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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Penang Culture At Changi Airport T2 II

Penang Culture 
Changi Airport Terminal 2 Departure
Viewing Mall Level 3,
#036-087-01,
Singapore 819643

Operating Hours
Daily: 10.30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(Last order at 9.30 p.m.)
Tel: +65 6546 7793

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 9/10

Recommended dishes: Premium Crab Meat and Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow (S$15.95), Premium Lobster and Scallop Noodles (S$16.95), Penang Fire Wings (S$6.55)

First things first, how are you guys? Belated Nisfu Syaaban to my fellow Muslims! I cannot believe Ramadan is coming so soon. Second of all, have you guys watched Drake’s guest spot on SNL?! SO FUNNY. I love that he can laugh at himself. Check out the Beef music video, wherein he has a ‘beef’ with everyone at SNL.

Back to reality though – last week I was invited to try Penang Culture’s new menu, which will make its début 1 June 2016. Longtime fans of the casual dining restaurant (yours truly included) will be pleased to know that in addition to most of the old menu items, we will be getting new dishes which consist of all-time classics reinterpreted with a twist.

Penang Culture - Tasting Spread

The table they prepared for us to take photos. Super helpful for super terrible photographers like me! 

We opened the feast with the humble Penang Rojak (S$5.95), which features cubed pineapples, cucumbers and turnips, unlike the thinner slices that feature in the local Singaporean rendition. In addition, the Penang-style rojak has you tiao that is a little soggy and not as crispy as our Singaporean version.

Penang Culture - Penang Rojak

Penang Rojak (S$5.95) – 6.5/10

Verdict: The black sauce was really tasty, and we learned that the fermented prawn paste  was specially imported from Penang, so it’s legit. I have to say I prefer the Singaporean rojak because of the crispy texture of the you tiao, which gives you a satisfying crunch when you bite it. I thought the cubing of the fruits and vegetables did not make a big difference for me.  6.5/10

Next up we had another appetizer, the Penang Curry Fish Balls (S$4.95), which feature fish balls steeped in Penang chicken curry.

Penang Culture - Penang Curry Fish Balls

Penang Curry Fish Balls (S$4.95) – 9/10

I suspect this dish was probably targeted towards kids and other younger diners, but to be frank I really liked it myself. The curry was SO rich and flavourful, with some shreds of chicken if you’re lucky. I could also taste the bits of grated coconut in the curry, which added body and texture to the curry. It isn’t altogether that spicy, although after having all of the curry I did feel a very light buzz on my lips. I think the next time I’m craving some good old curry, I would probably head here.

Verdict: I love curry and I love fishballs, but given a choice, I would probably go with the regular Chicken Curry instead for more protein! Goes very well with plain white rice. 9/10

The Penang Fire Wings (S$6.55) were next in line – the base for this is their signature Belacan Wings (which I LOVE and have reviewed here and here) , which are then further coated with sweet plum and Thai chilli sauce.

Penang Culture - Penang Fire Wings

Penang Fire Wings (S$6.55) – 9.5/10

Verdict: These tasted like Korean fried chicken, with a slightly sweet, slightly spicy sauce. Although the name suggests otherwise, I did not think it was all too fiery. For perspective, this was nothing compared to Badoque’s punishing Kepak Bing Bing devil wings. Loved the slightly crispy chicken skin with the sauce. 9.5/10

Our 4th course was the BBQ Salmon (S$11.95), which features two slices of grilled Norwegian salmon fillet, topped off with Chef’s sweet, spicy sambal paste made from chilli, lemongrass, onions, ginger flower, tamarind and sugar.

Penang Culture - BBQ Salmon

BBQ Salmon (S$11.95) – 8/10

Verdict: You guys. I love the sambal so much, I wish I could order a giant vat of it. This is the exact same sambal from the BBQ Lala dish that I always order at Penang Culture. It’s so unbelievably fragrant and tasty and appetizing, I almost cannot even. The salmon was fresh and exceptionally tender, which was a good thing. However, I did not think the sambal goes well with a fatty fish like salmon, and the whole thing was a little too rich for me. I would have much preferred the sambal with a leaner white fish. 8/10

The next dish was my absolute favourite of the night – the Premium Crab Meat & Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow (S$15.95), which comprises fried kway teow with mashed salted egg (both yolk and whites!), stir fried together with prawns, squid, fish cake and cockles, and topped with chunks of mud crab and salted egg crumbs:

Penang Culture - Premium Crab Meat and Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow

Premium Crab Meat and Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow (S$15.95) – 10/10

Penang Culture - Salted Egg Char Kway Teow

All stirred together! YUM

Now some of you guys might have read my previous review of this item, so this is not a new-new item, but a mid-season item that was experimentally introduced just a few months ago. I LOVE this dish always and forever, I have to break it down into the reasons why.

  1. The amount of salted egg in it is perfectly balanced so it does not overwhelm the dish, and you get subtle waves of salted egg with every bite or two.
  2. Did I mention there are curry leaves peppering the kway teow? YUMMM I love curry leaves in salted egg dishes!!
  3. The entire thing is just bursting with ingredients. BURSTING. It felt like a really opulent char kway teow that done got an upgrade.
  4. There is a great char taste to the noodles which prevents you from getting jelak of it after a while – much R&D and numerous taste tests have gone into making an authentic-tasting but still halal char kway teow, and you can taste the results.

Verdict: Always order this unless you hate Char Kway Teow, or salted egg, or seafood. 10/10

Our penultimate course that night was the Salmon Assam Laksa (S$11.95), which features the regular assam laksa with slices of Norwegian salmon and a drizzling of hae kor, or fermented shrimp paste.

Penang Culture - Salmon Assam Laksa

Salmon Assam Laksa (S$11.95) – 8/10

I honestly loved the fat laksa noodles which were specially imported from Penang. I thought the salmon slices were lovely, but the oil from it did pare down the sourness of the broth which I find a key element in assam laksa. However, the strips of cucumber, pineapple and onions throughout the bowl did compensate for the dialed down sourness, by adding a refreshing twist with every bite.

Verdict: Stick to regular Assam Laksa unless you want a milder assam taste and you need to up your omega 3 fatty acids intake. 8/10

In our last main dish, we were treated to Premium Lobster and Scallop Noodles (S$16.95), which is a pimped up adaptation of their regular Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles, with scallops, chicken slices, fish cake, kang kong, beansprouts, a hard-boiled egg and a whole slipper lobster (oy vey, what a mouthful literally and textually).

Penang Culture - Lobster and scallop noodles

Premium Lobster and Scallop Noodles (S$16.95) – 9/10

Can I just say, there is just so much ingredients in this bowl of goodness? A common theme running through all the dishes here at Penang Culture is that they are not stingy with their premium ingredients, despite the very reasonable price tags of each dish.

I absolutely loved the broth. The stock was created by slow-boiling a bounty of prawns, crabs and chicken bones for several hours, and this is well-reflected in the flavourful broth. What a delight! The slipper lobster was a little mushy, I wish it could have been a little springier. Otherwise, everything worked beautifully together and fans of Penang hokkien prawn noodles would do well to give this a try.

Verdict: Definitely a must-try, especially at that reasonable price tag. 9/10

All in all I had a great time stuffing my face at Penang Culture. Always have, always will! It’s a great family-friendly place that serves really good quality Penang hawker food in air-conditioned comfort, at prices that won’t break the bank. The menu is really extensive so personally I find that it’s better to try new items a couple of times before determining which ones will be your go-to staples 🙂

I’ll end off with a short note on drinks – please try the Ampla Ice Blended Drink with sour plum! It makes for a refreshing palate-cleanser with all the rich Penang food you’ll be eating! Also the Chempedak Milk Shake is just heavenly, so give it a go!

 

Penang Culture 
Changi Airport Terminal 2 Departure
Viewing Mall Level 3,
#036-087-01,
Singapore 819643

Operating Hours
Daily: 10.30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(Last order at 9.30 p.m.)
Tel: +65 6546 7793

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 9/10

Recommended dishes: Premium Crab Meat and Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow (S$15.95), Premium Lobster and Scallop Noodles (S$16.95), Penang Fire Wings (S$6.55)