With winter comes cold and with that comes the intrinsic need for comfort and what better way to find this in a meal than through a wonderful bowl of Ramen?! A good ‘Winter Warmer’ should provide what my good friend M describes as a “hug in a bowl/cup” and for me, ramen has never failed to do so!
Here is a preview (temptation???) of what is to come!!
Over the past weekend there has been a certain stir occurring in the ‘foodie-gram’ dimension.
It all began when I spied Dan Hong’s instagram of a heavenly looking bowl of ramen that was “even a little tastier than BlancHaru”. Following this, more amazing photos from RamenRaff surfaced and I received a few tips from this very knowledgeable and helpful ramen guru over Twitter. I realised that the day had come. Chef Haru from Blancharu had opened his new ramen store! What surprised/excited me even more was that Ramen Ikkyu had opened at one of my favourite haunts, The Sussex Street Food Centre.
Never having tried the highly praised ramen at Blancharu, Elizabeth Bay, mainly due to my uni timetable clashing with ‘ramen-service’ time, I have been anticipating this opening ever since news broke in my weekly read, the SMH Good Food.
Regardless of her flu-ridden weekend, Mumma was just excited to try Ikkyu Ramen as I was. After three days of an absence of appetite, Mumma was indeed hungry, so off we skipped/drove to the Sussex Centre for a very very early dinner (on the advice of Raff) at 4pm. With the departure of Lil’ Bro and Papa overseas this morning, I felt slightly guilty that we would be trying this super ramen without them, but my true foodie soul reminded me that they were not so unlucky themselves as they would be bathing in the delicious culinary melting pot of Singapore!
The food court was rather busy for a Sunday afternoon and I made a beeline straight for the touchpad ordering system. Double-tap on the Shoyu Ramen and with an extra side order of Spicy Black Fungus and Mumma and I were ready.
[[There are many other options on the menu such as Shio Ramen, Chilli Oil etc etc, but my extensive research (instagram/facebook/twitter trawling) it appeared like Shoyu was the way to go!]]
I hope I do not offend or upset any avid Gumshara fans here when I say that I prefer Ramen Ikkyu…*pauses to wait for dirty looks and tsk tsks*. SORRRYYYY!!
This version of Ramen uses a Paitan broth, which I feel to be much more accessible to the palate, especially if a diner, like yours truly finds it hard to stomach the richness of Tonkotsu. This is not to say that the Shoyu broth is overly light. It contains a deep flavour and is relatively rich due to the added soy in comparison to other broths such as the Shio. I found this to be the perfect balance! What are your opinions on this??
On another important note, the noodles themselves were cooked light and springy and ‘al dente’ as the Italian’s refer to it!
With the most delicious and sweet bamboo shoots, black fungus and ridiculously tender and flavourful charsiew pork your ramen comes fully equipped! Oh but do not worry, I have not forgotten the wonders of the egg with it’s yolk still gooey and soft and amazing …I am lost for words. It still amazes me as to how this soft centre is achieved! The quality of ramen toppings at Ikkyu is undoubtedly the best I have tasted, especially if you compare it to the sometimes dry and tasteless charsiew slices I sometimes receive and make me very sad! Again, I emphasise how fresh each component of this bowl of comfort and goodness is!!
Mumma was seriously quite hungry after a few days food free so we decided to take advantage of the ‘Free Kaedama’ i.e. let’s add more awesome noodles to the awesome broth!!! Steaming hot noodles were added and our stomachs were filled with happiness.
I am so glad that there is now a great new option at the Sussex Centre. It makes one of my favourite eating-places even more exciting to visit. Ikkyu Ramen will definitely be my ‘go-to’ when I’m in search of a ‘Winter Warmer’ (or a flu remedy in Mumma’s case!) and I cannot wait to try some of the other ramen options!
I wish Chef Haru the best of luck on this new venture. From what I can see and taste it will not be hard to succeed!
Foodie Tip: I have heard that Ikkyu Ramen has been selling out and closing by 6pm so perhaps try and arrive for lunch or an early dinner!
Enjoy this great new place fellow ramen lovers!!