Originating from Hakata, Kyushu, Japan, Yoshimaru Ramen Bar in Singapore is a franchise business managed by the Jumbo Group. The restaurant serves up the famous classic Hakata style Tonkotsu Ramen that is authentically made in the same way as the Japanese does.
After the husband had successfully conquered the Yoshimaru Ramen Challenge on Sunday (read about the challenge here), I decided to stay for lunch and ordered a standard bowl of the same ramen that he had eaten during the challenge.
Before my ramen was served, I was given a little mortar & pestle set with white sesame seeds in it which I could grind and then add into my ramen later to enhance its flavour. I wasn’t sure if these sesame seeds were actually toasted beforehand because they didn’t look golden brown enough or if their quality was just ordinary but they failed to excite my bowl of ramen as much as the one I had at Ramen Keisuke Tori King. Perhaps the absence of black sesame seeds did make a difference.
This was the Traditional Hakata Ramen ($11++) in a Tonkotsu (pork bone) broth that was boiled over 13 hours and came with authentic Hakata noodles, 2 slices char siu, 2 halved soft boiled lava eggs, black fungus and spring onions.
The broth looked cloudy and hearty (collagen-rich too!) and not oily too which was good. When I took my first mouthful of the soup, I wasn’t really thrilled as I felt the broth tasted a little weak and under-seasoned for my palates. Found it quite hard to believe that this was the result of a 13-hour boiling or perhaps I should come for dinner instead of lunch just so the soup could be more flavoursome. While I appreciated the fact that the broth wasn’t salty, it didn’t have that natural sweetness of pork bones that I had expected. I added a dash of chilli oil and a dollop of fried garlic bits (from the condiments tray on the table) just to boost its flavour but to no avail.
The ramen noodles resembled the ‘you mian’ from most Ban Mian stalls. They were firm and springy and required some chewing which wasn’t a bad thing. I loved that texture and bite. I took quite a while to finish my bowl of ramen but the noodles didn’t become soggy at the end.
The char siu had a good balance of lean and fat and was really tender. I adored the lava eggs too that was so runny in the middle. Yum. And the black fungus and spring onions really lifted the dish with more crunch and dimension.
My overall verdict? Though the broth didn’t quite wow me over, I still enjoyed the noodles and ingredients that were beautifully executed. Prices were also reasonable. I would still return again to try the other ramen on their menu but would probably come during dinner time instead to see if there might be a difference in the quality of the broth.
Yoshimaru Ramen Bar
31 Lorong Liput (Holland Village)
Tel: 6463 3132
Lunch 11.00am to 3.00pm
Dinner 6.00pm to 11.00pm
Sat, Sun & Public Holidays
11.00am to 11.00pm