Nope, this is not what I had for the new year celebration but a gathering that took place 2 weeks back.
When Michael suggested Miharu for a gathering of ex-colleagues, I was elated. This is, afterall, one of the most famous Japanese ramen shops in Singapore. Marutama fared just alright (for me) and I was eager to make comparisons.
Next up was a cold side dish called Cha Shu Sumiso-Ae (S$7.00 - 4 pcs) which was basically sliced cooked pork drizzled with mustard/miso (fermented soya bean paste) dressing and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The meat was tender and the dressing tasted rather interesting as it combined the sharpness of the mustard and the sweetness of the miso. Sesame seeds added aroma to the dish.
Another side dish that we had was the savoury Manju (S$7.00 - 4 pcs). The skin of this Japanese pancake resembled that of the previous gyoza's, only thinner. I enjoyed the gooey (melted mozzarella-like) texture of the skin. The outer layer was crisp. The filling consisted mainly of chopped chive, which was fresh and aromatic. A much better alternative to the gyoza.
The last side dish for the night was the Kakuni (S$8.00) or boiled pork belly. The rather fat cut was adequately soft but not as good as the ones at Marutama. The soya/mirin sauce was rather sweet. A touch of mustard added edginess to the taste.
The star of the night arrived looking rather appetising with that rich brown broth. The Miso-Tonkotsu Ramen (S$12.50) consisted of Sapporo Nishiyama noodles topped with halved hard-boiled egg, nori (seaweed) sheet, char shu (roasted pork slice), bamboo shoots, scallions, sesame seeds and corn. The flavouring ingredients for the broth included tonkotsu (pork bone) and miso. I enjoyed the al dente ramen, which has a slightly curled structure. The tonkotsu and miso provided the soup with a rich, creamy taste while garlic added aroma. This restaurant also proclaimed that they use the best kelp from Japan as a flavouring ingredient for the broth. As flavourful as it was, I wished the savouriness was kept minimal.
Others had the Tokusen Miso Ramen (S$12.50), which was similar to the Miso-Tonkotsu Ramen. The only major difference was the broth where a special miso paste was used instead.
I have a soft spot for Japanese beer. So, how could I leave without having a pint of Sapporo beer (S$7.50)? I like the smoothness of the body, a very different "lager" altogether. However, I still prefer Asahi.
The bill came up to S$193.62 for 6 pax. Service was pleasant, to say the least.
The menu was quite extensive, as compared to Marutama's. Taste-wise, I prefer Miharu for it's rich broth and springy noodles. I'll be back to sample more ramen. In the meantime, if you know any good Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen shops, please let me know. It's my favourite ramen of all time.
We had so much fun poking at each other while reminiscing those on-job training days in Japan. Let's do this more often, guys!
Miharu Sapporo Ramen
76, Robertson Quay,
#01-11, The Gallery Hotel,