Wakon Ramen – Quality Bowls of Ramen Under 10 bucks
Brought to you by the same man behind Char Grill Bar, Wakon Ramen is set to offer quality ramen in a comfortable coffee shop setting. With over 11 years of experience in Western cuisine under his belt, Chef Franky Lee is the proud owner behind the ever-popular western chain Char Grill Bar which now sees nearly 30 outlets island-wide. Inspired by his love for Japanese food, Franky launched Wakon Ramen just slightly over a month ago, after learning the ropes from a trained Japanese chef. He hopes that Wakon Ramen can offer superior quality ramen at a fraction of the price that ramen chains in the city offer, so you’ll never have to splurge on ramen ever again.
I got their popular Hakata Ramen ($6.50) and added char siew ($1). The Hakata Ramen is characterized by its cloudy white broth which is made from boiling pork bones. Franky told me that it takes a minimum of 8 hours to simmer a combination of pork bones, 5-spice pork and pork skin in order to get such a thick broth. Unlike usual broths, this one feels significantly creamier, which I liked. I would have preferred it to be a tad saltier. Nonetheless, it’s a flavorful and creamy broth that won’t disappoint.
What sets Wakon Ramen apart is their broth. Boasting a creamy mouthfeel, the delicate broth sees little shreds of pork swimming within (kind of like bar chor mee in a loose sense). Franky revealed to me that he simmers the broth with a bag full of blended meat for a good couple of hours. There was a slip up on one occasion where the broth was accidentally mixed with the blended meat. However, they found that it made the broth even tastier and decided to integrate this step into the recipe!
My bowl came with 3 large pieces of char siew. The pork slices had a nice bite to them, and a good balance of meat and fat. I like to fold it up before putting the whole piece in my mouth. They don’t melt in your mouth but, for $7.50, I’m not complaining.
The ajisuke tamago is something that I’m particular about in my ramen. It bugs me when the egg yolk is overcooked so that’s the first thing I’ll devour when I’m eating ramen (that and the seaweed). The Hakata Ramen comes with half an egg (you can add $1.50 for a whole egg). Mine was a little runny but not a deal breaker. The onsen egg exuded distinct herbal undertones which is something different. Knowing that the egg was well-exexuted, I’ll happily top up for more eggs next time I visit.
For miso fans, Wakon Ramen also offers a tasty Tonkotsu Miso ramen ($7.50) to satisfy your hankering. The ingredients are similar to the Hakata ramen which includes char siew, half an egg and noodles. The broth, on the other hand, offered more robust flavours. While the broth is distinctively sweeter than its Hakata counterpart, I would’ve preferred if the broth had stronger miso notes. Nonetheless, you won’t be disappointed by it.
I also had the Volcano Seafood Ramen which is also one of the stall’s signature. You get to choose your spice level: less, regular or extra spicy depending on your abilities. I’m realistic and got the less spicy version. For $9.90, this is the priciest bowl of ramen in the their arsenal which sees 2 scallops, 2 baby squid, half an egg and a prawn. I topped up for an extra egg. Personally, I felt that the spice was manageable nothing overpowering. The flavourful broth exudes a slightly spicy finish that grows on you. The seafood was fresh and well worth the extra dollars. Out of the everything I tried, this is the bowl I’d go back for the next time.
If I had to pick, I’d like to be able to choose the firmness of the noodles. For $6.50, this bowl of delicious ramen really gives ramen chains a good run for their money. Personally, the volcano seafood ramen was my favourite. If you’re not into seafood, you could also opt for their regular volcano ramen which features conventional char siew slices in exchange for the seafood. If you’re starving, feel free to add more ingredients like squid ($2.50), prawns ($1.50), scallops ($1.50), chashu ($1), ajisuke tamago ($1.50) and even more noodles ($1).
Pasir Ris isn’t the most accessible place, but I reckon its worth a visit if you’ve got the time.
Address: 443 Pasir Ris Drive 6, Coffee Express 2000, Singapore 510443
Opening Hours: 1030am to 1030pm daily.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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