It was on a rainy day that my dining companion and I set out for Shinjitsu Ramen, a ramen stall hidden in an Ang Mo Kio coffeeshop.
When I first heard that its cheapest item was its Clear Chicken Broth Ramen at S$5.90, and that it even came with an entire torched chicken drumstick, I was in disbelief. Having easily paid three times that amount at my usual ramen haunts, I was left wondering: Could it really be that affordable? If yes, then how was its quality?
When I reached 332 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, I was fully expecting to be greeted with a rise in prices, especially since COVID-19 hasn’t been kind to the F&B industry in the past couple of years.
Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Shinjitsu Ramen’s prices were still the same as previously advertised. Its cheapest ramen was the Clear Chicken Broth (S$5.90), which came with a chicken drumstick, and its priciest item was the Tonkotsu Special (S$10.90), with four pieces of chashu, one nori sheet, and one ajitama.
Hungry and cold from the rain, my dining companion and I decided to try three bowls of ramen: Clear Chicken Broth (S$5.90), Red Spicy Tonkotsu (S$8.90), and Tonkotsu Special (S$10.90).
What I tried
I eagerly watched as Shinjitsu Ramen’s staff prepared the Clear Chicken Broth ramen and used a blowtorch to sear the whole chicken drumstick.
We were told later on that the chicken drumstick had been left simmering in the pot of chicken broth for hours, resulting in fork-tender and juicy meat.
For just S$5.90, this bowl of ramen came with yellow noodles, an entire chicken drumstick, black fungus, and chopped spring onions.
Based on looks alone, I was already impressed. With the gorgeous sear on the chicken drumstick skin and the deep yellow hue of the chicken broth soup, this bowl of ramen could’ve easily been served to me at a ramen restaurant.
To our delight, the meat from the chicken drumstick tore off easily. I didn’t even have to prod at it with my chopsticks— it just fell off with a nudge!
Tender, juicy and soft, the chicken meat was absolutely delicious. This was one of the times I could confidently say that the meat really did melt in my mouth. Not to mention, the torched chicken skin was a treat: smokey and gelatinous.
Just as I thought I was done naming the chicken drumstick as the hero of the dish, I took a sip of the clear chicken broth and I was incredibly impressed.
The broth was light in texture, but its flavours were rich and complex. The soup was full-bodied and briny, with just the right amount of saltiness to lift everything up. This was the kind of robust soup I could finish without feeling jelak.
Given its price, Shinjitsu Ramen’s Clear Chicken Broth was a clear steal. Even before moving onto the remaining two ramen dishes, I was already busy planning when I’d come back next.
I moved on to Shinjitsu Ramen’s Tonkotsu Special (S$10.90), which came with four pieces of sliced chashu, a giant sheet of nori, and one ajitama egg, which had been cut in half.
The tonkotsu broth met all my expectations. It was silky smooth, rich and flavourful, and left my mouth coated with a thin film of collagen— just the way I like it with my tonkotsu ramen.
The best part? It wasn’t too salty or sweet, and Shinjitsu Ramen did an excellent job balancing out the flavours of the tonkotsu broth. After I finished polishing off this bowl of ramen, I wasn’t left scrambling for a cup of iced water.
The ramen noodles did a great job in soaking up all that glorious richness, and despite having taken some time to start eating due to the photo-taking, the noodles still retained a nice bite. Needless to say, I was slurping up this bowl of ramen noodles without hesitation.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a ramen place that will give you four slices of chashu with your ramen, and not to mention, just for the price of S$10.90.
I liked that the chashu had a tinge of smokiness, but my only gripe with this bowl of ramen was that the chashu meat was a little dry. If only it had a bit more fat to make it more tender…
Shinjitsu Ramen’s Red Spicy Tonkotsu (S$8.90) came with tonkotsu soup, spicy minced pork, and two slices of chashu.
All it took was one sip for the heat to instantly hit me. The spice was bright, peppery and intense, but it was still within the drinkable range and didn’t leave me sweating or reaching for a drink.
This was a bowl of ramen that really hit the spot, especially during a rainy day— spicy, comforting and rich.
Finding the little bits of minced meat was like stumbling upon tiny nuggets of gold. It was springy and juicy, and added a nice contrast to the smooth noodles, silky broth and thin chashu.
We rounded off the meal with one side dish: Pork Gyoza (S$6).
In an industry where it’s commonplace to use frozen gyozas, I was surprised to find out that Shinjitsu Ramen actually makes all its gyozas fresh and by hand, and that each gyoza is fried upon order.
In fact, you might even catch its staff preparing its gyozas throughout the day.
The gyoza was generously stuffed with minced meat and spring onions, and each bite was springy and juicy. I could tell that this plate of gyoza had been freshly made, and the spring onions added a fresh herbiness.
Shinjitsu Ramen’s Clear Chicken Broth ramen was undoubtedly our favourite item because of its tender chicken drumstick and full-bodied broth, but depending on the occasion, I could also see myself ordering the Tonkotsu Special if I’m in the mood for a classic bowl of lip-smacking ramen.
There was one point in the meal where my dining companion and I just sat in silence, wordlessly nodding our heads in approval while slurping up ramen noodles. That’s how you know this place is the real deal, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to review this little gem.
Expected damage: S$5.90 – S$10.90 per pax
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Our Rating: 5 / 5
332 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, #01-1879, Singapore 560332
332 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, #01-1879, Singapore 560332