The blurb explaining the birth of Ramen Santouka goes like this:
“One day, after watching Tampopo (a Japanese movie about a quirky ramen establishment), Santouka’s founder, Hitoshi Hatanaka and his family stopped at a ramen shop for a quick meal. Unsatisfied with the taste of the shop’s ramen, Hatanaka declared the next time he would be the one making ramen for his family.”
The menu goes on to say
“Using the same recipe that won over this family, Hatanaka decided to open his own ramen shop in March 1988, in Asahikawa, Hokakaido. The shop began modestly, with only 9 seats and one item on the menu – shio ramen….”
It’s a pretty intriguing introduction, more so that the Hokkaido region is usually more famous for its miso ramen and the shio ramen is more commonly found around the Tokyo region.
Santouka has clearly established a loyal following, in Japan and Singapore. The place garners consistent positive reviews and hence, the decision to come check this place out.
Pork char siu and gyoza are clearly the highlights of the restaurant. After placing our order, the waiter tried to get us to order a side of gyoza as well, claiming that it was a favourite among customers. However, we decided against it.
We decided to go for the normal ramen instead of the special pork cheeks selection. As with most restaurants, you can choose from the shio (salt), shoyu (soya sauce) or miso (bean) soup base ($13.50). Each bowl comes with two pieces of char siu but if you need more, there is the char siu ramen option that comes with 5 pieces ($17).
I had the shio ramen ($13.50). Santouka says that the shio ramen is the only dish which they add pickled plums to. Personally, I did not really get how the pickled plums added to the dish. I would have been fine without it. Perhaps it’s just their signature topping? The broth is pretty rich but the star is really the pork belly which was extremely tender and melted in my mouth.
The ramen does not come with egg so I ordered one separately ($1.50)
Miso ramen ($13.50) – same ingredients as the shio, just a different soup base.
A very satisfying bowl of ramen. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it is the best bowl of ramen I’ve ever had, but the broth and the pork char siu pack a good punch of ramen goodness.
Add: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #02-76 The Central