Review~ Tampopo (Ngee Ann City) - One of SG's best tonkatsu?

Tampopo has been commonly listed as one of the top Ramen places in Singapore. Surprisingly, it is not a place that dedicates itself to purely selling Ramen, like so many of the "top" Ramen places in Singapore do. Its menu offers other things the likes of shabu shabu and sashimi, but we were there at its Takashimaya branch on a Friday afternoon (3 Jan) to try its ramen. There was no queue when we entered at around 1.30pm.

Of all its Ramen offerings on the menu, the most popular and commonly recommended ones are the Tonkatsu Ramen ($16.80) and Black Pig Shabu Ramen ($14.30). We ordered one of each, and specifically, mine was the BP Shabu Ramen. They offer the BP Shabu Ramen in 3 versions - basic, double meat ($15.80) and deluxe (comes with corn and soft boiled egg at $16.30). I am not a fan of the staple and some say must-have soft-boiled egg((specifically egg yolk), so the basic was enough for me. 

The ramen took quite some time (15 minutes) to come, and we thought it was pretty slow given that there was not that much of a crowd. 

Black Pork Shabu Ramen and Tonkatsu Ramen

 The Tonkatsu on the Tonkatsu Ramen looked really crispy on the outside and each bite was punctuated with a nice crunch of the golden batter. It wasn't too fatty too, and the pork meat inside was succulent. It really is a Tonkatsu worth trying. The ramen itself wasn't overwhelming. I felt the tonkotsu (pig bone) soup base could be thicker, which would make it even more flavorful. The noodles were done springy, but again nothing outstanding. Do remember to try the restaurant's homemade Tonkatsu sauce when eating a piece of the Tonkatsu. It does add a different dimension to the taste of the Tonkatsu. The ramen does not come with a soft-boiled egg though, but you can order it separately. For people who cannot take spiciness, you may opt to remove the chilli flakes.

Tonkatsu Ramen

As for my own BP Shabu Ramen, the pork slices were wonderfully thin and tender. The shabu slices are not marinated, so that you can taste the freshness and full flavour of the black pig pork. Hence, this may not be for those who like heavier flavours. The ramen soup tasted like the soup base of the Tonkatsu Ramen, so probably they used the same for both Ramen. Again though, nothing overwhelming, though decent.
BP Shabu Ramen

Prices are a little on the high side, given that you can easily get ramen matching the same standards or even better, priced around $10-$14 which will include ingredients such as seaweed and soft-boiled egg. However, the portion was big enough and we came out stuffed to the brim from all the soup and noodles. If you are in town, it can be worth a try if you are craving for decent ramen, but otherwise, it does not make much of an impression apart from the Tonkatsu.

Tampopo (Ngee Ann City)
#B2-33, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, 391 Orchard Road