Tampopo's Spicy Kurobuta Shabu Shabu Ramen
Today's Sunday Times' "Taste" section featured Ramen stores that have been springing up in Singapore. Looks like there are many people in Singapore going through a Ramen phase. I've been eating 2 - 4 bowls of Ramen on a weekly basis for the last few months.I find it very comforting to have a steaming hot bowl of ramen with a rich stock that warms your stomach. I think of it as a pork-version of Chicken Soup for your soul. The article noted that the most popular kind of ramen in Singapore is the Tonkotsu Ramen (a milky-white soup, filled with collagen & is made from a stock of pork bones that have been simmered for many hours). Incidentally, there is a Chinese soup stock that is often referred to as "old chicken stock" where the chicken bones have been simmered for so many hours that the soup turns milky-white. I had a variation of this Chinese soup stock when I was eating at Kam Chiu Restaurant in Kowloon (Hong Kong) some years back. The stock was made of pork bones, fish bones & chicken bones. The resultant stock was so amazingly rich and flavourful that it made the smooth & slim rice noodles (aka hor fun) an absolute joy to savour. I almost missed my flight home from Hong Kong because I had to get another fix before leaving. I tried looking for the restaurant again during my trip to Hong Kong last year but to no avail (maybe I remembered the wrong street name) so any feedback on where I can locate this place would be welcome!
One of the ramen joints that I've been to quite often in the past few months is Tampopo (located at the basement of Liang Court), which is also known amongst local foodies as the Black Pig Ramen place. The reason for this nickname is because they serve Berkshire pork, which is renowned for its marbling, ie. the pork version of Kobe beef & O-Toro (fatty tuna). I ordered their house specialty: Shabu Shabu Black Pig Ramen which has been spiced up with tons of chili flakes. The soup was robust and not too spicy. The slices of pork were very tender and juicy. This made it almost worth the wait (about 20 minutes or so) and the BAD service. Do be forewarned that most of the service personnel are sulky and have a serious case of "selective vision" (ie. they are consistently unable to see clients trying to catch their attention even when these clients were in their line of sight). In spite of the poor service, this dish is still a Must-Try!
Tampopo is also known for their Strawberry Scoop Shortcake. This dessert is highly recommended by Umami, whom I trust fully for her impeccable taste in food. The cream was not excessively sweet nor was it too heavy. The sponge cake was light and fluffy. The chunks of strawberries & sections of oranges added a refreshing touch of tanginess. This was a satisfying dessert that didn't weigh heavily on the stomach. This is also a Must-Try!
Tampopo 177 River Valley Road #B1-50 Liang Court Shopping Singapore 179030 Tel: 6338-3186
Operating Hours Daily: 11.30 am to 10.00 pm