Ichibantei @ China Square Central
Yes, I'm still on a ramen roll. I've been to Ichibantei at China Square Central quite a number of times in the last 2 - 3 months as its quite close to my office. It's usually pretty crowded during lunch but the wait is nothing compared to the wait at Kyonichi. Its a good thing that they serve Kimchi at every table and this keeps us busy while waiting. The kimchi here is really good and its hard to stop munching on it till we've emptied the container out. I've been here with quite a few friends and we've never been able to get our paws off the kimchi bottle. :)On my first visit with JH, we ordered some Gyoza to share. The gyoza here is too charred for my liking and the filling was rather lacking in flavour. We ate one piece each as we preferred to save tummy room for the other dishes. If you're a fan of gyoza, you should try Gyoza no Osho.
As we were very hungry (ok, it was largely moi who was starving!), we also ordered a Ma Po Tofu. The Ma Po Tofu here was a little too sweet for my liking and I resolved that I should just stick to the Ma Po Tofu served at Szechuan establishments instead of Japanese ones. As some of you may know, I love spicy food and particularly enjoy this dish when it numbs my tongue.
We ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen topped with Char Siew, Bamboo Shoots and Agitama (egg). There wasn't a thick layer of oil on the surface of the soup to "lubricate" the ramen. Thankfully the ramen was not too rough on the tongue despite the conspicuous "oil shortage". It served as a healthier alternative to traditional versions that have a layer of oil floating on the soup. The char siew was soft and had just about the right balance of saltiness.
A few visits later, while having dinner with MW, I decided to try the Super Tan Tan Ramen (extra spicy). It was not as spicy as I had hoped but the generous topping of beansprouts was a good change. The minced pork was reasonably tender but could do with just a little more salt. Overall, the soup was pretty good but if you have to pick just one ramen dish here, go for the Tonkotsu Ramen.
Ichibantei was running a promotion whereby all customers were given a voucher to redeem for a cone of soft serve ice cream on their next visit. The vanilla ice cream was a little softer than we would have liked but it was rather tasty and was not excessively sweet. The cone was crisp and a pleasure to crunch into. It was a sweet conclusion to a savoury meal.
Ichibantei #01-32/33 China Square Central Tel: 6557-0226
Operating Hours: Daily (except for Sundays) : 11.30am to 2.30pm & 6 to 9.30pm.