We had initially planned (with flexibility) to go 河口湖 Kawaguchiko (to admire 富士山 Mt Fuji from afar) by bus either on Monday (1 Dec) or Tuesday (2 Dec). We were more keen to go on Monday, as we needed to get up early on Wednesday to catch the early 新幹線 Shinkansen to 京都 Kyoto.
As we got nearer to the dates, the weather forecast for Monday was cloudy, and sunny for Tuesday… Which kind of determined that we would go on Tuesday, because there’s no way to get a clear view of 富士山 Mt Fuji on a cloudy day.
We had initially wanted to check out イーヨ横丁 Iiyo Yokocho, but somehow ended up 黒塀横丁 Kurobei Yokocho (black-fence alley). However, it looked like a tourist trap with very few customers, and none of the restaurants were appealing to us. We were almost going to settle for one of the nearby restaurant, when hubby recalled that Mr J had mentioned a very famous つけ麺 tsukemen place at Tokyo Ramen Street in Tokyo Station.
Without further ado, we located Tokyo Ramen Street within the massive Tokyo Station, and before I could look for the name of the shop, we spotted the queue 😮 It’s amazing that there were 8 ramen shops here but only one has a snaking queue!
We finally made our last trip of 2015 to the Land of the Rising Sun! And this time we started from Tokyo!
Our first real meal in Tokyo was at Shinagawa. We met JL, who recently started working in Tokyo. Funny that we always meet up when we are out of Singapore… 😛
Anyway, she used the powerful Google Maps to navigate our way to the Shinatatsu Ramen Street 品川駅前「麺達七人衆 品達」. This is an area below the railway tracks of JR Shinagawa Station 品川駅 which has a collection of 7 ramen shops. And Nantsuttei is the first one as you walked into the area (and incidentally one of the only two that were still operating, the others were closed for renovations because of some construction going on at the railway tracks).
Nantsuttei started from Kanagawa and has now quite a number of branches in Tokyo, Thailand and Singapore too (Orchard Central). There is quite a following for its celebrity founder Ichirô Furuya, and judging from the queue that we were seeing at the Shinatatsu branch, this was the ramen for us!
Japanese feel on the exterior
We were in the vicinity (again) and wanted to try something new. This looks like a relatively new place so we decided to give it a try!
The exterior is a brightly-lit shop front with a large lantern, giving a very Japanese feel to the restaurant. Similarly, the interior is furnished with Japanese-style low tables and small chairs, and packed with very little walking space to maximize the dining area.
Kitchen is glassed so diners can peek at what’s happening behind the glasses, and for the chefs to shout ‘いらっしゃいませ Irasshaimase!‘ every time a customer walks in!
Ordering is simple: you order a ramen, decide on your toppings, add on side dishes, and drinks if you want. That’s it. Japanese efficiency.
We were very keen to try out this place as each ramen shop serves its own distinctive style of ramen. The queue was quite short, and we managed to get seats with 20 minutes, which was not bad at all, considering that it was a weekend evening.
We quickly decided on the Awaodori Special and Nebuta Special (each $18.90++). While waiting, we enjoyed some hard boiled eggs and marinated bean sprouts, which were freely available at each table. We even saw some customers making their own concoction of egg mayonnaise! We also rather enjoyed grinding the sesame, which really added an aromatic flavor to the ramen.
The Nebuta Special was made using a mixture of pork and fish stock, and was lighter in taste, as compared to Awaodori Special. Unfortunately, the meat was so tough that I gave up eating it after a while. On the other hand, the Awaodori had very tender meat! Frankly, I was quite disappointed with my meal 😦
Here for dinner after a stroll from office… I wanted to jog, but old le… 😦
We walked from Botanic Garden MRT along Bukit Timah Road and passed by our usual hunt in Cluny Court, and then a changed in sign made us looked up. This used to be Burger Shack, but has now revamped itself into Little Hiro, a Hawaiian-Japanese BBQ & Grill eatery. The owner is the son of the owner of Island Creamery, and Little Hiro was the result of his creative juices after attending a wedding in Hawaii which ended with a Hawaiian-style BBQ. Little Hiro is a tribute to the groom’s father and chef at the BBQ (whose name is Hiro).
Spread of appetizers
We haven’t been to Suntec City for a long while and boy, so many things have changed! There were also many new food options available, so after some consideration, we decided to try out Kimchi Korean Restaurant instead of the ramen restaurant 2 shops away, thinking that we might want to linger a while longer and the ramen shop is probably not so ideal for a long meal. Both had very good online reviews though!
We arrived just before 6.30pm and requested for a table of 5. The waitress responded that she had a table available but we had to clear out by 7.45pm. We declined and was offer an alternative 4-seater with an extra chair, which was fine, since the table was quite huge 🙂
Categories: Central, Dinner
Tags: chicken, Cityhall, gyoza, kimchi, Korean, pancake, ramen, restaurant, soup, Suntec
Very prominent noren
Since we were around the area, having just had coffee at Group Therapy, we decided to go check out that very famous Teppei restaurant in Orchid Hotel that we failed to make reservations for… The restaurant had opened up dinner reservation slots earlier on 2 Jan 2014 and the phone line was jammed up on the very first day with all slots from Mar 2014 to Jun 2014 taken up by the end of first day!
We were quite surprised by the number of Japanese restaurants in the area, and at Orchid Hotel, there were also a ramen place and gyoza place that had super long queues! There was no queue at Teppei, because you had to make reservations for dinner at the 21-seater… Haha! So we were just looking at the menu and a very friendly lady sitting outside the restaurant was giving us recommendations on where else to check out, and that we should come queue for lunch instead.
Since we weren’t hungry yet, we decided to heed the lady’s advice and stroll to 100AM next to Amara Hotel to check out Ramen Keisuke Tori King… Which also had a long queue… Pengz!
All noodles are handmade
Marutama Ramen shifted out of United Square and it’s premises was replaced by Bari Uma Ramen and Tamoya Udon. We chanced upon this shop while looking for late dinner and decided to give it a try!
This restaurant was newly opened on 3 December 2013 and there were not many patrons as yet (or maybe it’s because it’s almost 9pm when we arrived, haha!). A big signboard (which says that all the noodles in the restaurant are handmade) sits above the see-through kitchen, and the list of various ramen is written vertically on wooden boards beside the signboard. Seats are spacious enough and the waitresses were helpful and prompt in their service (again it may be because of the time).
However there was a group of diners beside us in the other corner who were laughing their lungs out, and the acoustic of the restaurant seemed to echo the already-loud laughter even louder. Not so conducive for 2 very tired persons who just want to have a hot, comfy noodle soup.