A surprising place to find kimchi is Meidi-Ya Supermarket at Liang Court. We made the unexpected discovery a while ago, that the Japanese supermarket stocks an even wider range of kimchi than the very specialized Shine Korea Supermarket. So now, instead of hitting up 2 different marts for our peculiar grocery needs, i.e. Shine Korea for Korean foodstuff, and Meidi-Ya for fresh meats (it's my personal recommendation on where to find the best meats, as I find their kurobuta, wagyu and kobe, and even their USDA jo karubi to be fresher, better and more value-for-money than the meats at the specialty butchers), we just head to Meidi-Ya for anything that's a little more particular like our fresh meats, Japanese groceries, Korean foodstuff and the awesome but often elusive Johnsonville beer brats. The rest of the time, we find that NTUC makes for a fairly-priced supermarket that stocks most of our regular grocery needs.
While we're at Meidi-Ya making a grocery run, we always take the opportunity to hit up the standalone food stores next to the supermarket. It's like a food court of sorts, dominated by Japanese stores, but unlike most food courts in Singapore selling overpriced fare that's under par, the Japanese food here is authentic, cheap and delicious.
A must-try is the heavenly Spicy Miso Ramen ($16) from Come-In-Hokkaido, which sells mostly dons and ramen. Buttery corn kernels, tender cha shu, half a shoyu egg are paired with the most incredibly springy noodles in a heady, full-bodied broth. I swear, this is way better than the ramen at Tampopo. A word of caution for the uninitiated though, the plummy sweetness of the soup base belies how peppery or spicy it actually is.You'll cough up a lung if you're not careful.
We added on an Egg ($2), a perfect complement to the ramen with its wobbly texture and faint soy marinade, but also good to eat entirely on its own.
The Deep Fried Prawn ($4), a gorgeously golden hued, crisp breadcrumbed, and ultimately, super fresh, nibbler was ridiculously cheap. We promptly placed another 3 orders to "dabao" home as a TV snack.
A sure-sign of authenticity, most of the food stores here are helmed by Japanese chefs.
Meidi-Ya Food Basement
177 River Valley Road
Liang Court B1
Open daily from 11am to 10.30pm