Chabuton, the only Michelin-starred ramen joint, landed on our sunny shores last year to much hype and fanfare. As with every hot new-spangled thing in Singapore, queues formed were snaking and unabated. As usual, I waited till the long lines dissipated, to try their lauded tonkotsu-based ramen.
Despite the hype and accolades, I wasn't impressed. The thick creamy broth got cloying halfway through, and left a sickly milky film that wasn't exactly delectable. I much prefer Ippudo's version of tonkotsu ramen.
BUT, at only $13.50 for a downsized ramen, side dish, drink, and dessert, the Weekday Lunch Set was considerably value-for-money. Also, the petite-sizing of the ramen reduces the incidence of a saccharine-overload headache.
The petite Chabuton Miso Ramen was tempered with salty miso, but it was still a smidge rich. That said, I liked the well-done bamboo shoots and meltingly tender chashu.
The Chicken Tatsuta Age was pretty commendable, the batter was delicious and fried to a beautiful golden crisp, while the chicken remained succulent.
The Hitokuchi Gyoza seemed morosely tiny and flat, but they packed a juicy, textured stuffing and crunchy wrapping.
The Red Bean and Peanut Mochi were fantastic; chewy moist skin, and dense nuanced fillings.
A promotional item, the Kurobuta is a blend of their signature tonkotsu broth and chicken collagen soup, topped with shoyu braised pork, minced pork, bamboo shoots, leek and soft boiled egg. The broth was so thick it could pass off as full-cream milk, and the egg was disappointingly overdone - the yolk was a firm solid.
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