Best Ramen in Singapore Contender #4: Marutama Ramen: Still trying to figure this one out

Marutama Ramen $12

A lot of people are going to be upset with this particular post. Those who don’t think much of Marutama will wonder why I even feature them. Those who love Marutama will be very upset with my ratings. This is one Ramen-ya which really polarizes our readers to those who love it and those who hate it, very much like what Durians do.

I have been to Marutama on an earlier occasion and decided that I would not blog them because I came away wondering why so many people would line up for what seems to me to be a glorified bowl of chicken flavoured Maggi Mee? But perhaps that just shows that people just have different preferences when it comes to Ramen. For me, when I eat Ramen, it needs to be something that I can’t get from the hawker centre or make at home. Why else would I want to pay $12 for something I can buy for $3? That is why I tend to go for the Tonkotsu broth, because having pork bones on a rolling boil for 15 hours is not something you would do at home and no hawkers are doing it. On another occasion, we tried the new Keisuke Tokyo at Parco Marina Bay which serves a prawn based soup. I went away wondering why I should pay so much for a bowl of prawn noodle soup when you can get a much better tasting prawn mee for as low as $3 at Hoe Nam or if you want to spend a bit more, a bowl of Wah Kee prawn noodle is anytime a better way to spend your money and calories.

Hong Kong Style Egg Noodles

At my home, we have a constant supply of chicken broth because it is now our weekly habit to buy two whole chickens (antibiotic free), portion out the thighs, the breast and the wing and use the rest to make stock which we would use for cooking soup and frying veggies. Its actually quite easy to do. Just put the whatever chicken parts you have into a pot, add onions, ginger and some root vegetable like radish or carrots to add sweetness and boil for an hour.

When I eat Marutama Ramen, I can imagine heating up some of this stock and throw in a handful of fresh egg noodles which you can buy from the local supermarket. I think that is my problem. Why pay $12 when it isn’t much better than what I can easily have at home? And the point is, I don’t even make this at home that often because I don’t think much of it!

I think a lot of people like Marutama because it is a chicken stock and so it is perceived to be more healthy. Actually, there is not much difference between chicken fat and pork fat. Both are saturated fats. Perhaps it is more popular amongst the ladies who prefer a lighter tasting broth. Whatever the case may be I shall let the supporters of Marutama comment on why they like this bowl of Ramen so much.
Aka-Ramen $15
If there is a bowl of Ramen that I would bother ordering, it would be the Aka-Ramen. This one is a bit more special because it is a style of soup not found anywhere else. The Aka-Ramen is made up of the same chicken stock with 7 kinds of nuts which have been ground up and added to the soup. This gives the soup a bit of a nutty grit and body and the addition of chilli also gives it a bit of kick. Now at least this is something that doesn’t taste too ordinary. I would say one thing about Marutama though. My wife once brought back their Charshu rice and it was really very good! So I would order that if I happen to be at Marutama again with friends who like the place.
Marutama Ramen: Noodles: 4/5, Soup: 3/5, Charshu 4/5
Aka Ramen: Noodles: 4/5, Soup: 4/5, Charshu 4/5
If you are a fan of Marutama Ramen, pray tell, why do you like it so much? The five of us kakis who ate it that day felt it was nothing special.

In case you want to learn how to really eat a bowl of ramen, you should watch this clip from the 1985 Japanese Comedy, Tampopo, where a very young Ken Watanabe learns the skill from a Ramen master! Have a good laugh and the start of a very good weekend!

Marutama Ramen

6 Eu Tong Sen Street #03-90/91 The Central@Clarke Quay

Opening hours:

6534 8090

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