We came back here for dinner on Saturday, and A brought an appetite, thank goodness (compared to the shadow of his former self when he had food poisoning on our last visit here).
We ordered the Black Pig Shabu Ramen again, but this time we asked for the chilli powder to be served on the side, so that we could fully appreciate the Kyushu (pork bone) soup that apparently takes 2 days to brew. The soup was flavourful without being too oily, the noodles were of the perfect thickness (in my opinion), and the black pig slices were again out of this world. Still, if I were asked to compare, I think that the ramen at Marutama may actually be more satisfying. While the noodles themselves at Tampopo rock, I think the char siew, stewed egg and the chicken broth at Marutama make for a more satisfyingly shiok bowl of noodles. Note: Y (of Y&J) did mention that the soup at Marutama was unbearably salty when they went a couple of months back, so maybe their standard has dropped since we were last there.
We ordered the tonkatsu set this time, cos it was better value than just ordering an a la carte tonkatsu. The pork was good but somehow lacked the oomph of the one that we had the last time. This may be a strange thing to rave about, but the rice was really good. You may think that all rice is the same, but this one was fluffy, and each grain was distinct; not too hard yet not soft and mushy. It was also well seasoned with more than a hint of vinegar but again not too strong.
We went the whole hog (har har) and decided to have yet another black pig dish – we ordered a side order of mini black pig gyozas. They were bite-sized and adorable, and came on a mini hot plate, sizzling away. The filling was very well-seasoned and because of the quality of the pork, it was soft and tender. One heck of a gyoza, it was.
We couldn’t resist their special desserts, so I had a scoop short cake, and A had a milk pudding. Given that I have a weakness for strawberry shortcake-type cakes, the scoop short cake was really up my alley – light sponge cake, whipped cream and peaches rather than strawberries. Not too heavy or sweet, this was a perfect end to the meal. A had the slightly more gelak milk pudding, which was essentially a panna cotta topped with butterscotch sauce. It was richer than the short cake but still quite light, as far as panna cottas go.
Because we had dessert, we didn’t have room to try the Japanese gelato place Haato, that’s also located in Meidi-ya. Maybe next time we’ll try to resist ordering dessert.
This place does good carbs. Both the rice and the ramen rocked. I was actually more impressed with that than the black pig actually. The homemade desserts were also surprisingly good. Anyway, I think Marutama is better for ramen, but if it’s going to be perpetually crowded, this place is a decent alternative. It’s also got the most convenient parking of all the ramen joints we’ve tried.
#B1-50 Liang Court Shopping Centre
Opens: 11.30am to 10pm daily
(No reservations for weekend dinners – walk-in only)