With the Japanese word for pork in the name of the restaurant, there are no prizes for guessing what the star attraction is at this cozy 50-seater ramen bar at Far East Square. It is a staple among working professionals from the surrounding CBD, thanks to its speedy service, no service charge, and of course, excellent bowls of ramen. Star dishes include the Original Chashu Ramen, executed simply and traditionally, though you would be best advised to try decadent non-noodle fare like teriyaki glazed ribs. Ribs go through a precise process: first marinated, then tenderized through sous-vide before finally being flame-grilled, resulting in a fall-off-the-bone delight. And if you’re not into pork, fear not—there’s something for you. The owners are huge fans of premium meats, and have started to organize a Wagyu Beef Out beef tasting event, where interested customers can book a table and enjoy a three-course meal of the finest imported marbled beef. The event is run Kickstarter-style, and takes place only when the necessary number of bookings has been achieved. More details on their website here.
Purchase a Japanese iced tea for $2 with any bowl of ramen, only available during lunch.
Head chefs and business partners John Ng and Sandy Yeo are friends who were multimedia designers. But their love for meat prevailed, and they decided to pursue the food business. They started to brainstorm potential opportunities for starting their own empire, involving a creative and visionary take on a dish. This was where the concept of ramen and ribs was born. Sandy is adamant on value for customers, and ensures that portions are generous. Besides the special element of ribs, Sandy has tailored the ramen flavors to suit the local Singapore palate: the broth is less salty than its traditional counterpart, and side dishes like the grilled kakuni buns prove to be a hit with locals, as they are very much like Singapore’s very own kong bak pau.
A best-seller at Buta Ramen, this fiery bowl involves noodles, marinated bamboo shoots, spring onion, an ajitama egg and a big sheet of seaweed. The chilli paste gives the broth its impressive red broth. The big treat, though, are the accompanying ribs, slathered in sweet and sticky yakitori sauce and served separately. For maximum enjoyment, let the meat slip off the bone and fall into the depths of the spicy ramen broth.
Why have a beer with your ramen, when you can have your beer in your ramen? This dish was inspired by a trip in Shinjuku, where Sandy, Daniel and other friends had a feast of ramen and beer, while the aroma of grilled meat from the yakitori stall next door wafted in the air. The triple tag team of flavors—beer, tonkotsu ramen and grilled pork—aroused Sandy’s creative culinary senses and he went for it. With premium Sapporo Beer added to their signature eight-hour tonkatsu broth, the bowl has a sweet and earthy piquancy and is served with egg and a generous slab of pork rib.
Reminiscent of Singapore’s local kong bak bao, these little parcels of joy are known in Nagasaki as Kakuni Manju. Sandy slow cooks the pork belly in their in-house yakitori sauce, and serves it with tangy-garlicky chilli sauce that Singaporean taste buds can collectively approve of. They come in threes for $6.90, but are $4.90 with every order of ramen.