Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen at Somerset 313

Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen
B3-35/36 Somerset 313
313 Orchard Road
Singapore 238895
Online reservations: Click here
Online menu: Click here
Payment modes: Cash, nets and credit cards

Opening Hours
Daily: 1130am to 1030pm (last order 945pm)

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$15
Recommended dishes: Ichikokudo ramen (S$10.90), Ichi Beef Ramen (S$13.90), Salmon Sashimi (S$7.90)

Hey guys! I know what you’re thinking – back so fast?! It hasn’t even been 4 months yet since your last post. LOL OKAY. I just felt like posting another review quickly before the feeling goes away! TBH I was torn between this and watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix, but okay I’m giving myself 30 mins. I need to rewatch Season 3 before starting Season 4 which just got released!

Also I’m just going to throw this out there – if you guys haven’t listened to the Serial podcast on Spotify / Apple PodcastCastbox etc, please give it a go! Season 1 on Adnan Syed’s supposed murder of his ex-gf Hae Min Lee was crazy. I’m now on Season 3 which is about Cleveland’s justice system. Sounds boring but it’s actually really gripping and you just end up marvelling almost, at how stacked the system is against the black residents there.

Anyway I wanted to post about my new fave ramen spot in town, Ichikokudo! Their first outlet was opened in July 2018 at Suntec City, while the second outlet opened at Somerset 313 in March this year! They recently opened their third outlet at China Square in May, but I’ve yet to go to that one.

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View of from the outside, at Somerset 313 basement 3 with all the food outlets!

Feel free to also read this feature from Berita Minggu I totally snapped a pic of, at the Suntec branch:

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I really like the word Jepun lol but I disapprove of “pes” for paste.

The outlet at Suntec is a bit annoying to get to – I mean that place is such a maze and I just do not have the kind of energy required to navigate the different towers and atria. So this second outlet at Somerset 313 is PERFECT because I LOVE Somerset (can buy strawbs from Don Don Donki LOL).

I came here for buka puasa a few weeks ago and started with the Salmon Sashimi (S$7.90) and the Hokkaido butter clams ($6.90).

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Mix of regular and lightly broiled salmon (S$7.90)
Hokkaido Butter Clams (S6.90) – a little dry IMO

Okay so I actually really like the salmon, and perhaps even preferred the broiled version to the regular version because of the light char. I did think that the slices were a little thin, so hopefully that’s something they can improve on. $7.90 isn’t too bad but I’d rather thicker slices, so ideally it’d be like 6 thicker slices for $7.90 or 8 slices for $9.90 ( LOL what am I a pricing analyst?) Anyway the math tells you that 8 slices for $9.90 saves you about 8 cents a slice LOL. 7.5/10 for the salmon sashimi!

The butter clams were a little disappointing, because the clams were a little dry and there wasn’t a lot of them to begin with. Of course I compared them to the plump clams from Deanna’s Kitchen’s prawn noodles, where you get literally like 25-30 clams when you order the $6.50 bowl of prawn noodles with clams LOL. I’d say skip the clams unless you’re craving. 6/10

For mains, I ordered the regular Ichikokudo Ramen (S$10.90) which features a full ramen egg, bamboo shoots, chicken chashu slices, woodear mushroom and aosa seaweed. All of these ingredients are bathed in their super umami and tasty broth made from chicken bone, mackerel, bonito and kelp:

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Ichikokudo Ramen (S10.90) – 9.5/10. SUPER delicious and savoury. Just a touch oily, but manageable.

I loved it!! And it’s not just because I had been fasting the whole day lol. For real, the broth was done just right that night. I think the first time I went to the Suntec branch, I found the regular broth a little salty, but that particular night at the Somerset branch the broth was on point. I LOVE the seasoned egg with the gooey yolk, and all the textures of the different ingredients alternately crunchy and chewy. At some other places I’ve been to, the bamboo shoots can taste a little too strong, but Ichikokudo’s were great and inoffensive. Noodles were also really good!! No weird lye taste, great bite, and well-coated in the broth.  9.5/10

My friend had the Ichi-Beef Ramen (S$13.90) which he really enjoyed. I had a bite of it and found the beef slices to be really tender and perfect, kind of like Gyunion’s beef strips YUM. Here is a photo of his bowl:

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Ichi Beef Ramen ($13.90)- basically similar to the Ichikokudo ramen but with the chicken chashu swapped with beef slices. Also 9.5/10

My other friend opted for another popular choice (popular based on what I’m seeing on IG LOL), the Hokkai Jigoku Smoked Duck Ramen (S$15.90):

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Ichi Smoked Duck Ramen (S$15.90) – 8/10 because the broth is crazy yum.

Wow this was really interesting – the description on the menu says that the broth is a blend of spicy miso and their signature soup stock. To me it tasted like a mix of mala and curry, if that makes any sense. Very yummy and def for those who prefer a spicy kick. To be clear though they do offer condiments like chilli oil and togarashi chilli powder that you can liberally season your ramens with. I personally found the smoked duck pairing a little off, like the strong broth overpowered the taste of the duck. I might actually order smoked duck slices as a side hehe. Regardless, a solid 8/10 because the broth is unfff. (edited to add: I recently tried the shoyu ramen version with the smoked duck for S$13.90, and they went SO well together. Def getting more next time!!)

Bonus picture of the Hokkai Salmon Ikura Don (S$16.90) that my other friend had during another visit to Ichikokudo, in case you guys like looking at my #real photos:

Hokkai Salmon Ikura Don (S$16.90)

All in all, I had a super pleasant time at Ichikokudo Ramen. Service is polite and quick; you place your order through an iPad which is really great because God forbid your order gets held up simply because you can’t get a waiter’s attention lol (I get hangry really easily help). GST and service charge applies, FYI. I would def come back from time to time for my Hokkaido ramen fix especially since I find myself in the Somerset area quite frequently. Anyway I’ll leave you guys with pictures of the menu below, enjoy!

Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen
B3-35/36 Somerset 313
313 Orchard Road
Singapore 238895
Online reservations: Click here
Online menu: Click here
Payment modes: Cash, nets and credit cards

Opening Hours
Daily: 1130am to 1030pm (last order 945pm)

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$15
Recommended dishes: Ichikokudo ramen (S$10.90), Ichi Beef Ramen (S$13.90), Salmon Sashimi (S$7.90)

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Noosh Noodle Bar and Grill at The Esplanade

Noosh Halal Noodle Bar and Grill
8 Raffles Avenue
#01-13B Esplanade Mall Annexe
Singapore 039802
Reservations: +65 6755 4225

Opening Hours
Mon – Thu: 12pm – 12am
Fri: 3pm – 1am
Sat: 12pm – 1am
Sun: 12pm – 10pm
Eve of PH: 12pm – 1am

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$40

Recommended dishes: Curly Fries with Bacon & Cheese (S$12.90)

Hey guys! Have you tried Noosh Noodle Bar and Grill at the Esplanade? I know I’m a little late to the party but I just tried them for the first time last night! I’d heard good things about it and had been meaning to visit, especially since I’m actually at the Esplanade quite a bit either to go to the library or to catch a play/concert.

Noosh Noodle Bar and Grill was opened by well-known restaurateur Ummi Abdullah of Ambeng Cafe fame, and I personally love the concept because I LOVE noodles (unless they’re the yellow, very alkaline type noodles that haven’t been properly cooked, eww). Here is a look at their menu:

We called to make reservations on the same day and were told to choose between the 630pm or 830pm seating, so of course we chose the 630pm one, which gave us just enough time to peruse the menu, place our orders in time for them to arrive right at 713pm LOL.

We started with the tantalizing Curly Fries with Bacon and Cheese (S$12.90), which featured crisp golden curly fries topped with nacho cheese, sour cream, beef bacon and spring onions:

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Curly Fries With Bacon & Cheese (S$12.90) – 9/10

OOOFFFFFF you guys, this was really good. I LOVE CURLY FRIES SO MUCH ugh. These ones were crispy, savoury and fluffy on the inside. I did think the nacho cheese was a little too overwhelming – I don’t want my golden crisp fries drenched in nacho cheese, but that is just a personal preference. I also thought the beef bacon bits could have been either crispier, or more meaty… does that make sense? Like if they’re going to have small bits of it, I’d prefer for them to be crispy. If they’re not crispy, they better be bigger pieces so we can savour them still. 9/10

For my main, I had the Smoked Duck Lemak Chili Padi Pasta (S$18.90) which had a generous serving of smoked duck slices and spaghetti in the super savoury coconut-based gravy, topped with fresh arugula and sweet cherry tomatoes:

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Smoked Duck Lemak Chili Padi Pasta (S$18.90) – 7.5/10

Mm when I first saw the heap of arugula leaves I thought “ok that’s weird why so much”. It was only after a few bites of the fiery pasta that I realised that, oh boy, I needed that much arugula leaves to counter the spiciness of the sauce. Hurray for sensible pairing! I liked the taste of the lemak chili padi gravy enough, but I thought the duck was a little mushy and I could barely discern the smoked flavour of the duck meat, which was probably overpowered by the strong lemak taste.

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Shoved some of the arugula away so you can see the actual stuff underneath

I usually prefer my smoked duck to be a little juicier and with a little more bite, whereas this one seemed a little… I don’t know how to describe it – lumpy? Like a regular slice of mushy chicken breast. Great quantity but the quality could be improved slightly. 7.5/10

My friend had the Spicy Beef Ramyeon (S$16.90) which featured ramen noodles with bulgogi beef, braised in Korean hot bean paste.

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Spicy Beef Ramyeon (S$16.90) – 7/10

Firstly, loved the ramen eggs with the soft, half-cooked yolk. Crazy about it, yes. Secondly, yum the braised bulgogi beef was delicious, tender, and juicy. Thirdly and unfortunately, I found the broth a little too thick:

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Look at how murky the broth is omg it’s so lethal

I like my ramen broth a little thinner, especially if you’re going to make it so spicy (which this one was). Thick and spicy is just a little too much for me to handle. The broth just was not to my liking and I don’t think I will be ordering this in future. Personal preference though, so if you guys like what you just read, go for it! 7/10

For dessert, we weren’t really feeling the heavy ondeh-ondeh cake that everyone raves about online, so we went for the White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Berries Coulis (S$9.90).

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White Chocolate Panna Cotta With Berries Coulis (S$9.90) – 6/10

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Oof I can feel the tartness at the back of my jaw

Oh boy, the berries coulis was just a little too tart for me and my friend. It almost tasted medicinal. Luckily the panna cotta was sweet enough to balance out the flavour, but basically we did not enjoy the coulis very much. I also felt that the Panna Cotta texture was a little off – it was too thick and a little like eating white chocolate fudge. Panna cotta should ideally be silky smooth and just firm – with a gentle wobble (in the words of writer Domenica Marchetti), and this was a little too dense. 6/10

So a dinner of hits and misses, but I will definitely want to come back and try the rest of the menu! I’m sure if I try a few more dishes I’ll figure out which ones suit my taste and which ones don’t.

So that’s it for food, but I do have some not-great comments about customer-service here, starting with the fact that service was super inattentive. I was sat close to the corner of the restaurant and it was so, so challenging trying to catch their attention. The hallmark of good customer service is when you realise that you might miss customers sat in the corner (your corner, of your restaurant, that you sat your customers at) and so you eyeball the room regularly to see if anyone is trying to catch your attention, even the poor corner table. There were a few staff and they were mostly huddled in their employees’ corner – maybe they were eating their dinner also, I’m not sure, but so were we (eating, that is) and it was distressing having to wait for “when they give that table their food” before trying to hijack their attention. It should not be that hard.

Another thing – my friend and I were given only one fork between the two of us and it took so long to get their attention I eventually got up and went to the nearest staff. When I asked “Hi could I get a fork?” she unsmilingly walked over to the cutlery station behind the counter, took it out, and wordlessly handed it back to me. It was weird.

Also when we asked if they charged for water, they said “yes $1 but it’s refillable”. I hate when places charge for water, but ok fine it’s refillable so I guess it’s not so bad. However because of the inattentiveness of the staff, my glass was never refilled. It was just so hard to get their attention that when I did get their attention it was for things like “can we get our dessert now” and “can we get the bill” and I clean forgot to ask for a refill. Not topping up your refillable $1 water is by no means a cardinal customer service sin or anything, but let me just say some places that serve water for free actually survey the room at regular intervals to see whose water glasses needed topping up.

Lastly, I was very disappointed they didn’t offer a prayer corner of some sort here, especially since (a) they are a Muslim-owned restaurant, (b) this is Ramadan, (c) they limited the seatings to 630pm or 830pm, meaning I couldn’t reserve for say 730 after finishing Maghrib prayers, and (d) the nearest mushollah was all the way in Marina Square carpark on the other side of the mall away from the Esplanade side.

My pregnant friend and I had to eat our food quickly and then rush over to Marina Square and navigate the confusing annexes/wings to get to the mushollah. We literally made it to the mushollah with 5 minutes of Maghrib to spare, so I guess this story has a happy ending. Still, I really, really wish they would just dedicate a 2m x 1m space for a sejadah for diners to pray Maghrib so we wouldn’t need to rush our meal which we would’ve preferred to savour, especially since it isn’t the cheapest.

Disappointing as the service was though, I will probably still go back to give the staff another chance, and try the other stuff on the menu. I really, really hope it was just an off day or something for them ugh.

Noosh Halal Noodle Bar and Grill
8 Raffles Avenue
#01-13B Esplanade Mall Annexe
Singapore 039802
Reservations: +65 6755 4225

Opening Hours
Mon – Thu: 12pm – 12am
Fri: 3pm – 1am
Sat: 12pm – 1am
Sun: 12pm – 10pm
Eve of PH: 12pm – 1am

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$40

Recommended dishes: Curly Fries with Bacon & Cheese (S$12.90)

The Ramen Stall

The Ramen Stall
787 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198755
Online Menu: Click here
Reservations: + 65 6655 0800

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 5pm to 6am
Sat, Sun, PH: 12pm to 6am

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 10/10 for the ramen, 7/10 for all else

Average spend per pax: ~$29 per person

Last Saturday my friend brought me to The Ramen Stall which, as promised, serves up a mean ramen, along with other Japanese fare. The menu is really very extensive, and without knowing it was available online, I stupidly took a photo of every single page haha. I’m still putting it up at the end of this post, in case you guys want to browse through without going to the Ramen Stall website.

We got there at 830pm on a Saturday night, and the place was absolutely hopping! All tables both inside and at the outside seating area were taken, so my friend and I had to sit at the sushi bar, which was fine since it felt quite private. We ordered quite a few items to share so here’s a rundown:

We got the Salmon Sashimi (S$9.90 for 7 slices) first, which came on a boat you guys! Super cute.

 

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I’m afraid the sashimi did not taste too fresh. I LOVE sashimi and I wanted so badly to like it, but I could tell off the bat from the pale orange hue of the salmon that it wasn’t going to be great. 6.5/10

At my insistence we also ordered a plate of the Teppanyaki Giant Hokkaido Scallops (S$16.90 for 5):

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First impressions – “omg this looks like super fiery black pepper sauce, will I be able to take it?!” It was intimidating. So I gingerly put the scallop in my mouth, expecting crazy heaty pepper sauce, but surprisingly it was really pleasant. I LOVE when scallops are served together with what is called “the coral”, which is the orange section around the scallop. I found that most of the lightly spicy, savoury flavour was concentrated in the coral instead of the actual scallop meat, which I thought tasted just the slightest bit bland. Texture-wise the scallops were great though, slightly chewy and you could taste the “fibres” instead of it being one fish cake-like lump. I don’t know if that makes sense to you guys :/ 8.5/10

Of course, we HAD to try a classic bowl of Volcano Ramen (S$11) in chicken-based stock. It came in 3 levels of spiciness, and we chose to go with level 2:

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It was SO GOOD GUYS!! The broth was so tasty!! It was thick, not too salty and was just rich enough. Once we mixed the two giant dollops of Chilli together with the ramen ingredients, the bowl started to resemble a cauldron of fiery hot lava. It was fierce guys. I was all but crying while working my way through the noodles – so spicy, but so delicious! The egg was really yummy especially since the yolk was mushy and partially cooked. The seaweed was thick and satisfying to bite on, since it had a little bit of resistance to it. The shimeji mushrooms were perfect – I love all mushrooms – and the corn helped add a little sweetness to pare down the biting hot heat from the chilli. Overall just a great bowl of deliciousness. 10/10

Being the greedy guts that we were, we also ordered the Kushiyaki Set A (S$12.90) which came with assorted skewers of shishamo pregnant fish, shiitake mushroom, chicken yakitori, quail eggs, beef roll with golden mushroom, AND a side of rice topped with scrambled eggs, mushroom and chicken!

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Shiitake mushrooms, shishamo fish, quail’s eggs, enoki mushroom wrapped in beef, and chicken!

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Too much food!

Full disclosure – we were getting pretty full by the time this came, and boy were we NOT expecting the rice to come with all these skewer sticks. We hardly touched the rice, but to summarize my feelings about the skewers, i thought they were all a little average, and a little dry.You CAN make yakitori that’s juicy and delicious, so I’m not sure why all of these were really desiccated. The beef in the beef roll all but disintegrated in my mouth. The shishamo also was so dry most of it stuck to the skewer stick, so the fish broke apart when I tried to slide it off the stick.  Loved the quail eggs though, always and forever. 6/10

All in all I would say I felt like the ramen was the only thing truly worth coming back for – I guess I shouldn’t have doubted the name of the establishment! You can’t go to a place called The Ramen Stall and expect them to have amazing sashimi, you know? That being said, the ramen really was so legit and so delicious, I want to have another bowl of it soon! Plus let’s not forget this place closes at 6am so you can come here at odd hours if you’re hankering for some of that yummy hot broth. YUM.

 

The Ramen Stall
787 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198755
Online Menu: Click here
Reservations: + 65 6655 0800

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 5pm to 6am
Sat, Sun, PH: 12pm to 6am

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious rating: 10/10 for the ramen, 7/10 for all else

Average spend per pax: ~$29 per person