Epicureans, rejoice! Tomo Izakaya has launched three new ramen dishes: Tokyo Ramen, Shake-tantan Men and Kai Ramen. All three are the brainchild of Chef Hirotaka Murata, an expert in kaiseki sets. With over 20 years of experience under his belt, the chef is adept at coming up with Japanese mainstays that are steeped in tradition and authenticity.
Kai Ramen ($14 nett during lunchtime)
The ramen’s soup base is made using two types of clam: asari and hamaguri. Other ingredients used to enhance the taste of the soup include chicken bones, Japanese snapper bones and vegetables. The soup is paired with specially customised jade-green noodles – and this is the first time that green ramen noodles are offered in a Japanese restaurant in Singapore. The ramen is then garnished with wakame seaweed and yuzu peel, which accentuate the soup’s seafood flavour.
I find the inclusion of yuzu peel in the soup particularly refreshing, cutting through the richness of the seafood and allowing me to further enjoy the soup. It is not overwhelming and does not overshadow the natural flavours of the seafood.
Tokyo Ramen ($9.50 nett during lunchtime)
Next up, my favourite ramen of the night. Following a recipe that has been passed down for two generations by Chef Murata’s master, Tokyo Ramen features a special shoyu blended soup base. This ramen evokes nostalgic feelings and whisks you away to old-world Japan. The soup is made with a medley of ingredients such as pork bone marrow, chicken bones, niboshi (Japanese dried infant sardines), bonito flakes, vegetables, Japanese dried scallop and prawns. The premium ingredients give the soup a robust and piquant flavour. Swimming in it are classic egg noodles, which are then topped with char siu made with Kurobuta pork (black pork).
This is my favourite ramen of the night for one simple ramen: I love any ramen broth that has Shoyu in it. This ramen’s broth is rich yet remains clear tasting and simple. Saltiness of the broth was just right. The broth was also fragrant and accentuated with the sardine flavour, much like Sanpoutei Ramen’s shoyu ramen.
Shake-tantan Men ($12 nett during lunchtime)
Finally, the Shake-tantan men is bound to delight. Salmon bone and head as well as a specially blended miso with salmon minced meat are used to make the white coloured broth. Over a tightly controlled fire, the broth is cooked for 5 hours. The soup is than enlivened with a sesame flavour as well as spicy note of the chilli oil. Accompanying the soup are al dente ribbons of tantan mian.
Now, this is the only dish that night that I barely touched, perhaps just a couple of sips of the broth. Simply because I do not take spicy ramen at all. Although the broth was acceptable to me (I have a low heat tolerance), I could not go beyond 3 spoons. However, my other dining partners that night commented that this bowl of ramen was their favourite for the night. So spicy ramen broth lovers, this will be up your alley.
Tomo Izakaya makes an ideal address for corporate events and intimate gatherings. The establishment offers traditional Japanese dishes at affordable prices. Patrons can also hobnob and savour the arsenal of beers, alcohols, cocktails and mocktails available here. For its stellar offerings and cosy ambience, Tomo Izakaya has earned the plaudits of food critics.
Address: 3A River Valley Road, #01-14 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179020
Other outlet: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday & Sunday – 12pm to 3pm & 6pm to 1am, Friday & Saturday – 12pm to 3pm & 6pm to 3am
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay