Marutama Ramen まる玉らーめん
6 Eu Tong Sen Street #03-90/91
P: (65) 6534-8090
F: (65) 6534-8077
177 River Valley Road #02-01/02
Liang Court Shopping Centre
P: (65) 6837-2480
F: (65) 6837-2980
101 Thomson Road #B1-07/08
P: (65) 6352-6369
F: (65) 6259-6980
MARUTAMA RA-MEN is a Japanese ramen franchise that originated from Ryogoku, Tokyo, and Kawaguchi, Saitama, in Japan. Since 2001, it has expanded into other parts of Asia, including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. It specialises in Toripaitan-based ramen, its version of which is its own home-made Hakata-style ramen noodles in a pure chicken broth.
Another dish we had was one of their side dishes – a $5 bowl of rice. I highly recommend this for those who are not that into ramen. It came with meat and vegetables and was overall very tasty! Add on another side dish, and it could easily become a satisfying meal.
The place is quite dimly-lit and the tables and seats are of dark wood, making for a very cosy dining experience. What I didn't like though, was that the tables were too close together. It was just really unsettling and made me feel really holed up. As for the service, it was above average. The staff were polite and sincere, even giving us suggestions as to what would be more affordable, seeing that we were only students.
My friend and I came here during dinnertime, so there was understandably very few empty seats. However, our cramped seating area affected our overall experience. I had a good time here, but hope that if i do visit a second time, I would get a better and more spacious seat!
Ambience in the restaurant was cozy. With dimmed lightings and dark wooden furniture, helps with the visual impact of bringing out the colors of your food.
I was told that the char shu and the tamago was to die for, and we placed double orders for it. Since I wasn’t a ramen specialist, I went for the standard bowl (just in case I really didn’t appreciate it).
I regretted. It was good. The char shu literally melted the moment it touched my tongue, not exaggerating! It has this nicely charred aroma which teases your nostrils too. Now I know why an order wasn’t enough.
The ramen soup base was really well done. The flavor was really intense, one can really taste the efforts put into boiling it. I was also really amazed at how perfectly the tamago was made – their yolk was semi-solid, semi-liquid. Awesome!
On top of that, we also ordered gyozas to share. It was good too. The gravy that it was served in wasn’t heavily loaded with vinegar, hence we managed to savour the pure taste of the gyozas.
I’m proud to say I’m now a fan of ramen – Marutama Ramen only.
My non-spicy chicken ramen tasted average. The chicken broth was light and had a distinct chicken flavor but I was hoping for more oomph, something thicker and more flavorful. It lacked the complexity that I would have liked. The natural sweetness of the chicken stock was also not present. I have heard raves for this ramen place so I was wondering if my taste buds were a little under the weather that day. The noodles were springy and its texture reminded me of instant noodles. You can still tell the difference but when inside the mouth, it made me feel like I was eating instant noodles. Still good tasting noodles though. My friend said that the spicy noodles were not spicy enough. I guess this place is not for heavy tasters, if you are looking for a simple, light and healthy bowl of ramen, you can consider this place. Otherwise, I would recommend Tori King instead for chicken-based ramen.
They are able to create the perfect ‘q q’ feeling of ramen with their near to perfection egg! I seriously loved their rich tasty soup and the chashu! Put the diet plan and calories aside when it comes to chashu!
Price for a bowl of ramen is more on the costly side so it’s not something you can have it everyday. Plus their menu for selection is really limited. And because of the frequent long queue during dinner time, it’s not a good place for you to enjoy your drinks and chit chat with friends after dinner.
The standard-101 ramen order will be the Marutama Ramen which consists of two slices of chashu (sliced pork) with a generous topping of spring onions and vegetables, where you have a choice of spicy or non-spicy soup base. I’ve tried all four types of the ramen and they taste about the same to me, so it’s likely to be permutations of the same soup base. The only one that tastes slightly different is Aka-Ramen, which according to them, has some special spices. The soup base is refreshing though as it differs from the usual soy-based or pork-based used in other ramen chains.
My personal favourite is the Tan-Men, as it has a healthy topping of vegetables including cabbage, seaweed and bean sprouts which are blanched just right – not too raw and not too soggy - so that by the time it is served, you can let the vegetables simmer for a while in the soup to soak up the flavour. The soup base is delicious and I tend to slurp up the soup till the last drop. There are two side dishes which I usually order, which are Dashimaki (pan-fried omelette) and Daikon (broiled radish). These may not be available across all branches though. The Dashimaki is a hit-and-miss at times, as it can be over-fried, but when they do get it right, the omelette is served hot with a layered texture that is easy to eat. The quality of Daikon has been consistent so far as it is basically simmered till soft so that you can pretty much taste its natural flavour.
The service is nothing to hound about as they are competent but impersonal - after all, there are only a few items which you can order, so the service staff want to and tend to take orders quickly. Case in point, there was once when the Dashimaki was over-fried till burnt and I requested for an exchange of the item. “No more already. This is our last Dashimaki ” was the answer. So I guess what they were telling me was - take the burnt Dashimaki or leave it. This was lunch time at about 12.45 pm.
If you are one of those who go more for the soup, rather than ramen, then remember to pace yourself while eating, so that you have enough soup to slurp at the end, as they don’t offer any soup refills.
I tend to eat salty and some of my friends have remarked that the soup is pretty salty, but I always ask for the “ramen sauce” which is a salt-based sauce (like soy sauce) that you can drop into almost anything that is on your table, including the ramen and the side dishes. So if you are tired of your usual ramen chain store, then Marutama may offer an ‘oishi’ and refreshing change.
The basic Marutama ramen comes with a generous serving of fresh spring onions, seaweed and just one slice of chaashuu, so I usually order an additional aji-tamago or extra slices of chaashuu to go with. Other items on the menu include a version of ramen served with a huge portion of vegetables (carrots, cabbage, beansprouts, seaweed, etc), and one that comes with chicken meatballs instead of chaashuu. Side dishes like gyoza, and omelette are available as well.
Now I'd like to mention that this place has a number of branches. I've gone to the ones at Clarke Quay's Central (which is the original branch), Liang Court, Suntec and even the one just opposite the OCBC building at Raffles Place - I must say the one at Central is still the best one, or maybe it's just me. Anyway, do try it and let me know what you think.
I love how the noodle is especially thin and the soup is rich in flavour. There is usually a long queue to go into the restaurant but waiting time tends to be short because of the limited menu. Definitely a must-try despite the slightly high pricing as the taste is spectacular!
I always order my ramen with eggs. The eggs have a soft and watery centre which is so delightful to my tastebuds. The noodles that they use are springy and absorbs the flavor of the soup very well. The chicken broth soup is heavenly. Words do no justice to how delicious the soup taste. Unlike other ramen stalls where their soup base is way too salty and has a chockfull amount of MSG in it, MARUTAMA RA-MEN's soup is not salty at all. Yet, it is tasty and flavorful.
I always leave the restaurant with a very satisfied tummy, hoping to be back again for more!
Having tried their sides like the Yaki Charsiu (grilled roast pork) and Yaki Gyoza (grilled dumpling), I personally love the Yaki Charsiu which was sinfully satisfying! The Yaki Gyoza tasted average but I found them rather oily.
What I found to be rather thoughtful is the ramen refill service which Marutama provides. For some guys who are big-eaters, isn't that a great thing?
Indeed, the simplest dish is the best tool to showcase the cooking skills of the chefs. And, we are definitely paying for high quality and the best-ever authentic ramen at Marutama!
The aosa seaweed is different from normal seaweed, and it can't really be found anywhere else. Do also give the prawn ramen a try, its strongly prawn-flavoured soup will be a delight to prawn lovers. They also serve up delicious sides, from soft chawanmushi, to tasty steamed radish and even pork cutlet which is of a better quality then many other japanese restaurants.
The environment is clean, and service is rather efficient. Do check out the japanese goods like the daruma doll being sold at the counter(united square). When ordering ramen, I usually tell them to not add any negi(spring onions), as I feel it changes the natural taste of the soup too much.