Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bario Ramen: Ramen Champion @ Iluma

My friend simply told me to meet her at Iluma Ramen. I asked her, is there a name for it? Turned out she was clueless as well. But it's as obvious as it can get- on the fourth floor of Iluma, there's this incredible ramen-only restaurant park- Ramen Champion.

There are 6 ramen stores in Ramen Champion. They are all exceptional in their own right, and have won many awards in different prefectures in Japan. The whole point of it is for the top six ramen chefs to compete for a permantn restaurnt space in the next year.

You are given a card at the entrance (marche-style) and you only pay at the exit when you leave.

The thing is, I'm far from a Japanese food eater. I normally stick to the safe choices- sushi, tempura, ramen. But the ramen I try is not the kind of authetic ramen they have in Japan.

Bario Ramen

Bario apparently has Jiro-style ramen which is a bowl of porky shoyu soup, with very thick noodles, topped with bean sprouts and char siew. And oh, you have one inch of suspended fats covering the whole bowl. (Thanks to supermerlion for this great information- I only know how to eat.)

There have been lots of great reviews for the bario ramen. But here are some reasons why I don't really concur.

1) The portion is extremely big. Believe me, I have a very healthy appetite. But it seems like after clearing the layer of bean sprouts, and slurping what seems like never-ending noodles, it's like in those disney shows where things just magically top up by itself.

2) For health conscious people, the layer of fat intentionally added won't do you good. So, do not slurp that oil down like it's healthy broth.

3) The pork was too salty for my liking. The texture was good, but uh-uh, far too salty!

But I have to say, the noodles itself is pretty delicious. For those on a carbo diet, you might want to avoid this like the plague. According to the link above, it's like consuming a whole baguette. Just so you know.

Maybe because I do not know how good ramen tastes like. But if you are a layperson like me, the $13.90 for a bowl of ramen probably is not that worth it, even if there's much hype about it. Plus, it gets really crowded after 7 pm even on weekdays. So get there early, if you don't want to wait in the long queue!

Iluma @ Bugis
201 Victoria Street
Singapore 188607


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