The Ramen Stall

It has been months since Shereen and I did a proper review and when we heard that The Ramen Stall has a halal outlet, we immediately made arrangements with our friend, Yasmeen, to visit the place for some halal Japanese food. Having heard friends’ positive reviews of the non-halal Ramen Stall at Short Street, we were especially excited to find out if the branch on North Bridge Road would offer equally delicious Japanese food.

The Ramen Stall at North Bridge Road is not too hard to find as it faces the road, and is 5 minutes away from And All Things Delicious. There is limited roadside parking, so we would advise drivers to park at nearby complexes and walk over to the restaurant. The interior of the restaurant is small, the tables are arranged rather near to each other to utilise space and can seat about 30 people, with 2 large round tables for larger groups. There are also a few “bar” seats that faces what looks like a Teppanyaki station. There are definitely more tables outside for when the crowd gets bigger. The staff guided us to a table and brought us our menu. We were also given an order chit – much in the style of Hong Kong dim sum cafes – to place our orders. Once we filled in our orders, we handed the chit to the server and she or he confirmed our orders before sending the chit to the kitchen.

Between the 3 of us, we ordered a Volcano Ramen, Chicken Cha-Shu Ramen, and a Vegetable Ramen in miso soup base. The server was kind enough to ensure that my Vegetable Ramen was cooked separately when he found out that I do not take meat. As for side dishes and sushi, we ordered a Chawanmushi, Assorted Vegetable Tempura, Agedashi Tofu, a Prawn Tempura Roll, a California Roll, and a Salmon Sashimi.

Shereen’s Volcano Ramen (SGD 11.00) is a ramen served with kelp, corn, minced chicken meat, and a beautiful ramen egg. A dollop of chili mixture is added to the chicken-based broth to give the ramen its spiciness. Before mixing the chili in, Shereen tasted the soup and found it to be rather bland as compared to other ramen she has tried in other restaurants. Shereen opted for level 1 spiciness, and even though she did not add in all of the chili mixture, she found the soup to be rather spicy. However, she felt that the chili did not compliment the taste of the soup very well. As for the ramen, it is cooked nicely and springy. The minced chicken meat is flavourful and appears to have been stir-fried before being added into the ramen. Although these individual ingredients are done well, they fail to compensate for the soup which Shereen felt is lacking in taste.

As for Yasmeen’s Chicken Cha-Shu Ramen (SGD 11.00), it has the same chicken-based broth as Shereen’s Volcano Ramen, and Yasmeen too, found it to be rather bland, and more of a consistency that is similar to miso soup rather than a thick flavourful broth. Although the sweetness of the corn add to the overall taste of the ramen, the dish is still a little bland for her, and she had to add in soy sauce to taste. Yasmeen however, was satisfied with the taste of the chicken cha-shu. According to her, the chicken is flavourful, moist and very tender.

My Vegetable Ramen (SGD 11.00) took a while to be ready as it had to be cooked separately. I was very impressed with the staff when they reassured me that they took precautions to cook my food separately. My Vegetable Ramen comes with a miso soup that is not overly salty but it is not flavourful enough. Like Shereen and Yasmeen, I had to add soy sauce and chili powder to my soup to add some taste to it. Having tasted quite a few ramen from other Japanese restaurants, I was disappointed with my Vegetable Ramen. There are only kelp, cabbage, bean sprouts, and some slivers of carrots to go with my noodles. Although the ingredients are what are stated in the menu, I felt that the Vegetable Ramen is not filling enough for vegetarians. It would be better if they had added mushrooms and corn too to give it more flavour, and to make it more substantial.

The 3 of us finished our ramen quickly and tried the other dishes we ordered. The Salmon Sashimi (SGD 9.90) is served on shaved ice and plated on a little boat, definitely a plus point for its presentation. Each serving has about 6 slices of salmon. The thick slices of fish are fresh and slightly sweet, although Yasmeen would prefer them to be even fresher.

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Shereen and Yasmeen shared a Chawanmushi (SGD 3.90). According to them, the chawanmushi is smooth and silky but unfortunately, is not flavourful enough as compared to other chawanmushi they have tasted. Both felt that the chawanmushi could have more dashi stock.

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I ordered a side of Agedashi Tofu (SGD 5.90) as I have always enjoyed the taste of silky tofu coated with a thin crispy batter. The serving of Agedashi Tofu here is larger than those served at Hei Sushi, and the tofus are fried rather well. The tofu is fresh and soft, and the batter is light and crispy. The staff was very mindful of my dietary restrictions again and he made sure the sauce (which I believe has dashi stock) is placed separately in a saucer rather than drizzled on top of the tofu cubes.

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In addition, I also ordered an Assorted Vegetable Tempura (SGD 10.90). And you probably guessed it; the dipping sauce is also served separately so that I can enjoy my vegetable tempura. We felt that this is the highlight of our entire meal as the vegetables and mushrooms are coated in a crispy and light batter, and they do not retain oil, which means that the chef controlled the fire well during the frying process. According to Shereen, the dipping sauce is very light and it goes well with the deep fried tempuras. We were impressed with this dish and we finished every piece of it.

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Lastly, we tasted the sushi. The California Roll (SGD 9.90) tastes exactly as California rolls do, with the saltiness of the roe, the fragrance of the sushi rice, and the different textures of cucumber, tamago, and crabstick as its filling. However, Shereen could not say the same for the Prawn Tempura Roll (SGD 9.90). She was really looking forward to tasting the Prawn Tempura sushi and she was disappointed when she found that there was ketchup and mayonnaise drizzled on the roll. According to Yasmeen and Shereen, the taste of the ketchup did not go well with the sushi and overwhelmed the taste of the prawn tempuras. Luckily, the prawn tempura is fried well, just as the vegetable tempura is, so Shereen ate all the prawns minus the rice with ketchup dressing.

We washed our meal down with iced Green Tea (SGD 2.00) and we were pleased to learn that for $2.00, you could have free-flow of green tea or lemon tea. The cold drinks are definitely a plus for a hot day, and for when you decide to choose a super spicy level for your Volcano Ramen.

All in all, I was very impressed with how the staff is considerate and remembers my dietary restrictions, and took care to ensure that my order is prepared and served separately. However, we left feeling rather disappointed with the ramen as we were hoping to taste ramen cooked in flavourful broth that had an umami taste to the soup. The Ramen Stall did specify in their menu that they only use natural flavouring and that they do not add MSG to their broth, so perhaps that is why their broth is much lighter than those we had before. If you are a fan of lighter soups, you will enjoy The Ramen Stall’s ramen, and if you do head down, be sure to order their Vegetable Tempura!

Where: 787 North Bridge Road Singapore 198755

Contact No: +65 6655 0800

Opening Hours: Mon- Fri: 5pm – 6am

   Sat, Sun & P.H.: 12pm – 6am

How to Get There: Nearest MRT Station: Bugis MRT Station. Buses to the vicinity: 32, 51, 61, 63, 80, 145, 175, 197.

Halal Status: Halal Certified.

Vegetarian Options: Limited. Do let the staff know your dietary requirements and they will try their best to arrange something for you.

Our Verdict: 2 out of 5 stars

 

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Categories: Asian, Halal, restaurant, Uncategorized, Vegetarian options

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