Kazutake Ramen: 24-hr eatery with yakiniku, truffle ramen & black sesame pearl BBT

Kazutake Ramen opened at Ang Mo Kio in early Oct toting round-the-clock opening hours much like a certain ramen joint that holds dominion over our late-night supper runs. Curious to see what they’ve done differently from that competitor that has branches all over Singapore, I found some time to drop by.

Kazutake Ramen - Stallfront

Visibility is a non-issue as anyone walking by will see their name at least 3 times. Orders can be made at the external kiosks and a pair of small tables outside serve as a last resort when indoor seating becomes untenable.

Kazutake Ramen - Interior and exterior

We were happy to find the eatery itself was air-conditioned, sporting decor somewhat resembling a typical ramen restaurant in Japan. The Ukiyo-e wallpapers definitely do most of the heavy lifting here.

In comparison to their well-established counterpart, Kazutake Ramen is much more spacious. Yet I was bumping into the outward-slanting chairs more times than I could count.

What I tried at Kazutake Ramen

Kazutake Ramen - Yakiniku Ramen

Noticing Yakiniku Ramen (S$10.50) was on the menu, we had to order it over more common classics like Chashu Ramen (S$10.50). Perhaps I had been on a clumsy streak that day because the runny yolk erupted moments after the tray reached our table.

Kazutake Ramen - Meat zoom

The thinly sliced pork had me consulting the receipt to confirm that we had indeed placed an order of Yakiniku Ramen as the meat looked nothing like barbequed meat. No siree, the pale strips of what could be pork belly were looking a lot like beef from possibly their Gyu Niku Ramen (S$12.50). After chucking a thick portion into my mouth, I would posit a higher likelihood that it was pork.

The great balance of fat and tender meat was offset by a simmering sauce that leaned too much on its savoury notes. I’ve had salty meat in donburi before but none have ever forced a grimace from me. It was the cramping sensation that follows when an unexpected flavour hits your tongue — wholly unpleasant. Subsequent mouthfuls were much better once my taste buds acclimated.

Kazutake Ramen - Ramen scoop

It’s worth noting the eatery uses mostly chicken broth for their ramen. In the case of our Yakiniku Ramen, it was a touch too light. Somehow, this managed to work in my favour as the broth managed to cleanse the vestigial damage left by the pork. 

The ramen noodles were still springy, barely clinging on to their initial firmness as we had let the bowl sit for a while. There was hardly any alkaline taste, which may please some but I prefer my noodles to have a distinct alkaline flavour.

Kazutake Ramen - Black fungus

A common addition to ramen, the kikurage offers a chewier texture in contrast to the other components of our dubious Yakiniku Ramen. It bordered on tasteless, thanks to the modestly-flavoured broth, but I appreciated it nonetheless.

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Kazutake Ramen - Truffle mazemen

I would not be able to forgive myself if I did not try Kazutake’s Truffle Mazemen (S$10.90). It turned out to be less plentiful in ingredients than a traditional bowl of mazemen, but the portion of meat made up for its lack of variety. I could not for the life of me identify a single element of truffle anywhere.

Kazutake Ramen - Pork zoom

The cuts of pork were nothing short of sinful. With cubes of fat that appeared to have been specifically cut and a gorgeous brown sauce drizzled over every piece, it was a discordant mix of sweet and savoury that was occasionally underscored by fat that dissolved in a buttery flash.

The pungency of truffle was noticeable throughout and an extreme umami was also tossed into the mix but the overpowering smell made it hard to discern its source. As a truffle lover, I welcomed the surge of musky aroma, but I can see that others may not be as receptive. I narrowed the culprit down to either truffle oil or a blend of the sauce. 

Kazutake Ramen - Egg and Seaweed

This time, I was careful to prick the yolk only on Joseph’s (our new staff on the Video team) command. Since the mazemen was served with just some shredded nori on the side, I decided to mix the yolk with the noodles for added richness. Otherwise, I usually eat them whole.

Kazutake Ramen - Mazemen zoom

Despite their stiffness by the time I got to work on the mazemen, the noodles were resuscitated with a single spoonful of ramen broth (and some forceful tossing). They were just the right texture with some spring to complement the soft and fatty meat.

Kazutake Ramen - Salmon Mentaiko Maki

We opted to have a side of Salmon Mentaiko Maki (S$11.50). It came neatly arranged on a narrow tray with a dollop of wasabi and a small serving of pickles. Sandwiched between the rice were small strips of tamago, cucumber and crab stick. Disappointingly, the taste was not up to par with its presentation. I experienced a brief mouthfeel of salmon at best while the rest of my senses were swept up in the torched mentaiko sauce.

Kazutake Ramen - Wasabi zoom

A dab of wasabi delivered a stronger kick to my nostrils, but could not save an insubstantial serving of salmon on every maki. Some generosity with slightly thicker slices would have done a lot for the dish given how much rice there was. 

Kazutake Ramen - Torimomo skewers

The Torimomo (S$6 for 4pcs) were thoroughly coated in rich yakitori sauce. Each piece of chicken thigh was tender and well-seasoned with a slight char that brought a smoky depth to the dominant soy sauce and mirin scent.

Kazutake Ramen - Milk Tea and Taro Milk

Bubble tea is also available at Kazutake Ramen. Taro Milk (S$3.50) and Milk Tea (S$3.50) are pretty standard for any boba store, but their Black Sesame Pearls (S$1) might be enticing to some bubble tea enthusiasts. Unlike tapioca, the black sesame pearls were bouncy and easily burst from a bite, injecting their sweet nutty tones into my already fragrant Taro Milk.

Final thoughts

Kazutake Ramen - Overall

Kazutake Ramen successfully distances itself from the prominent competition with its sashimi and sushi, as well as a spacious interior. Reviews indicate that they seem to be mired with operational troubles so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on the possible ramen hiccup.

Ultimately, if I’m dying for Japanese food while the sun is up and about, I would be looking elsewhere. Otherwise, they’re a decent option to suppress those uncontrollable late-night pangs or if you’re nearby and can’t spare the time to travel.

Expected damage: S$8.50 – S$11.50 per pax

Order Delivery: foodpanda 

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Price: $

Our Rating: 3.5 / 5

Kazutake Ramen

530 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, #01-2381, Singapore 560530

Price
Our Rating 3.5/5

Kazutake Ramen

530 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, #01-2381, Singapore 560530

Telephone: +65 6322 3456
Operating Hours: 24 Hrs (Daily)
Telephone: +65 6322 3456

Operating Hours: 24 Hrs (Daily)
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