Yoshimaru Ramen Bar
Originating in Hakata, Japan, Hakata ramen is a distinctive ultra thin ramen with a film texture, served in a rich, mouthwatering broth extracted from pork bones( Tonkotsu). Pork bones are slowly boiler over 13 hours to create this creamy white and flavourful stock. Yoshimaru has captivated noodle-lovers in Japan and now have 13 outlets.
Good ramen soup should be creamy and rich, but at the same time it should be smooth and not gooey. The ramen I tried was the Toasted Garlic Ramen, and while it was similar to Menya Musashi’s Black Cha Shu Ramen, its soup was more flavourful, creamy yet light, while Menya’s was more heavy and gooey in comparison.
Half the battle is won when the noodles are springy, chewy, but not such that it’s tiring to chew. Many people rave about Ippudo’s noodle texture, but Yoshimaru by far surpasses it. I’ve always found it a chore to chew at length, but Yoshimaru’s noodles were springy, light, and just the right size - not too thick or thin. Complemented by the soup which thinly coated its strands, the noodles were slurped up really fast.
Lastly, the garnish of meat and vegetables are as important as maple syrup is to a good plate of pancakes. Most soups are meat-based, thick and scrumptious, but the meat garnish itself is sadly bland or boiled dry. Ajisen’s cha shu is a fine example of meat overshadowed by its soup counterpart, and Menya’s cha shu far outshines its garlic gravy. Yoshimaru’s soup, however, held its fort against its rich and tasty partner - before I knew it, my spoon touched the bottom of the empty bowl. It was then that I knew I had found a new ramen favourite.
Yoshimaru’s ramen noodles are thin and light, but satisfying. They have a range of broths and meat to go with, but their signature Moridakusan Ramen has is the one I always get. Yoshimaru is light on the oil and salt for all their dishes, so you can leave without feeling too guilty.
Although it is a ramen store, they serve delicious burgers as a side dish. There are only three varieties and all of them are fantastic. I actually have a hard time choosing the burgers and ramen. If you want to try all three, you can get the platter with a mini version on all three.
I’ll skip right to the ramen itself. Any good cook knows that the simpler the dish, the harder it is to get it right. I feel that Yoshimaru Ramen Bar has perfected the seemingly innocent Japanese ramen effortlessly.
I ordered the Traditional Hakata Ramen for slightly less than $12. What really impressed me was that the ramen came with a handful of toasted white sesame seeds served in a mini pestle and mortar. I could grind up my own sesame seeds right before I enjoy my ramen so that the flavour is at its strongest when I add it to my ramen!
On top of that, don’t get me started on the broth. It’s packed with so much flavour and yet it’s not too salty nor does it overpower the Chashu pork. The slow simmered broth has a lovely savoury sweet taste to it and a consistency that I will simply put it as deliciously velvety.
I am definitely returning to Yoshimaru Ramen Bar again.
From visiting this place to drown my sorrows in ramen broth after a competition, to purchasing ramen for my friends, to being treated to ramen here by a very kind friend, this place has never wavered in hospitality and service, as well as good food at reasonable prices. I can't say this is the cheapest place around, but the food is good, and the service is pretty decent too.
There is quite a wide variety of ramen dishes offered, so this is definitely the place to go for people who are adventurous with their ramen - I, on the other hand, have always almost religiously stuck to my spicy ramens, as I did on all the occasions I've been there, except for one, where I switched to the cold ramen, which was pretty good too, although I still prefer the warm soupy ones.
Definitely worth a try.
Despite saying all of the above, I chose the Yuzu ramen eventually just because it had the Yoshimaru stamp of approval on it - yes I'm easily swayed. It was really a tough call between that and the Toasted Garlic ramen but the waiter told me Yuzu is definitely way more popular and 'famous' so I went with that.
But citrus and ramen, really? I grew increasingly apprehensive with every minute of waiting for it to be served. When I finally tasted it it was exactly what it said it was. I wouldn't go so far as to say the tangy yuzu married the savory broth perfectly, but it was an oddly nice feeling to taste the citrus at the back of my throat every time I took a gulp of the broth. Slowly though, the thick broth began to overpower the yuzu and I almost forgot that this was a specially flavored ramen.
So, nothing phenomenal there but I definitely want to try the garlic flavored ramen when I go back the next time. Otherwise, the seat meal deals are pretty okay, you get to pair any ramen of your choice with a side dish at a small premium.
Yoshimaru's ramen isn't the best around but it certainly can satisfy a ramen craving if you are around the area. It comes with a drink - iced oocha if I'm not wrong and sesame seeds that you can grind and add to your own preference. I ordered the shabu shabu pork ramen but the broth can get a little too salty towards the middle of the meal. I could hardly finish my bowl of ramen. But the perfectly done half boiled egg made up for everything. The egg was sufficiently soaked in dashi and the yolk was runny.
The restaurant is quite small and tables are placed very near to each other. Not the best place for a romantic date, considering that there are many other romantic spots in Holland Village. But the staff are friendly and the prices are reasonable. I might just return again for the egg.
I personally love the Traditional Hakata Ramen because of how delightful it tastes and looks. Clean and neat, no effort needed to look exceptional because the key lies in its effortless rendition of a good Traditional Japanese ramen. The pork broth is made from a 13 hours boil and you can actually taste dedication with every sip. The Shabu Shabu & Toasted Garlic Ramens each have their own unique speck, with the latter carrying a spice that further edifies the flavor.
I would recommend going for the set meal which costs only $16.90 and it entitles you to a side dish. Their Chuka Idako is one of my favourite around, I have tasted so many restaurants' and this stands out because the sauce wasn't too overkill, and it has a good crunch that surpasses others.
The restaurant space is pretty limited, so do head down early if you're in big groups. The staffs are really friendly too, and that definitely makes every experience an enjoyable one.
I LOVE their ramen. Every single one of them. I've tried most of the flavours, and they are all really yummy. The noodles are really springy, and the soup base is flavourful yet not too salty. Their hanjuku (ramen egg) was perfectly cooked too. Also, the staff provides each person with their own pastle and mortar to grind the sesame seeds while waiting for their ramen to be served. The sesame seeds are really fragrant and go well with the ramen.
The service of the place is really good too, with the staff responding to our requests promptly, and always smiling at all the customers. Yoshimaru is definitely one of the best ramen bars in Singapore.
My favourite dish is their Traditional Hakata Ramen. It is reasonably priced at only $11 for a rather large portion of springy noodles with deliciously thick pork broth, two slices of melt-in-your-mouth pork and a runny egg. The soup is not too salty and makes for a comforting hearty meal on a rainy day.
Their sides and set meals are also consistently yummy, as well as their other ramen offerings.
Before serving your meal, Yoshimaru provides the mortars and pestles to grind sesame seeds, this can serve as something to occupy your time while waiting for your food, and the fragrance of the sesame seeds is really nice as well.
My only qualm is probably that the seating space is rather small and cramped but I would definitely recommend this place for a nice dinner when you're in Holland V :)
Naturally, I tried their recommended hakata ramen. I am no ramen expert, but from what I understand, their hakata ramen consists of soft thin noodles paired with milk rich pork bone soup to give this traditional dish a kick. Any cravings I had for ramen was completely satisfied and I was left wanting for more.
No doubt that Yoshimaru Ramen Bar is now one of my favourite places to go to get my ramen fix!