One of my favourite ramen bowls can be found in Liang Court, Singapore, where 90% of the stores are Japanese. They have Uniqlo, a Kinokuniya, and Meidi-ya, which is a sizable grocery stocked with Japanese goods. Liang Court is my favourite mall in Singapore. And Marutama Ramen can be found on its second floor. A homey, no-frills Japanese restaurant, their menu constitutes of only six types of ramen. I’ve only tried one (and have stuck to one since)—the Zenbu Ramen.
Marutama uses chicken broth, which makes it a tamer, lighter alternative to the thick, unctuous, and almost-gelatinous tonkotsu variety. The taste is mild and glazes the palate with a harmonious blend of clean meaty flavours.
Now, not everyone adheres to chicken based broth, but I like because it makes me feel less guilty about inhaling an entire bowl of the stuff. It comes with ramen noodles that are thinner-than-usual, but are cooked until it has that nice al-dente bite. Three slices of char siu are fanned on the side; they are deceivingly pale but are packed with bold porcine flavours. The same goes with the kakuni, cubes of stewed pork belly that come with divine, alternating layers of fat and meat. You know they marinate their meat well at Marutama.
A generous sprinkling of garlicky negi is placed on the side, and opposite that rests a pristine pile of aosa, a special type of seaweed grown in very pure seawater. In the middle rests the signature ajitsuke tamago, whose soft exterior yields a creamy, golden yolk—the crowd pleaser.
They’ve got condiments such as garlic chips, but I hold back because I find the garlic flavour too pungent that it clashes with and overpowers the light chicken broth. Sides such as gyoza, karaage, and chawan mushi are also available, but I’ve been sticking to my guns and consistently ordering only this Zenbu Ramen at Marutama. Maybe I’ll try the others next time.
MARUTAMA RAMEN (LIANG COURT)
177 River Valley Road
#02-01/02 Liang Court Shopping Centre
P: +65 6837-2480
(All meals are paid for myself unless stated otherwise.)