Thursday, February 08, 2007

Beppu Menkan

C says:

I think almost everyone working in the Raffles Place area knows this place. Affectionately referred to as ‘Hell’s Noodles’, it’s a Japanese restaurant in Far East Square specializing in ramen, but in particular their signature dish – ramen in a potentially lethal hellbroth. I say potentially because you get to select your poison: the soup comes in five varying levels of spiciness - one, two, four, six and eight chillies.

The spicy ramen is available in different varieties, ranging from sliced beef and sliced fish, but by far the most popular and most delicious is the fried chicken (karaage) ramen. For $8.80 you get a very generous portion of noodles, bamboo shoot, sweet corn, spring onions, fried garlic chips and about 7 to 8 pieces of juicy chicken thigh, breaded and deep fried to golden perfection.

One chilli is really mild and only has a hint of spice. Two chillies is probably the best compromise for people who like some heat in their food. It’s about as spicy as a normal curry. Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I always go for the four chillies, which ranges from being fairly spicy, to downright lip-searingly hot. It’s pretty erratic, because I guess they don’t have specific measurements of chili powder that they add for the various chilli levels. Apparently a woman actually fainted after eating a six-chilli bowl, and the eight-chilli is not without its fans as well – the restaurant sells up to 20 bowls a week, including to a student who has an eight-chilli bowl every week. Insane!

On Thursday night the four chillis I had was quite a killer. My lips were burning, and the soup burned a trail all the way down to my stomach. It’s really addictive though, and that chilli high is precisely what keeps me coming back for more. There’s a price to pay of course, and pay for it dearly you will the next day…

They have a sister Thai restaurant next door, and you can order food from both restaurants no matter where you sit. In addition to the ramen, there’s actually a very wide range of Japanese and Thai food available; it’s just very hard for me to come here and not order the fried chicken ramen. Four chillies is still the max that I’ll go, though.

A says:

I think the standard has dropped since the last time we came a few months ago. The cold noodles and squid we had were not bad, but no where near as good as before. C’s chicken was still really good though.

Note to self: While the longans themselves are sweeter, the juice is really watery. I think I’ll go back to the lychee juice next time.

Beppu Menkan
134 Amoy Street
Far East Square
Tel: 6438-0328

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