Ikkousha, Ramen Champion, Bugis+

Singaporeans can go f**k themselves with their blinded love for Tonkotsu ramen.

Singapore’s Ramen Champion, judged solely by sales, voted Tetsu and Gensuke out of the 2011/2012 competition – ironically, considered the better two of the whole lot in Japan and internationally. Disappointingly, Tonkotsu ramen specialist, Ikkousha won, which will likely add to the growing number of Hakata ramen infirmary in Singapore which includes Nantsuttei, Uma Uma and Keisuke Tonkotsu King, and Ajisen Ramen, Noodle House Ken, Osho and countless more; making Tonkotsu arguably the favorite among Singaporeans. It’s utterly disappointing, especially since ramen is more than just Tonkotsu. It shouldn’t be surprising, however. Kyushu ramen, despite being Japanese, is a lot closer to its la mian counterparts from Taiwan and China. La mian, like Kyushu style ramen, also uses pork bone, or tonkotsu in Japanese for its broth. While I had the Tokyo style ramen of Bario, Darren ordered Ikkousha’s Ajitama ramen, the dish that usurped Tetsu and Gensuke’s rightful first and runner-up places.

While not my favorite variant of ramen, I could thoroughly appreciate and even like Keisuke Tonkotsu King and Uma Uma, but the ajitama ramen from Ikkousha was overwhelmingly mediocre. Despite allegedly made fresh, the noodles tasted they had soaked up the soup for hours. The tangy and springy character that binds all ramen was absently lost…

I could go on, but believe me when I say it was nothing short of nasty.

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