Ramen Champion, Iluma, Singapore
When we saw advertisements that this ramen stadium was going to open on July 1st, I immediately marked my calendar to be here on the first day, especially since Tetsu was going to be one of the six stalls featured here. No, that's not the Tetsu from Tanglin Mall, but rather Tetsu the tsukemen shop from Tokyo that impressively had a line forming at 4:30 PM last time we were at Shinagawa station. Now we finally got to try it, and we loved it. The broth was so thick that it was almost gravy-like, the noodles were thick and firm, and the chashu was crumbling from all of the fat. Nice one.
Actually, the none of the photos here show Tetsu's awesome paitan tsukemen. Instead, the first photo at the top was tonkotsu ramen from Hakata's Ikkousha, whose smoky savory broth was right up my alley. Unfortunately, I couldn't say the same about Taishoken's mori soba in the second photo. Sure, they may have invented tsukemen, but that mildly sweet broth was a big turnoff for me. At least I got to close all of it off with a half-bowl of jirokei ramen from Bario below, whose coarse noodles were delightfully chewy and whose broth was nice and rich. The only two stalls we didn't go to were Iroha, whose noodles we've already come to love last time they setup a stall at Isetan (the man himself was behind the counter again tonight, BTW), as well as Gantetsu, mainly because I'm not a huge fan of Sapporo ramen.
Oh, and where was this place, you might ask? Interestingly, it was on the former grounds of Ebisboshi Shotengai (201 Victoria Street #04-08, 6238-1011), the name of which has moved to Great World City by combining Bentendo with Bishamon (although Tsubohachi has stayed here at Iluma). They finally ditched those clumsy pen scanners and moved to a card-based system (yes, they cited Marché by name too). It's good to see after so many mixed results with these Japanese food streets in Singapore that this one actually features really good shops that we'll easily come back for, especially Tetsu.