Santouka is a major chain of Japanese Ramen restaurants which can be found throughout Japan and in select international cities.
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Whenever my weekly ramen craving kicks in, Santouka is my go-to ramen joint to satisfy it. The outlet located at Somerset is accessible, and for that reason, you can expect long queues at dinnertime. It'll be helpful to note that if you're dining in a group of 5, everyone must be present to be seated. So there is strictly no "chopping" of seats.
I hardly eat pork. So when I have my ramen, my dinner date gets all my pork slices. However, after I tried the pork cheek at Santouka, I was completely sold and could easily polish off the whole plate. It was done perfectly - tender and flavorful enough for me to forget that I ever disliked pork.
My usual order comprises of a Kara-Miso ramen and a Tamago top up. For someone who hates soggy noodles, the "Q-ness" was just right - it's springy without being difficult to chew. The broth is a little on the salty side, but overall it's still pretty good!
I'm constantly on a hunt to find the best Ramen in Singapore ever since I had my first bowl in Japan. After trying out many various places, Santouka was one of the first few that hit the mark of what good ramen should be. However, after many frequent visits and comparing Santouka to other ramen places, it is no longer a place I would recommend.
Santouka's broth is salty and will leave you feeling thirsty for hours to come, it also lacks the rich creamy quality I look for in Tonkotsu ramen. Their most popular ramen is served with pork cheeks which are suppose to be more tender but the porky flavour is totally lost because it was like biting into pure salt.
Overall, Santouka ramen is still good and I can see the appeal to some. But since trying out different, less well know ramen spots, I doubt i'll be returning.
I decided to try out Santouka as I saw it on a "Top 10 Ramen in Singapore" list. I went to the outlet at the Central on a Monday evening around 7pm and had to queue for about 20 minutes. I didn't mind this too much as "good things are worth waiting for".
Alas, our first visit to Santouka did not start off well. We were led to our table by a young female waitress who simply walked off without handing us the menu. We initially thought that she would be back in a while and so waited patiently for a few minutes. However, she did not return and we were left wondering out loud where we could possibly find the menu. Fortunately, another waiter overheard us and promptly got the menu for us.
I had the Shio Ramen as well as some tempura. I found the broth to be quite rich and the noodles not as 'Q' as I wanted. But then again, maybe it's just me. The tempura was good though, light and crispy. The restaurant environment was nice and cosy but I find the tables a little too close together, allowing other diners to unintentionally intrude on each others' privacy.
Overall, the food did not disappoint but the service did. When we went to the counter to pay, it was the same female waitress who billed us. My mother was simply double checking the items on the receipt but the waitress impatiently tapped on the receipt, thinking that my mother did not know where to sign. I have to say that this was really rude on her part.
I may consider going back a second time but maybe not during peak periods like lunch and dinner, so that I would not have to queue and the service would hopefully, be slightly better.
I was introduced to Santouka by a friend who swears by it. I went to the branch at Cuppage and at 6pm, the air conditioned seating were already filled but lucky us, we got the last 2! The ramen here comes in S, M and L and being girls, we ordered the S bowls. It was the pork broth ramen with a slice of pork in it (I cannot remember the exact name). It was around $13.90 or $15.90. The ramen was served very quickly. Similar to most Japanese ramen restaurant, they have an open concept kitchen. The noodles came piping hot and I tasted the soup first. Very rich and they definitely spent lots of time preparing it. However, I wasn't a fan of the noodles. The noodles here are more to the yellow side. You know how chinese yellow noodles have this "kee" taste? This taste was apparent in their noodles. I would strongly suggest you to slurp your noodles while it is hot so that the "kee" taste doesn't get too strong and infuse the soup with it.
I was chatting happily away with my friends and my noodle got lukewarm. That's when the "kee" yellow noodle taste started to become strong and my soup got covered by that taste as well :( It tasted different from when I tasted it when it arrived. Oh well, at least I experienced it and told you! :P For desserts, we ordered the hokkaido cheesecakes. At $1.50 for a piece, it is actually really expensive. Why? The cakes were cut into sample sizes. It was so small you could finish it in one bite. I wished they made the cakes bigger though because it was so small, I couldn't really enjoy it. Service was also lacking and at one point, I just went to the counter to pour myself a cup of iced water because no one came to me despite my efforts to get their attention
I had a tough time locating the restaurant in Clarke Quay Central shopping mall. It was located at a small corner but the queue outside gave good testimony to the great ramen served. I was never a ramen fan and I got to admit that I was in love with the pork cheek ramen the moment I tried it!
It was my first time eating pork cheek and I was so amazed by the tenderness and softness of the meat. Coupled with the hot ramen and Japanese soft-boiled egg, it was heavenly! The price for a bowl of such ramen was a little steep. However, I believe everyone should at least try it once, whether you are a ramen fan or not!
I tried out Ramen Santouka recently, as my aunt was raving on about how amazing the ramen there was, so I decided to give it a shot based on her recommendations.
Ramen Santouka is famed for its pork cheek - which, according to the restaurant, is tender and only 300g of such meat is available at one go. Sounds amazing, but perhaps a little overhyped, because the meat certainly wasn't tender to the extent that it'd melt in my mouth, like what the restaurant had said it would. Such pork cheek ramen costs $19, and I personally feel that this is a little too pricey, as I felt that the pork cheek tasted just like normal pork.
However, the ramen there is certainly tasty. Though I have yet to taste ramen in Singapore that tastes like authentic ramen from Japan, Ramen Santouka definitely offers one of the better tasting ramen noodles locally. I tried the shoyu ramen, which is basically a soy sauce-based ramen, and I thought that it was tasty, without being overly salty. My family enjoyed their shio ramen as well, which is a salt based ramen, and they too thought that it wasn't too salty like that of other ramen restaurants in Singapore.
Ramen Santouka also offers sizes for their ramen, so this restaurant caters for various appetites, as big eaters can simply order the large sized bowl of ramen.
Generally a pretty good place for ramen, though a little overpriced, and the pork cheek is certainly over-rated.
This is perhaps the most overrated ramen place in Singapore. The place is packed during lunch and dinner time, and so many people are raving about this place. But I have to disagree with all who think that this place serves superb ramen.
We ordered their highly recommended pork cheek ramen in shoyu broth. I appreciated the thick, springy noodles and the tender, succulent slices of pork cheeks and the well-done eggs, but the broth did not sit well with us at all. It was just too salty and lacked depth and richness of flavour, almost like a one-dimensional kind of saltiness. All I tasted was salt; nothing but salt dominated the palate.The broth was of a thin, soupy consistency, and we certainly would have preferred if it had been thicker. People might disagree with me, but I think what makes a good bowl of ramen is ultimately the broth. The broth is what defines the character of the dish. And Santouka's most recommended dish lacks character and has but a monotonous flavour profile.
Marutama Ramen, on the other hand, is way better but somewhat underrated.
Ramen Santouka is really one of the best ramen I have ever had in Singapore. I always order the pork cheek shoyu ramen. The pork cheek is very very tender yet flavorful and not too fatty. The restaurant has limited servings of pork cheek a day. So, it is best to go early for lunch.
I personally like the shoyu soup base the best among all their other soup bases. The soup is very tasty yet thick, but not too salty. I always like to order a side gyoza, which is fantastic too! The meat is juicy and the skin is pan fried till crispy.
Will definitely recommend Ramen Santouka if you're looking for good, authentic Japanese ramen. The pork cheek ramen is more pricey at $19 but the normal char she ramen is about $13 which is very reasonable in my opinion.
I had heard the hype about Ramen Santouka before deciding to head there one day for their famous Japanese ramen, and I found the trip well worth the while. Although their pricing can be considered slightly higher than mid-range, the quality of their noodles, soup and ramen toppings make up for the price.
The most famous selling point of Santouka has to be their Tokusen Toroniku, or special pork cheek ramen, and I had heard that this was the hot favourite. Instead of the usual cha shu / char siew slices we get in ramen, these thin, succulent pieces of pork, served separately from the noodle soup, come from the pig’s cheek, and give a slightly different texture. I found it rather salty at first, but I found out from the waiter that the best way to eat it is to dip it into the ramen soup until it softens slightly from the fats melting, which also allows for the flavour to spread into the soup. It was so good after doing that, every slice was sinfully delightful. I think the restaurant has limited portions of this particular ramen everyday, so maybe calling to check beforehand is safer to avoid disappointment.
I have tried their other ramen options as well, and find them good but not great. Out of the 3 soup bases available, the shio is my favourite for its delicate clean taste, whereas the shoyu and miso are a little salty. The meat portion for the normal ramen option is also meagre, so go for the cha shu version. Guys or bigger eaters might also want to go for the upsized option to fully enjoy their ramen. Overall a good place for a ramen craving, with both outlets at The Central and Cuppage Terrace having a nice ambience, although slightly cramped when it gets crowded.