As part of his ambition to bring his brand of ramen to the rest of the world, Keisuke has been expanding at a rapid pace in Singapore. He has just launched his 6th outlet, the rather longish titled Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Matsuri at Parkway Parade.
Matsuri is Japanese for festivities or a celebration of heritage or culture, and this spanking new restaurant captures that celebratory mood in its decor and layout.
For a ramen outlet, it looks more spacious than usual, and situated at the basement gives you a higher ceiling too. As you walk down the steps when you enter, the whole place exudes a sense of welcome.
As with every outlet that Keisueke has opened, each has its own theme and focus. Matsuri is no different as he conjures up 4 new and very unique ramen recipes to surprise and delight his large legion of fans here. And I must agree, there is something here for even the most jaded of ramen goers.
|Ramen Yuki Matsuri|
Originating this recipe from Hokkaido, the standout feature of this ramen is the inclusion of powdery cheese as a topping to symbolize the wintery snow of Hokkaido. The broth is miso based, and the combination of cheese and a hint of chilli flakes elicited a rich and spicy after taste. I enjoyed the first few mouthfuls, but the end was just a tad too overpowering for me.
The Sanjya Ramen was even spicier as it incorporated a trio of spices to give a colorful look to the bowl. There was a very strong hint of black pepper, and coupled with the red and green chilli, this dish is clearly targeted at the spice tolerant segment of the ramen crowd. The stock was again, very rich and less cloudy than the previous one, and the salt quotient was slightly too high for my aging palate.
The Nebuta will prove to be a hit among ramen lovers, simply because of the dashi that is concocted from Japanese sardines to produce a very naturally sweet, seafood broth. The garnishings were the usual culprits, but what elevated this bowl was the beautiful and subtle tone of the ocean flavors that inhibited each mouthful.
The broth was beautifully rich but never overreaching. The wonderful egg coated broth enriching every strand of the ramen noodle and the augmentation of the classic half boiled eggs just made every mouthful a gastronomic joy. An addiction that should be outlawed, and thankfully it is not.
Each bowl's accompaniments of cha shu and eggs is the same. I did find the cha shu more hard and lean when compared others as there is a lack of melt in your mouth sensation. I was informed that Keisuke prefers it this way, and that was the only downside to what was otherwise a flawless bowl of ramen.
As with the best ramen shops out there, they make their own noodles and I enjoyed the noodles here. Less alkaline in taste, there was a distinctive hint of egg flavors and a wonderful bite to every strand of noodle. Every broth that we tasted worked wonderfully with the in-house ramen.
There are some delightful sides as well, and the chicken nanban is one of their signatures. Fried chicken laced with their own version of tartar sauce. The sweet, savory and acidic notes paired well with the crispy crunch of the fried chicken, and each morsel was huge and juicy within.
The classic gyoza pot stickers were even better. Beautifully pan fried to the correct color and caramelization, the seasoning of the meat and ingredients inside was perfect and utterly moist and juicy as well when you bite into them. Another faultless dish.
It is a pity that I have not visited his other outlets here, but based solely on this new establishment, this will be a new haven for ramen lovers and enthusiasts.
Keisuke himself was present during the opening and exhibited an easy going charm that seemed unlikely of someone with his popularity and standing among the food industry. With his new creations here, he seems intent on elevating his ramen creations to beyond the classic traditions that have been imbued on this dish.
As for me, I have no qualms with any of his new ramen items. In particular, the Awaodori and the Nebuta creations were simply sublime.
Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Matsuri
80 Marine Parade Road