Published on Thursday, 20 October 2016 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
The trouble with truffles is that it doesn't come cheap, yet its addictive taste and aroma compels you to fork out large amounts of cash for just a hint of that luxurious fungi. Restaurants that serve truffle dishes typically don't even have real truffle in it, but one restaurant that you can be sure you are getting the absolute bang for your buck is Kanshoku Ramen Bar – home to the glorious Truffle Ramen with a generous amount of minced truffle and truffle slivers adorning the springy noodles like edible black gold.
Kanshoku was founded in 2014 by good friends Melvin and Brendon who shared the same passion for good food. The word “kanshoku” means “to finish eating every last bit of your food”, and that is the philosophy that the two friends apply in the creation of the dishes. They set out to create various ramen bowls that are thoroughly enjoyed to every last strand without leaving the diner feeling over-stuffed.
The two boys admitted that they were amateurs upon setting out in the F&B industry but their sincere dedication in serving fresh, healthy and tasty ramen to the masses made up for their inexperience. Their commitment to cooking up a delicious, piping hot bowl of ramen that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters paid off after much research and trial-and-error, earning Kanshoku Ramen numerous mentions through word-of-mouth and countless #foodporn posts on Instagram.
Each bowl of ramen is treated like a work of art with a painstaking process and hours involved in order to achieve the masterpiece that Melvin and Brendon desire. Pork bones are slowly simmered for over eight hours with filtered water till the gelatinous bone marrow melts forming a creamy, rich and delicious broth. The cha shu is made from Holland pork, specially selected for its favorable fat-to-meat ratio and marinated for more than four hours. The Hakata-style ramen noodles are made fresh from scratch in-house every day to ensure optimal taste, texture and quality. Finally, the eggs that are specially imported from Japan are marinated for an hour or more. The owners guarantee us that absolutely no preservatives or artificial flavors are used in Kanshoku Ramen's cooking.
Pork Gyoza, $6.50
You are missing out if you do not at least order a plate of pork gyoza when you make a trip down to Kanshoku Ramen. We loved this so much that we ordered four plates in addition to our ramen. Each plate comes with five pork gyozas. The dumplings are pan-fried on one side for a crisp texture while the rest of the skin remains ultra thin and silky smooth. The gyoza explodes with porky juices just like the broth in a xiao long bao, and the meat encased within is extremely tender. The combination of the crisp and delicate skin, the surprisingly juicy meat and light spicy sauce made with chilli, ginger and garlic is an explosion of simple flavors that work extremely well with each other thanks to the high quality ingredients used.
Chicken Karaage, $6.90
The chicken karaage is coated with a savory batter that is slightly crispy on the outside and the meat is succulent and juicy inside. Dip it into the kewpie mayonnaise to add a rich creaminess. It is a typical side dish served in Japanese restaurants that you can't go wrong with as you await your main courses.
Nagoya Chicken Wings, $6.90
The crispy chicken wings are coated in a sweet sesame glaze that has somehow permeated through the skin and into the meat, giving the meat a delicious roasted flavor and succulency that can only be attributed to a long and thorough marination. The crispy, savory and sweet chicken wings are quite unique, unlike others I have ever tasted, but equally delicious in its own way.
Signature Kanshoku Ramen, $13.90
The secret to a a good ramen lies in its broth, then its noodles. The collagen rich soup derived from all that melted pork bone marrow is thick, rich, creamy, comforting, and extremely tempting to slurp all the way down to the very last drop, which we did by the way. The soup is thickened and flavored naturally by the bone marrow and various other ingredients with absolutely no preservatives or artificial flavoring/coloring are added. Kanshoku's Hakata-style noodles are thinner than what you are used to but they are incredibly springy and silky with a nice bite without being too overwhelmingly doughy like how thicker noodles tend to be. The cha shu is a little bit on the smaller side, and only two slices are served with the ramen, they do have a slight melt in the mouth texture but not as “melty” as we would have liked it, probably because the pork they used does not have a high fat content. The Japanese soft boiled ramen egg comes at an extra charge of $2 but it is extremely worth it when you bite into the marinated exterior of the egg white and the rich, gooey golden yolk inside along with the aromatic creamy broth and the collagen-slicked noodles.
Black Garlic Ramen, $14.90
The few drizzles of black garlic oil is enough to perfume the original broth and take it to another olfactory level. If you are a fan of garlic and strong tasting food, this is the bowl for you. It is extremely aromatic with a lingering garlicky aftertaste.
Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen / Flaming Hot Tonkotsu Ramen, $14.90
Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen
Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen
Flaming Hot Tonkotsu Ramen
Flaming Hot Tonkotsu Ramen
My fellow chili-heads, where you guys at? These bowls are sure to get your hearts racing, palms sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. No, it's not mum's spaghetti, but it's two different levels of spicy ramen. The milder one is the Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen, but if you want to kick things up two notches, go for the Flaming Hot Tonkotsu Ramen. They are both delicious, but the chili does mute the subtle taste of the original creamy broth.
Truffle Ramen (Dry), $16.90
Meet the A-lister of ramens – the dry Truffle Ramen. It looks great from all angles, and once it emerges from the kitchen, the spotlight immediately focuses on it, overshadowing its fellow ramen bowls. The aromatic muskiness of the truffle scent hits you like a bag of bricks as it is set in front of you, sending signals to your brain, prompting it of only one action – eat. Kanshoku Ramen does not deal with simulated truffle flavoring and other bullshit like truffle oil or truffle salt, they wanted to make a glorious truffle dish so they went straight to the source and use whole black truffles. The cream-colored noodles are speckled with black truffle bits throughout to ensure maximum diffusion of the coveted truffle taste. Two slices of cha shu that have been blow-torched and charred perfectly sit along the sidelines. The ramen is topped off with a crown of truffle slices and a heavenly viscous onsen egg.
The cha shu immediately changes after it has been blowtorched and charred slightly, probably because the flame significantly melts the fat within, creating a signficant buttery texture. The best way to eat this is to eat it quickly before it becomes cold. Break the yolk and mix it into the noodles to envelope each strand with a rich and creamy mouthfeel. Surprisingly, though the truffle ramen is heavily saturated with minced truffle and truffle slices, it does not come off too pungent and sickening. It has just that right amount of musky, earthy and funky aroma with a slight garlicky taste. The portion is just perfect, if it was too little, we would have left feeling angry and hungry (hangry), too much and we would probably start feeling sick to our stomachs due to the rich nature of the dish. Priced at just $16.90 for the amount of truffle and work involved, the dry Truffle Ramen is a crazy steal.
Truffle Broth Ramen, $17.90
The richness of the truffle flavor and aroma is toned down in its soupy version, but still incredibly delicious in its own right. You can taste every flavor in the truffle-infused collagen-rich tonkotsu soup. However, we would still recommend going for the dry Truffle Ramen unless its a rainy day and you need a comforting bowl of piping hot truffle tokotsu soup to warm your stomach.
You can pair your dishes with a pint of Sapporo Premium Beer or various sakes that Melvin and Brendon have carefully curated for the restaurant. We foresee many more great inventions from this local ramen place especially after getting a taste of the boys' potential and talent for creating wholesome and delicious Japanese cuisine that bring joy and satisfaction to fellow Singaporeans. Besides the open-concept eatery conveniently located in Orchard Gateway, they have another outlet in Buona Vista, and a new outlet opening soon in Orchard Ion!
Kanshoku Ramen Bar
Address: 277 Orchard Road, Orchard Gateway #01-06, Singapore 238858
Opening Hours: 11AM – 10PM
Tel. No.: +65 6384 4770