Konjiki Hototogisu 金色不如帰 stirred up quite a storm in Singapore’s food scene with its recent opening at Chijmes. Founded in Tokyo by Chef Atsushi Yamamoto in 2006, this humble eight-seater ramen shop in Shibuya was thrust into the limelight, having held the prestigious Tokyo Michelin Bib Gourmand title for four consecutive years from 2015 to 2018. Within its native country, not only has Konjiki Hototogisu been crowned as the “No.1 Ramen in Japan” in 2017, it was also being mentioned in 2018 by Japan’s popular magazine, Ramen Walker.
What makes Konjiki Hototogisu stands out from the usual ramen kiosks in Singapore lies in the soup. MSG-free, the signature Triple Soup is made from selected ingredients, namely Hamaguri Clams, Pork Bone and Japanese broth, and then deeply flavoured with an umaminess that only Chef Yamamoto himself can create.
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I patronised Konjiki Hototogisu around one plus on a Tuesday afternoon. There was a small queue but it moved rather quickly. The restaurant was tight yet a comfortable gap hovers between tables and a long counter top faces the chefs at work.
The menu offers a selection of ramen and as it is still in the soft launch of the first week, two of the items will only be available at a later date.
The Shoyu Hamaguri Soup Raman $14.90 was recommended as their signature.
For those with a heavier palate, you may want to try the tonkotsu-based ramen – Tonkotsu Original Ramen $13.90 and Tonkotsu Spicy Ramen $14.90 topped with homemade spicy meat and original chilli oil.
Coming on the 29th June, the Shio Hamaguri Soup Ramen $14.90 would be a hit among truffle lovers with the addition of Porcini Duxelles Sauce and White Truffle Oil into the Triple Soup.
Look forward to something interesting on 6th July where the Tonkotsu Smoke and Pepper Ramen $13.90 will be enticing our taste buds with wood chip Smoked Mince Meat and stimulating Peppers.
For a start, I dived into the Shoyu Hamaguri Soup Ramen $14.90 plus a $2 add-on for Soft Boil Egg.
The complimentary appetizer was a very tasty clam rice.
When the Shoyu Hamaguri Soup Ramen arrived, I couldn’t help but notice rings of oil across the surface of the soup. While it could be a tad oily, the clear soup was surprisingly complex. It was a well-balanced flavour of pork, clams and earthiness from their homemade Tartufata (black truffle paste), Porcini Oil and Porcini Flakes. The truffle porcini permeated the entire bowl of soup beautifully such that each strand of noodle and mouthful of soup I had was filled with the distinct characteristics of the ingredients’ that went into the soup.
For someone like me who have always enjoyed my rich Tonkotsu-based ramen over shoyu or shio ones, this totally charmed my socks off with its seemingly simple yet delicate flavours. Definitely notches ahead than another brand that starts with a ‘T’.
As for the noodles, they are of a healthier choice. Made in-house using whole grain (as can seen from the black specks on the noodles) and premium flour, it created the smooth chewy texture, which reminded me of the konnyaku jelly, albeit firmer.
The Low Temperature (Sous Vide) Char Shu and Thick Belly Char Shu were also served together in the ramen. Sliced thinly, they were tender and gladly, without the porky after-taste.
Shio Hamaguri Soup Ramen $14.90 plus $2 soft boil egg comes with white truffle oil. Truffle taste was subtle without overpowering the taste of the soup – relatively lighter and briner from the clams as compared to the Shoyu Hamaguri Soup Ramen.
Menu as follows:
Worth a return trip? I am eyeing both the truffle and smokey ramen.
30 Victoria Street #01-17/K5A/K5B Chijmes, Singapore 187996
22th to 27th June: 12pm – 2:30pm , 6pm – 9pm (last order)
28th June onwards: 11:30am -2:30pm, 5:30am – 9pm (last order)
More ramen for you?
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