My massage ended at one this afternoon, and I was aching terribly, especially at the right calf. I must have been too anxious to lose a few kilos of weight because I walked and jogged on the treadmill for one hour that early morning. And my regular masseuse did not appear to go easy on me although the massage session was great. Luckily, the next appointment would be two weeks away, and that would give me time to recuperate from the soreness.
As I was limping towards Tanjong Pagar train station, along the walkway of Orchid Hotel at 1 Tras Street, I noticed that no one was queuing at Tonkotsu King. There was a queue of eager customers at times. The wet season must be the reason for the absence. I hesitated; live to eat or eat to live until I saw Maneki Neko (the Fortune Cat) beckoned for me. How could I refuse such a welcoming gesture?
Tonkotsu means pork bone. Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish served in different types of broth. Tonkotsu King serves a rich pork bone broth. So, the gravy-like pork bone soup with its fat and collagen should be one of the highlights of Tonkotsu King, which I could not resist a taste of temptation.
As soon as I sat at the waiting area, a lady staff informed me that I would be served shortly. She was quick to hand me a slip of paper: it was a simple menu just to order my ramen. The selection of ramen is straight forward. Besides the standard ramen, you may want it to come with seaweed, or flavoured egg, or you may want the ultimate bowl of everything. You have a choice of whether you want your noodles to be cooked soft, normal: it is highlighted to be the authentic Japanese taste, or hard. The taste of soup varies between light and strong. And if you like it spicy hot, you can try your noodles with the black spicy sauce or the red spicy sauce. For me, I chose the strong flavoured black spicy Tonkotsu soup with normal ramen, and flavoured egg.
It was a brief wait before I was ushered into the eatery. It is quite a small eatery: it seats only 18 but it is a cosy eatery. Old Japanese posters are pasted on the walls while old Japanese songs provide the background music. I feel as though I am in a small town in Japan enjoying a taste of local Japanese food. They served my noodles before I had any chance to warm up my seat. Then, it became clear why they took orders at the waiting area. As the seating capacity is small, time is not wasted to take the orders in the dining area. Instead, customers are quickly served inside the restaurant so that customers in the queue will get to be served soon. And I saw a Japanese couple who came in later but they left early than me while I was busy snapping photos of the place.
The broth was great and the small chumps of fat melted in my mouth instantly. The black spicy sauce – pepper base – do not look appealing at first but it just provides a hint of spicy flavour on top of the strong pork tasty stock. The red spicy sauce – chilli base – just numbs your mouth for a while. One particular dish caught my attention, which is the pickled bean sprout. A Japanese customer put chunks of the pickled bean sprout and ate it with the noodles. I tried it and I almost finished the whole glass container of pickled bean sprout. The humble and slightly spiced pickled bean sprout adds a giant crunch to the whole dish! The pork is soft and tender. The black fungus appears to be an odd ingredient to the dish but it offers a crunchy bite to an otherwise plain hard noodles.
It was a nice experience at Tonkotsu King. In my opinion, this is one of the best ramen in Singapore. Now, I am back to weight control.Tonkotsu King Authentic Japanese Ramen Tanjong Pagar 1 Tras Link #01-19 Orchid Hotel Tel: 66360855 Parco Marina Bay #p3-02 Parco 9 Raffles Boulevard Millenia Walk Tel: 63377919