Thursday, May 21, 2009

Only if desperate: Manpuku Japanese Gourmet Town

Since this was at the newly opened Tampines 1 mall so near where we live, and Sunday Times did have a brief quote from the owner that "the taste is authentic to that in Japan", we veered over here for a quick late-night dinner. BAD MOVE.

Alarm bells should have started ringing when we saw the "Marche" style concept where you just order and swipe a food card, paying only when you leave. ALL the stalls were manned by PRC workers (sorry, not that I have anything against them) which just means that the quality of the food is going to be inferior and non-authentic, because these are just employees who will have no ownership, love or passion for the product. We had the Aoba Hokkaido Ramen which left both of us sourly disappointed.

First, the egg. The photo above is poor quality and grainy, having been taken in low lighting conditions with a phone camera, but even then, it is super obvious that the egg yolk is OVERCOOKED and turning black / blue around the edges. Ramen is supposed to come with Ni Tamago, which has a soft and creamy egg yolk. I definitely do not want a hard-boiled egg with my ramen!

Second, the soup. No body, no robustness, just saltiness. Ramen soup MUST be boiled for days with pork bones. I don't think that happened here at all.

Third, the noodles. Okay, in all fairness, I thought they were not bad. Fairly springy and chewy. The critical E gave them the thumbs down though, complaining that they did not have the smoothness and slitheriness factor.

This place is expensive too. At $9.00 for the most basic ramen, self service, and this kind of quality? Hey, for a couple of bucks more, I get to eat at Miharu, for which the quality is so much better that it's incomparable, my egg is properly cooked, and I get full service with top ups of ice water and clear soup. Okay, back to Miharu or Menya Shinchan we go.

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