Thursday, November 13, 2008


There stands a dandelion. Its seeds fly to the corners of the city, adhering to clothes and skins of urban dwellers. Some don’t really mind those tiny snowflakes on their shirts. Others find them absolutely irritable.

The seeds? Not a pandemic, of course.
Just a mere bowl of ramen.

I caught a light sneeze as the pappuses fluttered into my nostrils. It was a way of telling me how long more would it take before we acquaint.

And so, with the guiding wind, we finally met.

Along the way, there was the Mix Sashimi Set C (S$20.00) which consisted of thick, yes, thick slices of maguro, hamachi and sake. The cold slices were as fresh as dead fish can be. While all the distinctive colours looked somehow attractive, it was the hamachi that outshone the others with its softness.

Beauty is only skin deep, of course. But the skin sure makes a good first impression, or starter, in this case. Crispy Salmon Skin (S$6.30), to be exact. Pollocked with tiny strips of Japanese mayonnaise and teriyaki-like sauce, a simple yet satisfying distraction from the anxiousness of making the acquaintance.

There were corn, a thick slice of char siu, al dente curly ramen and savoury miso soup. But above all, there were lots of crunchy negi. It was all about the contrast, really. Bland negi with salty/sweet miso paste. Sweet, plump corn to nibble and flaky char siu to tear. Not too bad, this Deluxe Miso Ramen (S$14.80), only mostly slightly oily.

Here we were, face to face. Greeting was a dig into the bowl of the infamous Shabu Shabu Ramen (S$13.80), to reveal a few strips of the black, hairy kurobuta (Berkshire pig). Known for its marbling, the only significant difference was the softness of the meat in this greeting. Introduction was a sip of the tonkotsu (pig bones) which has been simmered for 2 days and dusted with chilli flakes. Ordinarily salty and dense, sadly. And au revoir was an interesting touch of lettuce leaves for crunch.

Where were the sparks that I hoped and so looking forward to, dear dandelion?

Firm, bland, slightly unsweetened but attractive, the Matcha Chiffon Cake (S$5.80). Goes to show that first impression does make a difference. Could it be the unGodly hour visit that had turned the soft, Tinkerbell-looking chiffon into a hard, green Hulk?

From the iconic ramen movie to the medicinal benefits of the dandelion, Tampopo is all about goodness. Weeds (or earlier disappointments) aside, of course.

With such optimism and an interesting selection of ramen, I will be back.

And who know, friendships may just blossom from some of them acquaintances, no?

177, River Valley Road
Liang Court Shopping Centre
Tel: (+65) 63383186

Note: Dandelions are called tampopo in Japanese.

Other Tampopo experiences:
Timeless Facade
Recent Runes
Dancing Blue Seal


mimid3vils said...

"Tampopo", hehe, so cute lah the name~~~ They provide u the raw meat for the shabu-shabu ramen?

Keropok Man said...

must go there one day and try!
been wanting to go there for ages!

p/s happy holidays!

J2Kfm said...

wah ... kurobuta pork somemore. but cooked in that spicy broth, not wasted?

$20 for that plate of sashimi!!!!?!
unfair! if only sashimi in Msia goes for RM20!!!!

Faye fly said...

wow crispy calmon skin !! eat tis one must with biru(beer) lah ^^

fatboybakes said...

gawd, did you watch the movie? i had suchhhh a bad ramen craving after watching the movie. i remember vividly the dying scene, where the guy says he loves to eat yam filled pork sausages at that time of the year. apparently pigs forage for yams, and then are killed with the yams in their intestines...which in turn are made into sausages.

AND, your post and pictures have had the same effect on me as the movie, you BAD BAD BOY!!! argh, i need ramen, NOWWWWWW!!! for dessert. (just finished dinner)....


Big Boys Oven said...

wow! oishi desu! lovelyand awesome delicious!

backstreetgluttons said...

Oriental Tam with fishy raw we love , even deep skinned we crave . But it would be really nice if we could just get a tiny weeny glimse of popo , even the shadows for only a few delicious secs ...
such is the pentup intrique of the south . Such is the pleasures we missed . the torture

T__T said...

ohh you ordered the miso ramen! I find the ramen at tampopo to be very salty. Only for salt lovers!

HisFoodBlog said...


No Kurobuta Pork Cutlet?

mikky said...

seriously, you have an awesome photography... :)

Life for Beginners said...

Now I'm thinking of yam-in-pig-intestines-sausages after FBB's comment... and I'm more aroused than disgusted, really. Maybe hanging around you guys have finally made a foodie out of me after all! :P

ladyironchef said...

thanks for the link. great description and pictures. but yeah, how come never order their kurobuta pork?

CUMI & CIKI said...

the Deluxe Miso Ramen only mostly slightly oily! so cute.. was it mostly or slightly or mostly slightly? lol, ;P erm.. we ended up in Senso, club street (not bad right?!)

ling239 said...

so much chili flakes in the ramen ?

Paprika said...

I remember the movie Tampopo was deeply provocative. Not unlike your blog. ;-p

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

as fresh as dead fish can be?..

two ways of taking was it very "dead" or not so "dead"?

Big Boys Oven said...

for a second I thought it was tampon wow! straight away it raised my eyebrow making me wanting to know more! but it was defintely an eye enlargement! awesomely taken by you!

Hazza said...

WOnder if this haas any connection to the chain of Tampopo restaurants in UK selling similar dishes.

sc said...

maybe it's just me, i find the name tampopo so cute..haha..ok ok i know i should focus on the food :p

Jason said...

Tampopo... sounds like an anime series title :p

AWOL said...

Shabu2 ramen sounds delicious, but you obviously don't seem impressed by the food. But like the others, your pics have this effect on stomach's rumbling....

Nic (KHKL) said...

mimi, yeah, at first i thought tampopo was a person as well! raw meat was provided. i guess they just add the pork as the soup is poured into the bowl. :)

keropok man, bila mau pergi? ajak saya sekali lar...hehe...ini hujung minggu, i'll be in singapore... :) and hey, holiday was fun! thanks, dude!

j2kfm, actually, the broth was not that spicy. but the thin strips wouldnt make a difference lar, i guess. i heard the cutlet's better! :)

haha, i always tell myself about the prices as well...

faye fly, oh yes! japanese biru! my favourite is asahi super dry! i think japanese beers are very smooth! i like! :)

fatboybakes, ya lor, i remember you telling me about the movie. but i havent watched it leh. must try to rent somewhere already lar. actually, yam in intestines sounds like an idea hor? like foie gras...hehe...

woah, thanks for the complimen, dude! i hope the foie gras over the weekend did you some good...hehehe

bigboysoven, yupe, i think japanese food is totemo kirei! and i love ramen as well! very, very oishi...hehehe

backstreetgluttons, oh, the popo was not in the picture as it was taken a month back. perhaps when in the near future, there will be more of popos and i will be looking forward to that! and on another note, do let me know if you guys/gals are coming down to the south. we'll do popo or any other popos or tams! :)

T_T, hey, thanks for stopping by! yeah, i think ramen in general in quite salty. even the one at miharu...perhaps that's the reason why some of the ramen shops provide FOC water...hehe

HisFoodBlog, ya! i should have ordered the cutlet as well...but i was too full that day! haha! yeah, will definitely order the cutlet next time! :)

mikky, hey, thanks for the compliment! i'm still learning to use my D40X and hopefully one day, i will learn to use all the functions in the dslr...i'll work hard! :) thanks again!

Nic (KHKL) said...

kenny, haha! you've always been a foodie lar. even in your posts, your descriptions of food are awesome. got some essence of literature somemore. so arty. a food blog from you, maybe? :)

ladyironchef, no prob, dude. and thanks for the compliment! oh, i was too full to try the kurobuta pork that day. hmmmm, another visit for me, then! haha! :)

cumi & ciki, hehe...actually, it's slightly oily. only and mostly just add a sense of confusion to it...hehe...yeah, club street got lotsa places to eat! havent been to senso before, but am looking forward to your post! if good, then i'll give it a try! :)

ling239, hehe...ya lor, actually, there were lotsa chilli flakes. but the funny part was, the soup was not spicy. i think the wasabi was spicier..hehe...

paprika, deeply provocative? where got? where got? haha! well, i hope it's provocative in a healthy way though...muahahahha...

joe, or it can mean fresh...hehe..yeah, it was as fresh as sashimi can be lah. but still, sometimes, thick cuts are not a good thing, hor? fresh lar, nevertheless... :)

bigboysoven, tampon? oh no! hahaha! thanks a lot for the compliment! i've been looking forward to tampopo in a long time already! :)

hazza, hmmm, interesting finding! but since there was no website on this restaurant, i couldnt really figure it out. do the logos look the same. hmmm, perhaps you should give tampopo uk a try and we'll exchange notes! :)

sc, hehehe, i know what you mean. i felt the same way at first as well. and since it was in singapore, some people even compare it to the name liang po po, that singaporean film about an old lady..hehe

jason, oh, i think there is an anime series with the same title...but i forgot where i saw it. yeah, it's an interesting name for a pet as well hor? :)

AWOL, yeah, was kinda disappointed with the ramen. perhaps my expectations were too high. woah, thanks for the compliment. we should do ramen in one of our makan sessions hor.

CUMI & CIKI said...

i didnt take photos of senso:( forgot camera (kicks herself in the butt). but the food was not bad!

Nic (KHKL) said...

cool! will check out that place when i'm around that area! thanks! :)

Simon Seow said...

Working in Singapore so nice, Japanese food so affordable.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.