While the majority of ramen aficionados are still flocking to Ippudo, and its latest sibling Ippudo Tao for the Hakata-style recipe, the more discerning among us have already sniffed out another gem of a joint. Buried in a nook down a Robertson Quay alleyway, Menya Shinchan (Japanese for ‘house of noodles’) is not new, having opened in 2006, but its low profile is more indicative of its PR shortcomings than any lack of quality.
Unlike most ramen houses, which offer a variant from a specific region of Japan – such as Ippudo’s Hakata-style ramen or Santouka’s Hokkaido varietal – Shinchan simply focuses on what its Japanese owner, Tajima Eiji, fancies. The sheer variety and quality on offer is impressive, including the signature combination of slim noodle strands floating in a savoury seafood broth and flavoured with niboshi (dried sardines).
Shinchan was the first in Singapore to offer slurp-worthy hot or cold tsukemen dipping ramen, where thick home-made noodles are blanched until al dente and served alongside a bowl of tonkotsu – a cloudy, salty and intensely flavoured broth brewed from pork bones, chicken bones and seafood, and topped with niboshi powder.
Shinchan was also the first to dish out Shinjiro, a jumbo bowl of homemade noodles, cabbages and bean sprouts, with tiles of marbled pork belly lounging in a cloudy tonkotsu broth. If you have a less than ferocious appetite, opt for the more petite ‘Shinjiro madame’ portion instead. That should make more room for the impressive list of snacks and cooked food, such as menma (fermented bamboo) and hoicorror (wok-fried pork belly with capsicum and leek).
the ramen was good at this place once a upon a time, unfortunately, new staff in the kitchen and front has cause this place to go downhill...the lousy service outweighs the food, so i won't be going back...