18th July 2014
Mr. Keisuke Takeda is bringing some festive atmosphere to Singapore’s Parkway Parade with the opening of Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Matsuri. Inspired by some of the festivals (matsuri) in Japan, Chef Keisuke Takeda introduces four unique kinds of ramen with different flavours and textures to reflect the distinct character of these matsuri in Japan.
To begin with, we had the signature Wasabi Ginger Ale and Green Tea Cola as drinks. My personal favourite is the Wasabi Ginger Ale which reminded me of a slightly spicier version of the normal Ginger Ale.
Our first bowl of ramen was the Tonkotsu Ramen “Sanja” (13.90 - 18.90 SGD) which was inspired by the Sanja Matsuri (三社祭) of Tokyo. The festival is loosely translated as the “Three Shrines Festival” and honours the three men who founded Senso-ji in Tokyo’s Asakusa district, namely Hinokuma Hamanari, Hinokuma Takenari and Hajino Nakatomo. The festival’s wild character was captured in Tonkotsu Ramen “Sanja” robust and spicy flavours which came from a concoction of spices used in the ramen including 3 kinds of pepper.
Heading north into the edge of Tohoku region, we have the Tonkotsu Ramen “Nebuta” (13.90 - 18.90 SGD)which refers to the famed Nebuta Matsuri (ねぶた祭り) of Aomori. Taking the signature regional specialities of Aomori, Chef Keisuke Takeda creates a savour mixed pork broth with dried fish stock which imparts of a salted-fish like flavour to the broth. The ramen broth was the mildest among the four bowls of ramen.
Advancing northwards into the expansive snowy landscapes of Hokkaido, Chef Keisuke Takeda brings an element of fun into his new ramen which was inspired by the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri (さっぽろ雪まつり) of Sapporo, otherwise known as the Snow Festival. For the Tonkotsu Ramen "Yuki Matsuri" (13.90 - 18.90 SGD), he adds fine powdered parmesan cheese to the broth which gives it a thicker and creamy texture and also cheese flavours to the broth that reminds me of Korean cheese rangmyun. Sounds slightly crazy but the result was a delicious mix of cheese, rich pork broth and creamy melted parmesan cheese.
Taking refuge from the winter cold of Hokkaido, we head south to Shikoku. Here, we had the Tonkotsu Ramen “Awaodori” (13.90 - 18.90 SGD) was inspired by the Awa Odori (阿波踊り) in Tokushima Prefecture which is part of the Obon festivities. Perhaps it was the communal aspect of the Awa dance or the multitude of musical instruments used in the festive music or the colourful character of the festival. This ramen combines a nabe (hotpot) and a ramen together as one substantial dish that is good for sharing. The Tonkotsu Ramen “Awaodori” is a rather sweet tonkotsu ramen with many kinds of toppings and it was one of my favourites beside the spicy Tonkotsu Ramen “Sanja”
Ramen aside, there are also a couple of sides to share such as the Matsuri Meshi (7.00 SGD), a colourful rice dish with tobbikko, chashu and fried egg. My favourite is the Chicken Nanban (9.00 SGD), a kind of chicken karaage with sweet sauce served with tartar sauce.
Essential in the creation of the festive mood is the aesthetics employed in Keisuke Ramen Tonkotsu King Matsuri. The centrepiece of the restaurant is a replica of a float from the Nebuta Matsuri of Aomori. These floats would be paraded on the 7th of August in the downtown of Aomori during the Nebuta Matsuri. The interior design was done in-house under the direction Chef Keisuke and one interesting note of the restaurant’s interiors are the murals which are painted by friends of Keisuke Takeda and Nobuyasu Sato, the director of Keisuke Ramen Tokyo.
Thank you Tecks from AsianTex for the invite and hospitality!
80 Marine Parade Road
#B1-18A Parkway Parade