Keisuke Tonkotsu King ramen, 1 Tras Link
Had dinner at this little ramen shop the other day as recommended by my friend A who lives in the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood. She’s a ramen lover and apparently this new place serves good traditional Japanese ramen.
We reached around 7+ on a Thursday night and there was a queue in front by then. We waited for at least 45 – 60 minutes before we managed to get a table because turnover was slower due to their capacity constraints; I counted about 18 seats including counter seats.
Customization was the order of the day and you get a little order slip where you get to choose how you want your 1) soup broth, 2) how strong your soup broth should be, 3) how “well done” your noodles should be and 4) how oily you want it. The “normal” option would have rendered the traditional Tokyo flavor according to a note at the bottom of the slip.
There were 3 soup broths available: normal, black spicy oil (which would be close to black pepper), and red spicy oil. I took the red spicy oil one with black fungus and included an egg to go along with my ramen. I love my noodles a little soggy instead of springy and opted for them to be cooked a little longer. Soup strength was normal since A had mentioned that the stock isn’t too salty but it arrived way too salty for my liking; definitely going for the lightest version in future. As an indication of how salty the soup is, I usually finish all my soup but I only tried a few mouthfuls for this because it was honestly killing my kidneys. My soup base was oilier than I would have liked so I’ve made a mental note to go lighter on that as well.
The one thing that impressed me most was their egg. The egg white was not hard but very soft and bouncy, and when you bite into the interior, the creamy, runny yolk oozed out. If the egg is your highlight, then you definitely need to give this place a try.
There were pickled beansprouts available for garnishing but I’m not exactly a fan of that. Pieces of pork fats (not fried though) were floating in the soup base as well probably to enhance the stock, yummy if you love that sinful stuff like me.
Would I go back again? Maybe not on a busy day where I have to wait for more than 45 minutes, but yes I would because their ramen is as good as many other joints (till I find my perfect soup combi of course) and prices are very competitive although ambience is a minus factor when you slurp down your noodles within 15 minutes and go off.
Oh, and to complete the whole ramen experience, be prepared to have the Japanese cashier mutter a string of polite nothings to you in Japanese. Those who are sucker for authenticity would be pleased to know that food is prepared by Japanese chefs as well.