As soon as I heard that Chase Kojima was going to open a pop-up ramen stall at The Star it was an instant ‘must-do’.
I’ve seen a few stalls go in and out of the little pop-up space but nothing really caught my eye enough to deter me from Din Tai Fung or Ribs & Burgers… until this.
Unfortunately, we came at a popular time as the Gyokairui Tonkotsu was already sold out as was bubble tea and the wait was minimum half an hour. We came just for this store so wait or not, we were getting our ramen.
Naturally, we filled the time with finding other smaller things to eat including sashimi from The Fish Shop and a single serving of xiao long bao from Din Tai Fung.
Finally, after what felt like hours our buzzer rang and we hurried to the stall to pick up our prizes.
|Kyoto Shoyu Ramen|
On the first bite of the shoyu ramen, the first thing I noticed was that the noodles were a little over cooked for my liking. Rather than having that satisfying bite that slowly softens in the broth, the noodles were already a little soggy and were easily cut with a brush of the chopsticks.
The broth itself was light but tasty. The egg and pork made the flavour of the dish much richer.
|Spicy Miso Tantamen|
I had higher expectations for the tantamen. I hoped for more toppings but to my disappointment there was a definite lack of richness to this dish. I’ve read that others found this dish to be really tasty and have just a little kick, but I didn’t find that in this bowl.
I also found the half tomato really odd and out of place in flavour and texture in the dish.
I definitely preferred the Shoyu between the two.
|Mai San’s Karaage Chicken|
The chicken however, was a godsend, Perfectly crispy and covered in tasty batter, this could certainly challenge any KFC popcorn chicken and put it out of business. The meat was surprisingly juicy and tender considering the crispy exterior and the dish came with a spicy mayo to top it off. The disappointing thing was the chicken was hardly warm, after such a long wait it was certainly off-putting.
The yuzu salad seemed like an afterthought just to add more colour. However, on taking a bite I was surprised how tangy and light and delicious it was. I later found out it was dressed in yuzu, it definitely brought boring lettuce up a level.
I absolutely love my ramen and was so excited to try Chef Kojima’s version.
I was a little bit disappointed overall for the tantamen but was still satisfied with my fill from the Shoyu ramen. I certainly think it’s worth a visit but maybe not the half an hour wait, especially when Din Tai Fung just down the food court is sending out their dishes at a speedy rate.
It was good but certainly not the best I’ve had.