggies made the soup sweeter, rounding out the meaty taste of it. After the veggies were done, we added the Mochi Mochi noodles into the soup, with the prawns! The prawns were fresh, and the noodles had a nice chewy texture that went well with the soup. But by then the fishies were all too full to completely enjoy it.

All in all it was a good trip with a moderate bill (hotpot is at $25/pax), would queue up for it another day but not that soon.

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