By now you might have heard that there is an ‘Ultimate Ramen Champion Competition‘ happening in Singapore. Six of the best Ramen restaurants from Japan have set up shop in Iluma (Bugis) selling their signature dishes. They will be here for 1 year (1st July 2011 – 30th June 2012) and are competing to be the Ultimate Ramen Champion.
Like Marche, a card is given to every singe person who enters. This card is used to pay for your orders at the different stalls. There are 3 cashiers located at the exit and that is where you pay the bill. If you lose the card, you will need to pay $200.
Inside, its free sitting. There are lots of seats available. During lunch time (weekday), it can be quite crowded. There is a queue at almost every stalls. Surprising, it was when we were exiting that had the longest queue. With 3 cashiers (max capacity) operating, the queue was still slow moving.
With 6 different stalls, it is hard to decide what to eat. But no worries, they are here for 1 year. I am sure I will try the rest soon enough. Queues at Ikkosha, Bario and Iroha were too long. As I was feeling hungry, I decide to go for Tetsu which had a slightly shorter queue.
Tetsu is a Tsukemen stall from Tokyo and was listed as best Tsukeman Ramen by Tokyo Times. It’s concept is to serve the ramen and soup separately. The ramen is then dipped into into the soup. Having been around for 5 years, it has expanded to 15 outlets.
You might have noticed that there are numbers in the Tetsu Menu (2a) and Tetsu Menu (2b). When you order, you can just say the numbers. I ordered (2) + (9) which is Very Rich!Special Paitan Tsukemen + Flavoured Boiled Egg. In total (queue and wait my food), I waited for 15 minutes.
This is the soup for the Very Rich!Special Paitan Tsukemen. Its pork, chicken and seafood broth. If you notice from this picture, there is a thick layer of oil on top of the soup! As the menu states, this is a Very Rich soup do not attempt to drink it as if you are drinking soup. Try a sip first as it is very salty. Could not taste any flavour from the pork, chicken or seafood which was definitely overwhelmed by the saltiness of the soup.
On it’s own, the ramen is dry and tasteless. You can dip the noodles into the soup. For me, I scooped some of the soup into my ramen and mixed it. It was surprisingly delicious. There’s quite a large amount of noodles. Towards the last few mouthful, I felt thirsty due to the saltiness.
The Flavored Boiled Egg cost $2.00! It was disappointing. Unlike in the menu which shows that the egg yolk was runny, this was way overcooked!
Overall, I find this meal on the high end. There are certainty other places that sells great Japanese food at similar or cheaper price. In this case, the only item that was nice was the ramen. Soup and egg was disappointing. For the soup, it was too salty, maybe this suits the taste bud of the japanese.
Well despite this, I believe I will be back to try the other 5 stalls! After all, I am a foodie! If you have tried any of the stalls and like it do let me know!
Tetsu (Ramen Champion @ Iluma)
201 Victoria Street
#04-08/09/10 Iluma (Bugis)
Tel: 6238 1011
Opening Hours: Daily 1130 am to 1030 pm