Review: Ramen Play
I’m all for good and affordable food. I know that there are a lot of ramen places that have been reviewed. I have a slightly differing opinion towards ramen as reviewed by a lot of food critics. I have to put in a disclaimer that I have not travelled to Japan and tasted the real deal; but I have cooked ramen, so I can safely give a review based on my cooking experience.
One of the best ramen in Singapore is actually from Ramen Play. I have to give it to them for continuously changing their menu to keep it fresh for customers. My favourite ramen is the San Po Tonkotsu ramen. The San Po basically means “3 Treasures”, which are a slice of Char Siew, a slice of braised pork belly, and a slice of pork cheek. The ramen is served with a slightly springy and chewy noodle, bathed in a beautiful tonkotsu broth.
Firstly, the beauty is in the meat. I’ve been to highly rated ramen places where they only serve the noodles with one slice of Char Siew!! At Ramen Play, you not only get Char Siew, but the treasured pork cheek!! As a cook, I can tell you that pork cheek is the most tender part of the pig. It’s extremely precious because you can only get somewhere like 500g of pork cheek per pig! All their meats are cooked to perfection and given a slight char to give the meats a slight BBQ flavour.
Secondly, the soup is beautifully balanced. Granted, it’s not the most impactful soups out there, but that’s where I believe it shines most because true Japanese food is always about simplicity and balance. The art of letting the food speak for itself is often lost when chefs just keep overloading the bowl with corn, spring onions, seaweed, black garlic….etc. And there are a lot of highly rated ramen places in Singapore that have broths that are just way too salty! The salt gives the customer that savouriness and impact; however, if you take too long to consume the meal, you will find that the broth get saltier as the heat that was masking the saltiness is taken away. Ramen Play’s broth is seriously good to the last drop!
Thirdly, the affordability! Granted that there are some places that charge $20-$25 per bowl of noodles, Ramen Play’s noodles cost an average of $15. It hits the sweet spot on meal affordability. They’ve definitely done their research. Oh yes, the noodles also comes with half a shoyu egg which is perfectly done at no extra charge.
- Quality: 4/5 (Bamboo shoots can be slightly softer)
- Portion: 5/5
- Presentation: 5/5
- Service: 4/5 (Staff could have been more attentive to refill the tea)
- Ambience: 5/5
- Family-friendliness: 5/5 (They have a kid’s meal!)
- Affordability: 5/5
- Overall: 94%