Santouka

SantoukuPorkCheeks
At a well-hidden corner of The Central is Santouka, a small restaurant that serves up great kurobuta pork.

THE FOOD:

Unknown to most Singaporeans, Santouka is a pretty famous ramen chain in Japan and around the world. According to the waitress, compared to the Shoyu (meaning soya sauce in Japanese) and miso-based ramen, the Shio (salt)-based ramen is the most popular at Santouka and much raved among Japanese media.

SantoukuOverview

And understandably so – after trying it for ourselves at its Singapore branch, we found the broth milky with a satisfyingly rich pork taste. The staff explained that the restaurant uses kurobuta (black pig) pork bones as the soup base. The tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen is served kyushu style with curly, springy yellow noodles, which is often sadly mistaken for instant noodles, in Santouka's signature blue bowl with umeboshi (pickled plum).

Next came the highlight, tokusen toroniku (special pork cheek) ramen! This part of the pig is premium stuff since each pig obviously has only two cheeks and hence there are limited portions. The tender charshu is served separate from the soup and the right way to enjoy this dish is to dip the toroniku into the hot soup to warm it while melting the fats. Now, sit back and enjoy the sweet velvety taste that lingers in your mouth – you would not be able to get this from other parts of a pig.

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THE MOOD:

If you are lucky, you might even get the window seats which overlooks Clarke Quay. But as a corner restaurant with no more than 25 seats, Santouka is extremely crowded and perpetually with a queue after 7pm. The service, however, is great – polite staff who offers baskets for your bags and refills water promptly.

Santouka
The Central
#02-76, 6 Eu Tong Sen St
Singapore 059817

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Related link: FreshGrads – Tampopo

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