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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ramen Isshi

Located at 4th Floor of one raffles place, Ramen Isshi is a place where Japanese-chinese fusioned food is found. This food tasting session would not be perfect without the invitation from Openrice and Ramen Isshi's amicable host, Nick Yen.

Ramen Isshi Store Front
Nick is a born Taiwanese-American and had started Orgo, a chillout cocktail bar cum restaurant at the roof terrace of Esplanade and Ramen Isshi is part of his projects, named "Tang Tang Project".  

The bespectacled Nick was dressed in fully black from top to toe. The medium built and lean frame Nick has made us very comfortable throughout the session as he shared his expertise on the menu creations

Ramen Isshi

Spotted an auspicious sign / character on the payment counter.  the "Zhao Cai Mao" aka the fortune cat seems like a "must have" for every business. It is believed that by placing fortune cat on the cashier counter will bring good luck and business will prosper.

Fortune Cat
Environment was contemporary designed with soothing eye colors especially with colorful bags and lunch boxes on the racks contrasting its backgrounds.


Initially I thought these meal boxes were simply part of their design and nothing else. But later on we realized that the boxes are for sale too.

Lunch boxes in the display

Being particular about its quality and freshness, no take away ramen is sold without the use of lunchboxes. These 2 tiers thermal isolated lunch boxes came with a designer bag and cost $20 including the ramen.

Designer Bags and Thermal Boxes

Every dining table comes with a drawer and a special color just like the lunch boxes. These drawers are good for diners to keep their stuff away from the table while dining. Not only that, menu can be found in the drawer.

Drawer with menu

Menu cum Guestbook
As we entered into the restaurant, we saw this industrial machine kept in a glass room, separated from the dining environment. It looked cool though. A further understanding from Nick aka "the craziest one" brought up his craziness on the freshness and quality of food in which he explained that Ramen Isshi's Ramen as well as gyoza, pao skin were all homemade.

Ramen Machine
Special thanks to Nick for arranging a live demonstration on how their ramen are made from the scratch with this state of the art machine.

Man at work

While the flour and other ingredients were mixing in the mid stream of the machine, the butt of the machine was throwing out freshly made noodles. Person in charge had to estimate the correct proportion and had them put into the blue tray.

Collecting of ramen

Let's take a look at the videos on how this ramen were being handled!

For those who are interested in getting hands on, Ramen Isshi does offer Ramen Making courses. Check with them for the schedules.

Besides being open about the process of making their ramen, Ramen Isshi do also have a open concept kitchen whereby diners can get to see the happenings going on in the kitchen.

 Take a look at the ceilling and you will find this interesting decor hanging up there.


A sweet concoction of soup sop and pineapple with soy, a refreshing welcome drink served in shot glass by the host.

Lemon Yellow
Followed by Yellow, a concoction of  Passion fruit, mango and soy. With Ramen Isshi belief in the freshness of food, every order of soy was prepared to order, not compromising its quality.


Our meal starts with a soft touch on the wobbly cold tofu. These plain yet nutritious tofu had an elevation in taste with the use of Japanese Soya Sauce and Chinese sesame oil.

Tofu with Century Egg - $8

A reassembly of the original carrot cake with ingredients individually standing on its own rather than mixing them all up. Mochi rice was made up in this dish, giving  softer and stickier texture and XO meat sauce was placed as the base. Presentation was attractive and dish seemed delicate.

Carrot Cake with Saffron - $8

Delicious deep fried wing was fried to golden brown perfection and paired with a little ball of homemade shichimi (七味) . These finger sized wings were tasty and sweet with white sesame seeds clinging onto them.

Chicken Wings Fritto - $6
As an Asian, I would say that Tuna Sashimi and Avocado Salad was specially created with creamy sauce lending a close touch to us. Not only that it gets the diners hands on.

Tuna Sashimi & Avocado Salad Asian Style - $12

Smashed avocado jam was beautifully done up in a pancake size with cubes of fresh red tuna sashimi laid on top of them and in the middle a hard boiled egg yolk. These colors combination together with garnishing like sesame seeds, shredded scallions and english parsley aids levelling up its presentation.

Close up on the Tuna Sashimi and Avocado

Our dish was shared among 4 of us and it took us quite a bit of time to properly divided them up.

Into Portions
Let's have a look while we have our cuts into the Salad.

And finally, scoop a portion of the yolk, avocados, tuna and salad dressing onto the flat sheet of seaweed.


Roll them up and get ready for consumption.I'm really at loss of words with these mushy bites from the salad together and crunchy seaweed.

Rolled up salad in seaweed

Next in the menu with its Homemade Kua Pao served in Plain flavours. Other flavours like matcha, turmeric, beets, sesame and prune are available too. 

Homemade Kua Pao in Assorted Flavours
What's the verdict? They are tender and soft with a slice of lean char siew tucked into its pocket with shredded cucumber and scallions. It won't go wrong if you scrapped some yummy brown sauce from the plate to go with it.

Close up on food item
These dumplings were filled with meat and vegetables wrapped in their thin dough and pan fried to have crispy exterior. The delicate Gyoza skin is commendable and more fillings may make it perfect for me. Enjoy them by dabbing them on the vinegar or chilli oil.

Homemade Pan-fried Gyoza - $5
Shiro (White) Tonkotsu Ramen is the basic version with the standard base. Broth was prepared with blaching the bones and it can with chewy cloud ears mushrooms, onsen egg and 2 slices of pork meat.

Tonkotsu Shiro Ramen - $12
Curious about the texture of homemade ramen? Have a try here!

Doneness in the noodles

Kuro Ramen whereby "Kuro" literally describes "black" in the ramen. The process of creating such a dish involved shallots and garlic fried in sauce at 4 different level in order to achieve the fragrance. The bowl has a soup base layered with Sesame oil (mayu) with 2 slices of char siew and a half boiled egg.

Tonkotsu Kuro Ramen - $13

Anything that relates to soy will reduce the spiciness of the food and Nick had us well prepared for the next dish by serving us the Pineapple Makegeolli, an alcoholic beverage in milky off-white color with 6-8% alcohol content. Its my first try on the foamy beverage and it tasted good with pineapple.

Makgeolli- Pineapple - $7 / glass

 "Aka" when translated from Japanese means "red" thus, its name had somehow or rather hinted its spiciness in the broth. And exactly, the preparation of the stock comes from the combination of seafood and spicy szechuan pepper , XO sauce with scallops. The bowl of ramen is different from the other two we had tried as it did not have an egg nor "char siew" (pork meat) in there.

Tonkotsu Aka Ramen - $13

We were so lucky that our friendly host Nick gave us another round of demonstration on their take away Ramen. The take away Ramen Noodles was kept in these vibrant colored boxes with ramen kept in the top layer and the soup in the second.

Air vent was required to be release to prevent excess moisture from turning the ramen soggy.

Thermal Box

Nick also explained that a different recipe is used for take away. The noodles used are slightly harder than those used for the dine in ones. Again the reason for that is, they do not wish the quality of the noodles being compromised by the heat.

Packed Ramen
Almond Jelly with Framboise is served in an elegant glass. A close look onto the dessert and you will find that it is made up of 3 distinctive layers with the top white as almond, followed by raspberry and passionfruit .

Almond Jelly with Framboise - $5

Using a dessert spoon and cut into the wobbly top layer was real exciting to the table as the savoury  rasberry flavours flowed out immediately. Taste was a combination of sour-sweet and relates close to the taste of the italian classic dessert, panna cotta.

The flow
Having addicted with Makgeolli, we requested for another shot with a different flavour. Nick was generous to offer us another toast!

Rack for Shot Glass
The strawberry flavour makegeolli was as good as the pineapple. Just wish I can have a try on all flavours. Haha!

Makgeolli - Strawberry Flavour - $7 / glass
With the last shot of drink, our tasting came to an end. Hospitality by the host was simply too great to put them down in words. Fusion food from Japanese-Chinese always stir up the curiosity in me and I always find them an indulgence.

On the weekdays, Salad Bar is also available. The salad bar strikes a good balance to go with the ramens, catered especially for the health conscious healthy patrons out there.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Ramen Isshi
Location: One Raffles Place, 1 Raffles Place #04-29 Singapore 04861
Operating Hours: 11.30am - 9pm daily

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