Kimchi had alerted me to Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons, the Bugis offshoot of the hugely popular, perpetually-queued Keisuke Tonkotsu King at Tras Street. Inspired by each distinct season, this ramen joint offers just 4 variants of their famed tonkotsu broth. Spring, with the refreshing bloom of peppery basil and cheese; Summer, a spicy homage to the fiery season; Autumn, a reflection of fall's mushrooming abundance; and Winter, a homestyled warmth of a comforting pork broth. Each base ramen comprises tender pork chashu and black fungus, but we, being gluttons, chose their "All Topping" ramen option (or the"everything-bao-ga-liao" selection, as I like to call it), choc-a-bloc with add-ons like tamago (egg), butayaki (pork belly), and a crisp seaweed.
Be sure to go at off-peak hours though, I've heard that the queues here are almost as maddeningly long as the original one at Orchid Hotel.
The Tonkotsu Ramen Autumn Special ($16.90) flavoured with sweet bonito, fried mushrooms and pork mince was umami and rich, but layered and mellow, being grounded in a liberal sprinkling of earthy shitake crisps. The tonkotsu stock here is possibly one of the richest and thickest ever, so this may not be for you if you prefer more delicate broths.
The wildly spicy Tonkotsu Ramen Summer Special ($17.90) truly packs a mean right hook. I was completely floored by how potent this was. This was as rich in depth as it was spicy. The Hubs, a chilli lover, took to this like a spark to oil, and slurped every last drop up.
Fresh black and white sesame seeds for you to ground up and sprinkle over your ramen for added fragrance.
The complimentary appetizer of Seasoned Beansprouts, heavily spiked with sesame oil, chilli pepper and sesame seeds was just fantastic. Spritely and addictively delicious, we had repeat helpings of these.
Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons
158 Rochor Road
Tel: 6333 5740
Open weekdays from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; 5pm to 8.30pm for dinner
Weekends from 11.30am to 8.30pm