Last Updated: November 6, 2017
Hidden within Geisha Specialty Coffee in Burlington Square, 300 Boru promises decent ramen bowls that won’t leave your wallet hurting. With nothing on the menu above $10, this slow-cooked, fast food place will become your new go-to spot for ramen.
A popular lunch spot for the students from LASALLE College across the road, it’s not uncommon to see groups of students huddled over their steaming bowls of ramen.
A cosy interior greeted me when I entered the store. With limited seats, lunch hour can be a squeeze, especially if you’re coming with a big group.
I took the bar counter against the wall, which proved to be a mistake. One of the first things I noticed when entering the café was the overpowering aroma of coffee mixed with piping-hot ramen. While pleasant at first, the scent seeped into my hair and clothes, and lingered for the rest of the day. If you want to avoid this, take the tables further from the open kitchen.
Having said that, the fragrance of the ramen hardly did any damage to my appetite.
With two ramen varieties and three rice bowls on the menu, dining at 300 Boru doesn’t require any head-scratching decisions.
I started out with the Mazemen Shiro ($6.90). Served with a cheese sauce and lightly spiced mentaiko, this bowl had me immediately intrigued by how it would taste. It’s not every day you see ramen paired with cheese sauce, after all.
Springy and slightly soft, the noodles complemented the light, cheesy flavour of the sauce. The bowl also came with an onsen egg, which I mixed into the sauce. The result was a slightly sweet and viscous cheese sauce with a pleasant egg aftertaste.
You’ll want to mix the mentaiko into the ramen as well, together with the seaweed. The mentaiko popped subtly in each mouthful, adding to the overall flavour and texture.
Light and simple in taste, this Mazemen Shiro is one of those ramens that you should get as a quick bite for lunch.
The other ramen available is the Mazemen Kuro ($6.90). Served with a secret black sauce, this bowl lets you choose the level of spice for the ramen. I didn’t want to be too ambitious, so I selected a spice level of one. This proved to be a wise decision, because the heat was at a comfortable level, and didn’t mask the slight sweetness of the sauce.
Like the Mazemen Shiro, this version also came with soft and springy noodles. It was contrasted with the crunchy, sweet cabbage bits, and the smooth fatty chashu. I also really enjoyed the gooey onsen egg.
Although the ramen bowl only came with one piece of chashu, it was a pretty large slice. The delicious combination of the soft, fatty layer and the charred flavour of the chashu made up for the fact that there was only one slice.
If you’d rather have rice bowls, there are also three rice bowls on the menu. You can choose from the Poke Donburi ($9.90), the Chashu Don ($6.90) or the Aburi Salmon Donbrui ($9.90).
300 Boru also offers smaller bites on their menu.
Essentially, sushi shaped like a donut, the Poke Loop ($4.90) is a feast for the eyes. With the brightly-coloured toppings it almost looked too good to eat.
However, the taste was a bit of a letdown.
The salmon slices were more on the thinner side. Although still quite flavourful, biting into a thin slice of salmon just didn’t cut it. The rice was also a tad too sticky for me, to the extent that it felt a little mushy. Perhaps it was a result of sitting on the plate for too long, so a repeat experience may be more favourable.
Luckily, there are other options for a quick snack.
The Hirata Buns ($2) are to-die-for. Yes, they are that good. With a minimum order of two buns, and two flavours (Smoked Duck or Chashu) to choose from, it’s really a no-brainer. Get one of each to try!
Although it might seem like an overload of chashu, given that I’d already had the Mazemen Kuro, the Hirata Bun presented the chashu in a different light.
Sandwiched between a soft fluffy bun and drizzled with mayonnaise and teriyaki glaze, the chashu in the Hirata Bun was thicker than its counterpart in the ramen. Bursting with juice, the charred flavour of the chashu complemented the sweet cabbage nicely.
Another variant on the Hirata Bun is the version with Smoked Duck. With a more gamey taste than the Chashu variant, it had less of a charred flavour as well. The fatty layer was soft and almost sweet, which went well with the mayonnaise and teriyaki glaze.
For a dessert person like me, no meal is complete without a sweet ending.
Aside from ramen and donburis, 300 Boru also serves Black Waffle ($3.90), and you can add a scoop of ice cream for $3.50. With a choice of Yuzu, Matcha or Goma, this fluffy dessert ended the meal on a perfect note.
When I ordered the waffle, they didn’t have either Matcha, so I decided to get Yuzu instead. The flavours went surprisingly well together. Fluffy and easy to cut, the waffle was sweet, but not overly so.
The Yuzu ice cream added a citrusy and light taste to the sweet dessert. There were also bits of yuzu peel in the ice cream, which added a hint of bittersweet flavour to the mostly sweet waffle.
If you happen to be in the area, drop by 300 Boru for a quick and cheap meal. Or grab a coffee with your friends and share a dessert, all for less than $10.
Expected Damage: $4 – $13 per pax