Like a true ramen-ya in downtown Toyko, Men-Tei in Singapore is a small compact, intimate space. If you walk briskly along busy Robinson Road, you are likely to walk pass it's glass doors without even noticing.
If you are a ramen fan and missed this, it's quite a loss as Men-Tei is one of the best ramen-ya in Singapore.
Stepping inside Men-Tei, you could be in a ramen-ya anywhere in the world. The chatter can be quite loud inside when it rises to a crescendo though I couldn't hear any loud slurping at all (this is Singapore yah ;-p ).
Lunch was extremely busy at Men-Tei - all hands were on deck to deliver that hot steaming bowl of slurpy ramen.
I was a walk in customer and the owner Jason graciously obliged me with a quick photo during the peak lunch hour.
Jason is an IT engineer by training but pursued his passion for ramen by training in Japan under Kaoru Fujii, principal of the renowned Yamato Noodle School. Besides Men-Tei ramen-ya, Jason established EUREKA Cooking Lab to train ramen chefs in Singapore. I respect Jason for his courage to pursue his passion.
Despite the busy lunch time crowd, the service at Men-Tai was efficient, attentive and friendly. Orders were taken with iPads (Jason is an IT engineer, remember?) but food and service were delivered in the good old fashion way (with human touch, not by drones ;-p ).
Men-Tei's menu is very simple and everything is just on one sheet of paper. The prices are very reasonable for the quality of food and for a restaurant smack in the centre of Singapore's Central Business District (CBD). (Men-Tei is upgrading their menu soon.)
As this was my first visit, I had Men-Tei's signature Tonkotsu Ramen (SGD14.50)
The broth is medium bodied, smooth and the layered savouriness is well balanced with slight natural porcine flavours. Men-Tei makes this broth daily with pork and chicken bones and boiling it at high heat for 9 hours. No MSG, no artificial anything, all natural goodness.
It's a delicious slurp worthy broth, good to the last drop. (Not saying only, I tipped everything into my mouth like a good ramen fan ;-p )
Each bowl of ramen comes with two slices of Men-Tei's signature yakibuta chashu (grilled pork).
The very tender, thin slices of yakibuta chashu were juicy and loaded with gently savoury sweet flavours. (Personally, I like my pork sliced thicker so that the juices in the fat will burst out and flood my mouth with rich porcine flavour when I chew on it ;-p ).
Half a molten tamago (Japanese flavoured egg).
Men-Tei's slurpy ramen noodles.
The noodles, made fresh daily in the restaurant from scratch, were cooked soft al dente - just right for me with enough bounce and spring. The slender noodles picked up the savoury broth very well making each lively strand delicious and slurpy good.
(If you like your noodles stiffer or softer, just inform the staff when you make your order.)
Japanese Gyoza (SGD3 for 3 pieces).
Elegant dainty dumplings blanched and then lightly pan seared to a slight crisp outside; so, it's crispy at the bottom side, tender on top and the inside was moist and soft. So many sensations in just one neat little meat purse ;-D
The ultra thin skin nicely wrapped the fresh minced pork and bits of leek. Deliciously subtly porcine sweet.
I had a very good first visit and shall be back to try Men-Tei's new menu and also the other ramens, especially the spicy one :-D
Restaurant name: Men-Tei Japanese Noodles (麺亭)
Address: 61 Robinson Rd, Singapore 068893 (Robinson Centre)
GPS: 1.279450, 103.849181
Hours: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm (Closed on weekends and public holidays)
Recommended for you:
My ramen adventures in New York City <- click
Date visited: 11 Aug 2015
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