Sunday, November 22, 2009

Divine Pork Cheek Ramen at Santouka

While leisurely flipping through the Sunday Times Lifestyle section this morning, I perked up pronto when I saw some dining offers at Central, in particular one offering a 1-for-1 special at Santouka Hokkaido Ramen. Well I had been hearing lots about the superb and slurpelicious ramen served at this place and was keen to find out how it compared to the other ramen notables at Menya Shinchan, Miharu and Torisho Taka. So yeah this was the perfect opportunity to finally try it! Off we speeded to Central for lunch!

Tucked away in a quiet corner on the second floor of Central, Santouka was tiny and cosy and packed with many customers, many of whom looked Japanese. Good sign, a sure endorsement of the authencity and delicious-ness factor of the food. Thankfully, despite the queue, turnover was brisk and we only had to wait about 5 minutes before being whisked in and seated.

When our 1-for-1 meals of Tokusen Toroniku (choice pork) Ramen (SGD19.50) in Miso (E's choice) and Shio (my choice) stock were set in front of us, we took a bite of the pork and exclaimed in delight. You see, it was simmered pork cheek - so soft and with a divine layer of fragrant and oily fat...apparently the restaurant serves only 60 bowls of this delicacy each day, since there are only 200 to 300 grams to be had from each pig! Poor piggies but lucky us. The broth was good stuff too, full-bodied and robust and milky from long slow simmering of pork bones, and just the right side of oilyness / saltiness (yes still very oily and salty but less salty than Miharu's and less oily than Menya Shinchan's). While the noodles were eggy and chewy, they were still less bouncy than those of Miharu's, which have proven to be my favourite after all these taste tests.

It was a terribly good meal and we ended up so full that our original plan of going to Azabu Sabo for another 1-for-1 offer on Hokkaido ice-cream dessert had to be shelved. In fact, even as I write this, we are still so full that dinner tonight has to be delayed - highly unusual for a Sunday night!

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