Marutama Ramen still remains my favourite ramen joint in Singapore…. maybe it is because it is one of the first joints I visited. The chicken broth (toripaitan broth) is tasty but not overwhelming, not to mention the melt in your mouth chargrilled char siu and perfectly cooked thin and springy (Hakata-styled) noodles.
The branch in Liang Court is basic and functional. It is dimly lit and cosy. There are 4 sets of cubby seats and maybe 10 other settings plus 6 bar seats. The cubby seats are great for locking in the little ones so that they don’t run around the restaurant. Over the bar, there are normally at least two ramen masters working their magic. I do appreciate that they are in their ninja-like outfits, taking their role with some sense of pride.
As they do not take reservations, there is normally a queue during peak hours, but I never found it to be to prohibitive. This place is a popular choice among young adults and young families. The menu is straight forward and there are only a handful of dishes to choose from. They are all really tasty and you will be glad after a few visits that there aren’t anymore items on the menu to distract you.
There are two main choices of noodles – normal and spicy. Marutama uses chicken broth, which allegedly takes at least 5 hours of preparation. The broth is milky white from serious amount of bones, protein and minerals extracted from the chickens in the 5 hours process. Most ramen joints use oink oink broth, which I normally find over powering, especially towards the end of the meal. The chicken broth is light and gentle on the flavour. The first taste of it may not be as punchy as other ramen, but it draws you in, deeper with every mouthful. You will have form a new love by the end of it. The broth is not the only thing that make it amazing.
The char siu is to die for! When my friend first told me it melts in the mouth, I have no idea what she meant. Oh boy, it does melt in your mouth! The big slice of pork belly will rest on your tongue and infuse it with the chargrilled sweet and meaty flavour. The final ingredient to a perfect bowl of ramen is the hard boiled egg. The egg is done to perfection at Marutama, with just slightly runny yolk and soft whites. There is an option to replenish your noodles for S$2, which is a bargain for the big eaters. The spicy soup has a bit of a kick to it for the chilli lovers.
I normally can’t resist ordering the gyoza, which is a work of art. The skin is beautifully thin and soft. The filling is tasty and has a good texture to it. It is pan fried and steamed perfectly to give it a crunchy and soft texture when you sink your teeth into it. There is just that nice amount of broth left in it to round it all up.
This place is suitable for dining with baby and children. Baby seats are readily available.