August 14, 2016
It looks like Shin-Sapporo Ramen isn’t just all about ramen anymore. Apart from ensuring quality of ingredients, noodles, and broth that make a good hearty bowl of traditional ramen, Shin-Sapporo Ramen has started branching out into shabu shabu as well!
With a simple and clean interior, Shin-Sapporo Ramen is unembellished and spacious, with plenty of privacy for guests at each table to enjoy while slurping on some quality shabu shabu.
Shin-Sapporo offers shabu shabu sets with three different proteins to choose from: Kurobuta Pork, Hamachi and Prawn or Wagyu Beef. After choosing your protein, you can also select from three different soup bases: Pork Bone Broth, Kimchi and Cheddar Cheese.
The Kurobuta Pork set was quite substantial. I personally like my shabu shabu meat on the fattier side, so I quite enjoyed eating these Kurobuta pork slices.
What is shabu shabu without seafood, right? Although the prawns were pretty fresh and bursting with juicy goodness when cooked in the broths, the hamachi slices were unfortunately not as fresh, nor did they taste as good when cooked. Perhaps hamachi is better eaten raw in the first place?
For a more premium offering, go for the Wagyu Beef. I thought this choice of meat was the best of the three that Shin-Sapporo had in its Shabu shabu set.
The beef slices had a nice marbling and quality that was unexpectedly pleasing, considering how reasonably priced the set is.
When dunked in the hot soup, the beef turned into meltingly tender and flavourful pieces that we really enjoyed eating.
Each of the shabu shabu sets also comes with a plate of vegetables comprising of cabbage, carrots, a variety of mushrooms, tofu and Shin-Sapporo’s special ramen noodles. We were pleased at the arrival of this platter because man, we can’t survive on just meat and soup alone!
There’s nothing much to be said about vegetables, but the noodles were delightfully springy and chewy when cooked.
To go with the meats we had selected, we chose to have all three different soup bases which Shin-Sapporo had to offer on its new menu.
The Pork Bone Broth is similar to the ones used for the restaurant’s ramen. Slightly cloudy, the soup wasn’t as strong in its umami flavour as we expected it to be, and it was lacking in taste.
Perhaps, it was served a little diluted to allow the flavours of the ingredients to infused into the soup after being cooked through. However, we were too impatient and added in soya sauce to season the broth, which we felt that it was still slightly blend.
If you’re feeling slightly more adventurous, the Cheddar Cheese is one to go for. A pot filled entirely with rich, yellow broth, it was superbly creamy and had a milky texture when sipping on it.
Definitely a broth I’d pick when in need of something comforting to slurp on. Surprisingly, the cheddar cheese soup wasn’t too overwhelmingly jelak right up to the end of the meal. It paired really well with all the ingredients, especially with the wagyu beef, adding a deeper savoy note to everything soaked in it.
Fun tip: Inspired by adding cheese into home-cooked ramen, we mixed a little of the kimchi broth with the cheddar cheese soup in our bowls, making the mixture slightly thicker and silky.
The third broth is the kimchi broth. With a hint of spice, the broth was fairly piquant. The aroma of the broth wafted through the air as we waited for it to heat up.
Once it was boiled, it was time to cook the meat. The meat was soft and went hand in hand with the kimchi broth. Covered in kimchi broth, the meat became all that more flavourful.
Shin-Sapporo has concocted different dipping sauces to pair with your selected meat. The Kurobuta pork, for example, goes well with the savoury ponzu sauce, while the Wagyu beef is best savoured with the sweet and creamier sesame sauce. I think this is a rather nice touch in which Shin-Sapporo has subtly enhanced the dining experience.
Let’s not forget desserts. Despite the guarantee of being pregnant with ginormous food babies, you’ll want to make room for Shin-Sapporo Ramen’s desserts. Their Matcha Ice Cream Cake ($8.80) has three layers: matcha, red bean paste, and a thin layer of cake with light cream on top.
The layers when accompanied with each other, make for a sweet and thick delight in your mouth with slightly bitter and heavy matcha flavours mixed in with the sweet red bean and light cream.
The Chocolate Lava Cake ($8.80) definitely deserves an Instagram video post because its gooey lava chocolate flows like no other. Although I do think that it could have been thicker to make it just a tad bit more sinful and indulgent.
If you’re craving for ramen with a decadent cheesy touch, yet really wanting to feast on all kinds of meats and vegetables, then Shin Sapporo Ramen is going to satisfy your cravings, above and beyond what you can think and imagine it to be.
A rather refreshing concept of shabu shabu with the various intriguing soup bases. If you’re still having doubts of its cheesey soup base, have a go at it and you’ll find that it is pretty damn amazing.
Besides, its exceedingly wobbly and flow-y molten lava cake is a reason enough to visit Shin-Sapporo Ramen.
Expected Damage: $20 – $40 Per Pax