Our very first trip to ION was on a Thursday evening after work. Big mistake – the traffic was terrible, and we missed the whole reason for our visit, which was a friend’s performance. Still, we met her for dinner after her gig and after a failed attempt at getting a table at Watami Izakaya (they closed off the queue at 8.40 pm!), we tried our luck at adjacent ramen joint Aoba Hokkaido Ramen, and managed to secure a table after a short 5 to 10 minutes in line.
Their specialty here is there Shoyu ramen, so even though I’m usually a Kyushu (pork bone) ramen girl, I ordered the Shoyu ramen with braised pork belly. The pork belly was pretty fatty, even for me. I think next time I’ll go with the char siew instead.
Hokkaido ramen seems to be thicker and chewier than the normal ramen we’re used to, so those who like their noodles on the softer side may find this a bit too firm and starchy. I found that it went really well with the broth, which was packed with umami flavour. Surprisingly, although it was shoyu based, it wasn’t excessively salty.
A decided to order the Shio ramen with scallops. The broth was lighter in flavour, and because of that I preferred mine.
We also ordered the mentai chicken wings, which were just fried chicken wings topped with some kind of cheesy mentaiko/mayonnaise sauce. Yummm… these were totally addictive, and I dare say the best part of an already pretty good meal.
ION certainly has a wealth of new restaurants to try. The crowds are currently putting me off, but at some point I do want to give the more interesting ones a go.
It’s good and well worth a visit, but I wouldn’t queue up for this given the wealth of choices here and in B4.
Aoba Hokkaido Ramen
#B3-25, ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn