Being a huge ramen lover, I was pretty thrilled to get to try out the newest kid on the block, Chabuton, a Japanese ramen chain conveniently located in 313 Somerset and the first outlet of which to land in Singapore. Besides establishing itself in the Motherland of Ramen, Chabuton has since launched in Bangkok with a whopping 14 branches and counting.
One of Chabuton’s selling points is the flexibility to customise the ramen to your personal preference – namely modifying the texture of the noodles (soft/chewy) and the saltiness level of the soup, which is good for pickier patrons. I also appreciate that most of the ramen dishes come in two different sizes (small/regular) making it easier to order more side dishes if you want a little more variety.
The Tonkotsu Ramen being the signature dish was a must to order, but somehow it fell flat for me as it wasn’t quite as flavourful as I had expected it to be. If you’re like me and prefer robust flavours, I say go straight for the Shio (Salt) Ramen which is creamy and definitely more umami. The actual ramen was eggy and had a bite to it (I chose Hard texture), but I think I’ll stick to the Normal texture next time as I like a bit of springiness. The chashu, being rather thinly sliced, was dry and failed to impress.
For an additional 3 bucks, you can have an add-on of ajitsuke tamago (marinated soft-boiled egg) and a slice of buta kakuni. The tamago I had was disappointingly bland, but this pork belly more than made up for it.
The Shoyu Zaru ramen was pretty unique in the sense that the ramen noodles are served cold, with a warm and slightly starchy soy sauce soup to dip them in on the side. We all agreed that the texture of these cold noodles beat that of the original ramen hands down. The broth to me tasted more Chinese than anything, but this was wiped clean nonetheless. 🙂
Nice browning on the Hitokuchi Gyozas, but the wrappers were overly thick and there was not enough filling. (I’ll admit: Gyoza-Ya completely ruined every other gyoza I will have in the near future.)
The Soup Gyozas here are served in a chicken collagen broth, which is apparently good for the skin. This tasted a bit funky to me but just for the record, I’ve never had collagen/beauty stock before. Again, the filling of the actual gyoza was not substantial. My least favourite dish of the day.
While the Tatsuta-Age (fried chicken) was lacklustre and a little on the greasy side, the Ika Karaage won me over for being flavourful, crispy and cooked to perfection.
Though there were a number of hits and misses for the side dishes, Chabuton offers a decent bowl of ramen – provided you are able to customise it to suit your own personal taste. On top of that, their portions are generous and prices affordable. So next time you’re in town and up for something new, maybe you should give Chabuton a shot. 🙂
CHABUTON @ 313 SOMERSET
313 Orchard Road,
Tel: 6636 8335
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 10pm
***This was an invited Media Tasting.***