Miharu, Gallery Hotel

Spurred from the momentum kickstarted by last evening’s dinner, I headed downtown to Gallery Hotel to visit one of my favorite ramen shops in Singapore.

If you love ramen, and have been living in Singapore for a while now, then Miharu shouldn’t be any alien to you. Miharu is known for its miso ramen, affectionately called Sapporo ramen from the city where miso ramen originated from. Despite it being the preferred style of ramen by true ramen lovers, miso ramen hasn’t had much luck in Singapore as exemplified by many popular food blogs who tend to give miso ramen establishments an unfavorable review as opposed to tonkotsu ones. Uneducated diners perceive miso and shio as being too salty and unhealthy, and this stereotype has been perpetuated by unethical shortcuts undertaken by some establishments. Tonkotsu on the other hand, is given a hall pass, because the broth is clearer, and therefore considered a better and healthier choice. To make matters worse, in order to capture a more mass crowd, chicken is used in place of pork, which elevates the oiliness of tonkotsu and clear broths to a whole new level.

When I stepped in, I felt like I was back in Tokyo once again. While the outside was filled with the mostly female lunch-going crowd; “afraid” of the air-conditioned interior and much preferring the thirty-degree averages, the inside was filled with Japanese expatriates including housewives and executives. Finally, Miharu had a proper menu, and with so many choices, I was literally being chased to make a selection quick (the Japanese staff was taking care of the inside). Despite his recommendation, I decided to skip tsukemen and go for something a little more traditional – Ookara Miso, or the Chili Miso. It’s been a while since I last visited Miharu, and I was glad everything still tasted the same, great as always. But thank God, they finally got rid of those oversized bowls. Hell, this tasted better than Santouka in Aoyama, Tokyo.

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