66 Circular Road near Raffles Place MRT
Ramen in Tokyo or Japan is usually associated with the rush-hour, when working Japanese would just grab a bowl, slurp it up and rush off with their briefcase for the next meeting. With that as the general perception, many authentic ramen restaurants in Sg would also emulate such decor by turning it more into an izakaya. But hailing from Japan, the first Takumen stop in Sg actually felt more like a cafe to me which I adore a lot on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Clean, minimal yet sleek and together with a soothing Jazz background music instead of the usual Japanese pop, it felt very relaxing to dine in here.
The menu of Ramen over here is really extensive as you could get a huge variety of them ranging from the more porky tonkotsu to the uber intense, spicy one that seemed to be a hybrid of Sichuan mala and ramen. Being a tonkotsu devotee, S got the Honda Ramen which was a flavourful bowl of springy noodles topped with generous cuts of well-marbled char siew that will dissolve in your mouth. $15.90.
And I got the Sakuta-ya Ramen that is a notch creamier than the already super delicious tonkotsu that you could get from authentic restaurants like Hakata Ikkousha. Indubitably, I was won over by this bowl more than S’s as the broth was so addictively fragrant that I almost got another bowl of noodles to soak them all up! $16.90. And you could top the already pulsating bowl with a tantalising spoonful of runny onsen egg for $2 which would only add more umami to the thick noodles as the decadent yolk erupts in your mouth.
With this, Takumen has crept easily into my list of top Ramen places in Singapore apart from Ikkousha and Suzuki Ramen Bar that is literally a few restaurants away. And the presence of numerous Japanese customers at this quiet stretch of Raffles on a Sunday must be a testament to its quality and authenticity (We ere the only locals there I believe)!
Verdict: An excellent restaurant