Last Updated: January 8, 2014
Ramen Keisuke has 3 small eateries at Orchird hotel, with Keisuke Tonkotsu King being one of them, along with Tori King and Gyoza King. If you are familiar with Japanese terms, the naming is pretty self-explanatory of what the specialty at each shop is.
Tonkotsu King has about 20 seats and is constantly full due to its small capacity. The branding as a hole-in-the-wall, simple homely shop has worked wonderfully with many Singaporeans visiting like bees to honey.
As seen, the decor is pretty much just pasting random Japanese related picture frames, Jap calligraphy, lanterns and promotions, then cramming everyone into a small confined space. Very quaint.
Red Spicy Tonkotsu King ($11.80) + All toppings ($4). I also got the regular Tonkotsu King ($10.80) ramen, which pretty much looks the same except without the chili oil. All toppings adds egg, seaweed and an extra slice of char siew, which is the most logical choice to go for since each individual ingredient by itself is at least $2 or more.
There are 2 spicy ramens, ‘black’ and ‘spicy red’ which after my banter with the staff, I understand that red is spicier than black which is the only difference. There’s something quite unique about this chili oil, but beware getting the spicy red as it can get a bit too hot and dulls the soup taste.
As headlined, my opinion is that Keisuke Tonkotsu King has the Best Tonkotsu (pork based) Ramen soup in Singapore. Light slithers of soft fat floating in the flavorful soup, you can’t feel it on the tongue but get this rich meaty taste. Pork fat was definitely boiled to a delicate softness and mixed in. The milky, white broth also shows a tedious method of cleaning the pork bones prior to cooking, then boiled for hours to extract the bone flavours.
The char siew was very lean and could have used some fat trimmings; Still surprisingly tender. The noodles were excellent- thin, non-curly and firmer to the bite like hakata ramen.
The Ajitsuke Tamago (candied soft-boiled egg) though, was a tad overcooked with a firmer center than my liking. It however had a very balanced seasoning and would have been perfect if cooked a little less.
The portion of soup, ramen and meat were all also just right, and I finished every last drop on my bowl.
From left: Green Tea Cola, Free boiled egg and bean sprouts. I loved the green tea cola which honestly only had a subtle green tea taste, but was a sweet and smooth soda. There’s also free flow all-you-can-eat boiled eggs which I didn’t really touch since it looked like its been there since the dinosaurs age. Try it if you’re adventurous, but I don’t see the point in sampling a normal boiled egg.
A wonderful overall ramen, and very very reasonably priced. Definitely worth the 20 minute queue I waited during weekday dinner (queue time varies). Food comes out fast, and service is pretty basic. I mean, don’t expect too much when a bowl of ramen is $10.80. I’ve read about experiencing unruly staff here, but I had none of that and it could be only one black sheep.
Highly recommended. One of Singapore’s Best Ramen.
*No reservations allowed. Queue early.