I've been wanting to try Uma Uma Ramen for a while. Despite the largely negative online reviews, I still wanted to give this famed Fukuoka ramen chain a chance, seeing as it was the good people of Iggy's who brought their Hakata-styled ramen into Singapore. Besides, most of the unfavourable reviews were based during a time where Uma Uma's very succinct menu only offered 2 styles of ramen, with major complains relating to the purportedly tiny portions, uncompetitive price points and unmemorable pedestrian fare.
BUT, Uma Uma has (likely taken into account the reviews and) clearly undergone an overhaul of sorts, and they now serve up 7 different styles of ramen, with much more distinctive and unique options which, I feel, set them apart, portions comparable to many other ramen joints, and one of the cheapest prices I've seen in the ramen market.
Uma Uma is now, truly a class act in refinement and sophistication. I never knew ramen, a traditionally rustic peasant food, could be this polished. Everything was just so restrained and nuanced, from the silky skinny noodles to the melt-in-your-mouth flavourful cha siu and the subtle but complex layers of the broth. We'll be back for sure. Hopefully, they allow for takeaways too!
The eponymous Uma Uma Ramen ($14) is their spicy miso option, a fine balance of the delicate and robust. The dollop of chilli paste was punchy but not overwhelming, and it married the flavoursome broth beautifully.
However, my vote for the must-try here is the Garlic Ramen ($14), an understated but aromatic concoction of golden crispy garlic bits laced into a rich tonkotsu broth, and contrasted against the clear, clean taste of beansprouts and onions. It was just exquisite.
The Chicken Karaage ($6) was well-marinated, succulent and spritely with the bright tang of lemons.
Uma Uma Ramen
583 Orchard Road
#01-41 Forum the Shopping Mall
Tel: 6235 0855
Open daily from 11.30am to 10pm