Ramen is probably the ultimate Japanese comfort food that Singaporeans know and love. This piping hot bowl of noodles in a thick umami-packed broth is sure to warm you up. You can often find the best ramen spots in the most inconspicuous of places. These cosy hole-in-the-wall joints will give you an authentic Japanese noodles experience.
Also, be sure to slurp the noodles loudly to send your compliments to the chef. Pretty obnoxious elsewhere, but it is completely acceptable and a sign that you are enjoying your bowl of ramen.
With so many ramen joints popping up, here is a list of the 20 best slurp-worthy ramen in town, in no particular order.
Hailing from Fukuoka, Japan, Kanada-Ya has been an immensely popular brand in its homeland, it is also highly raved about in London, earning it the title of No.1 Ramen Restaurant in London.
Walk past any of their outlets and you will immediately be drawn to the aromatic fragrance of truffle exuding for the restaurant. Limited to 20 bowls daily, the most sought-after dish here is definitely their Truffle Ramen Special (S$26.90), a hearty bowl featuring two slices of truffle belly chashu, black truffle jelly, asparagus, hanjuku egg and a piece of tokudai nori.
Filled with truffle oil, truffle jelly made from truffle paste, even truffle-marinated chashu, this is surely a truffle lover’s heaven in a bowl. If you think that the strong earthy flavours of the truffle will overpower the tonkotsu broth, worry not as the creamy broth is so rich it complements the truffle even better!
2. Takagi Ramen
How about a bowl of noodles that is delicious yet affordable at the same time? At Takagi Ramen, every bowl of noodles will guarantee you get back some change from your S$10 bill.
Named after the shop, Takagi Ramen (S$6.90) showcases their signature tonkotsu pork broth that has been boiled for up to 12 hours, resulting in a full-flavoured and almost creamy base. The noodles have a lovely and distinct springy chew which I very much enjoyed. Paired together with the slow-braised, melt-in-your-mouth chashu slices, every mouthful was a delight, which surprisingly cost only S$6.90!
Here, the Mazemen (S$6.90) is another must-try. Served with a generous portion of juicy sweet corn, crisp toasted nori, strips of pickled ginger, thinly sliced scallions and topped with hand-pulled pork, this dish is an alluring mixture of colours that made my mouth water simply from the looks of it.
With one free noodle refill for every bowl of ramen purchased, Takagi Ramen is certainly a popular spot for those on a budget!
Awarded Tokyo’s Michelin Bib Gourmand since 2015, Konjiki Hototogisu is one noodle joint ramen lovers should never miss.
To start your meal, every order snags you a bowl of complimentary Fukugawa Meshi (clam rice). Fragrant and incredibly immaculate in taste, this small portion of clam rice will help to whet your appetite for the upcoming bowls of ramen goodness.
Famous for their clam-flavoured broth prepared using Hamaguri clams, the Shio Hamaguri Soup Signature ($14.90) comes with white truffle oil and black truffle paste in the broth. Adding an extra depth of flavour to the dish are bacon bits and porcini flakes which enhanced the chewy noodles with its complex flavours.
What makes Konjiki Hototogisu stand out from its peers are the slices of chashu. Here, both chashu are prepared in different ways—traditional and sous-vide—giving diners a different textural experience every time you bite into your protein.
4. AFURI Ramen
Whenever I travel to Japan, there are two ramen joints that I never fail to visit. They are Ichiran Ramen and AFURI Ramen. After a long wait, AFURI Ramen has finally opened its doors here in our sunny island of Singapore.
Famed for their yuzu ramen, their Yuzu Shoyu Ramen (S$15.90) is the dish first-timers to AFURI Ramen should not miss. Unlike a regular bowl of milky rich noodles, the citrusy taste from the yuzu adds a hint of unexpected freshness which matches perfectly with the chicken broth and charcoal-grilled pork. For a lighter option, you can opt for Yuzu Shio Ramen (S$15.90).
It’s also good to note that AFURI Ramen does not use any MSG, artificial ingredients like colouring agents, food preservatives and other chemical seasonings in all their dishes. So, if you are dining with younger children, worry not, go ahead and feed them to their full.
Located at Keong Saik Road, Takeshi Noodle Bar is a noodles concept brought to us by the same folks behind Tipsy Penguin and Lady Wu.
At this tropical modern eatery, expect unique bowls of noodles that are way beyond your imagination. One such dish is their Seafood Szechuan Mala Iberico Tonkotsu (S$21.90). Filled with a chock full of fresh seafood like mussels, clams and sweet shrimp, this bowl is the epitome of flavour explosion with its rich briny flavours and numbing sensation.
Otherwise, try their Sliced Wagyu Beef With Truffle Iberico Tonkotsu (S$23.90). Garnished with menma (bamboo shoot), kikurage (black fungus), hon shimeiji mushrooms, green onion, nori, and fried garlic chips, this was one deeply comforting bowl of ramen that sits easily in your stomach.
If you like your noodles firm, feel free to choose the doneness of your noodles and the richness of the broth according to your personal preference!
For a tantalising array of ramen suitable for our Muslim friends, head to Hokkaido Ramen, a halal-certified joint with seven outlets scattered around Singapore.
Without the use of pork, the broth here is flavoured with chicken bones that are simmered for several hours, finished with a blend of bonito and mackerel as well as Hokkaido kelp.
Bringing out the essence of their chicken broth is the classic Ichikokudo Ramen (S$9.90), a soy sauce-based ramen topped with chicken slices, bamboo shoots, Japanese kelp and an ajitama egg. Amazingly savoury and rich, the broth in this bowl works hand in hand with the springy noodles, resulting in additively delightful bites.
If you are a seafood lover, then I’ll strongly recommend the Hokkai Jigoku Ramen Gifts From The Sea (S$18.90). Assorted vegetables aside, this bowl is crowned with two gigantic crab legs, shrimp and scallops, brimming with fresh, briny flavours that will surely excite your palate. For less than S$20, this is truly a steal you won’t want to miss.
7. Marutama Ramen
Affectionately known as the ‘basketball ramen’ because of the logo, Marutama Ramen serves up chicken broth instead of the usual pork-based one. Chicken as a base isn’t as popular but Marutama has managed to convert many, having opened six outlets in Singapore.
Chicken isn’t usually as flavourful as pork, but at Marutama they do it right. In my opinion, the chicken broth is equivalent to a tonkotsu broth in terms of its hearty flavour.
There have been divided opinions about Marutama’s ramen but I simply love it. There are only a handful of variations on the menu, but frankly, I don’t think they need any more. It’s a change from the regular pork-based Japanese noodles but equally satisfying and delicious.
8. Sanpoutei Ramen
From the ingredients imported from Niigata, Japan to the specially made ramen bowls to keep the ramen warm, Sanpoutei Ramen takes care of all the details. The noodles are handmade daily to ensure maximum freshness and springiness.
The house special is the Niigata Shoyu Ramen (S$15), traditional Japanese noodles made with a clear fish broth instead of the usual pork bone broth. The fish stock gives the ramen a more refined taste and sets Sanpoutei Ramen apart from all the other joints.
8. Ramen Nagi
It’s taken years for Ramen Nagi to open an outlet in Singapore, but this famed noodle chain from Fukuoka does not disappoint.
I particularly enjoyed the Black King ($15.90) for its peppery, garlicky goodness. Darkened with black garlic and squid ink, the black ball of meat adds stronger flavours and a hint of sweetness when you break it up and mix it into the soup.
Ramen Keisuke is a big player in the ramen game, with different outlets specialising in specific types of noodles, all of which are popular. Tonkotsu broth is considered to be the preferred ramen broth of Singaporeans and Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King is what many, including Seth, consider to be the best tonkotsu ramen in Singapore.
No matter which outlet you head to, you can always expect to see a queue outside their cosy ramen joint which seats approximately 20 people. At Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King, the tonkotsu broth is boiled for hours to achieve a milky and flavourful broth that’s good to the last drop and is definitely worth the queue.
11. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka is a wildly popular brand with outlets all over the world. Famed for its Tokusen Toroniku Ramen (S$21), limited portions are available daily so you might want to call and reserve a portion.
The melt-in-your-mouth pork cheeks have a perfect balance of fat and lean meat, which soaks up all the spices and flavours it was braised in. The noodles here are on the thinner side too, so if you’re into mee kia you would enjoy this.
Santouka also uses kurobuta, the more premium and flavourful black pig, Trust me, there really is a difference in the quality of normal pork versus black pork. I guess this is what sets this place apart from the rest.
They do an exceptional Shio Ramen (from S$12.50) too, although it’s not as popular as tonkotsu ramen amongst Singaporeans.
With its first outlet hidden in Tanglin Shopping Centre, Bariuma is often overlooked by passers-by and is one of the more underrated eatery. But those in the know come back time and time again for its authentic bowls of ramen.
Served with a tonkotsu shoyu broth and thin hakata-style noodles, Bariuma definitely qualifies as one of the best ramen shops in Singapore for their Ajitama Uma (S$14.90), a bowl of ramen served in with thick-cut grilled chashu.
Diners often place additional orders for their thick torched chashu that is tender and fatty, with lovely charred bits at the side. The gyoza is really popular too; crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Famed for being a Michelin-starred ramen restaurant in the world, Chabuton has seen mixed reviews from the public.
The signature Chabuton Tonkotsu Ramen (S$11.90) won my heart with its thick and creamy broth, full of savoury flavours. Thinner noodles are used here and are cooked to al dente, making them the perfect texture that complements the soup.
Don’t forget to upgrade your noodles to get a soft boiled egg and an extra slice of buta kakuni (braised pork belly) at an additional S$3. The meltingly tender pork belly alone makes it well worth its price.
9 Raffles Boulevard, Millenia Walk, #02-15, Singapore 039596
+65 6636 8335
Daily: 11.30am – 10pm
14. Ramen Bar Suzuki
Serving a variety of different broths for their ramen, Ramen Bar Suzuki has a unique selection for you to choose from.
There’s Pure White (S$11) (pork broth), Jet Black (S$12) (squid ink and garlic) and Cardinal Red (S$12) (spicy miso and pork). There is also a Mixed Soba (S$7.80) for those who prefer a dry option.
With so many choices, one of them is sure to pique your interest. The house speciality is the Jet Black, with robust flavours of garlic, and coloured with squid ink. Bonus for the free flow of side dishes like hard-boiled eggs!
61 Circular Road, #01-01, Singapore 049415
+65 6225 8115
Mon to Thu: 11am – 3pm & 6pm – 10pm
Fri:11am – 3pm & 6pm – 10.30pm
Sat: 11.30am – 3pm & 8pm – 10pm
Closed on Sun
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Two-time ramen champs in Japan, Ikkousha Hakata Ramen has a couple of outlets in Singapore. Their tonkotsu broths range from red to black, and even a special God Fire (S$14.50) ramen for all you spice-loving Singaporeans.
Each bowl of noodles is also fully customisable, right down to the thickness of the broth. Executed with care, it is no wonder it was awarded the Ultimate Ramen Champion twice!
16. Keisuke Tori King
Another concept from the ridiculously popular Keisuke group, Keisuke Tori King specialises in chicken-based ramen, as the name suggests.
A close competitor with Marutama Ramen for the title of best chicken ramen in town, what sets Keisuke Tori King apart is the huge chicken thigh that tops every bowl of noodles.
The Tori King Ramen Special (S$18.90) features a meaty chicken thigh grilled to golden-brown perfection, with tender and flavourful meat. Chicken bones are boiled for hours and hours to achieve the thick flavour, accompanied with a slightly more eggy yellow noodle and molten soft-boiled eggs.
The menu here at Tonkotsu King Matsuri is inspired by the flavours associated with the seasonal festivals in Japan. The amount of thought and detail for each creation is really praise-worthy, proving that these Japanese noodles don’t have to be paired with the same old tonkotsu broth.
You should try the Tonkotsu Ramen Yurimatsuri ($18.90), a miso-based ramen with a mini mountain of Parmesan cheese.
The cheese shavings resemble the snowflakes of this Japanese snow festival, but it’s something for the more adventurous ramen lovers. Cheese fans will enjoy this interesting twist added to your bowl, but you have to finish it fast before it turns into a creamy, sticky broth.
18. Ramen Hitoyoshi
Ramen Hitoyoshi gives you the tonkotsu fix that you need, especially on a rainy day. There are three flavours to choose from: original tonkotsu, garlic tonkotsu and spicy tonkotsu. Each flavour comes with a unique taste that elevates the original tonkotsu broth.
Here, the broth is boiled for over eight hours, providing a rich and full-bodied flavour. Enjoy your bowl of noodles with their Aburi Belly Chashu (S$1.07 per slice)!
Since not every store serves their tonkotsu ramen with Aburi Belly Chashu, this will be the highlight of your visit. Unlike any regular chashu, this chashu is rich and melts in your mouth, complementing both the noodles and broth.
The Keisuke group brings us their ninth concept, with unconventional ramen: Duck ramen. Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke offers six variations to its duck ramen, including clear broth, rich broth, miso base, spicy broth, tsukemen (dipping noodles) and mazesoba.
Unlike other popular tonkotsu or miso ramen places, this place serves you something different yet exemplary. The duck ramen doesn’t just come with slices of duck, but the broth is also made by simmering duck in it for hours.
The Hybrid Duck Broth Ramen Special (S$19.90) was exceptionally good. I usually expect a clear broth to be much lighter in taste, but it was quite strong and full-bodied. In addition to its broth, all bowls of noodles come with slices of premium Irish Hybrid Duck, which you cannot miss!