Thursday, December 22, 2011

Garlic Lovers Dream at Nantsuttei (Ramen joint)

We continue our recent Ramen obsession by joining the queue in front of Nantsuttei on a Sunday afternoon. The restaurant is small - probably only seats three dozen ramen slurpers - which results in a 15 minute wait (which actually isn't so bad considering it's a weekend).

Nantsuttei's USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is the ma-yu (fragrant garlic oil) that is liberally added to each bowl of ramen. This ma-yu is made by frying garlic seven times, which does raise a niggling thought about carcinogens and all that but hey, it's not like we're eating this every day, right?

There isn't that much choice on the menu - quite a few of the menu items are just the same basic ramen bowl with different choices of ingredients. Anyways were were quite amused by the ramen eating guide - sorry for the slightly blur picture but it's basically look and smell --> taste noodles --> soak the chashu --> savour the soup --> finish everything!

We place our orders and while waiting, are a little annoyed at the choice of chopsticks used here. Disposable bamboo ones are fine, but when you're charging $20+ per person, couldn't you have chosen any other brand of chopsticks that isn't soft, irregularly curvy, and with so many small bits of bamboo hanging/coming off?

Instead of our usual gyoza we try the Yude Won Ton (SGD6.00). This is described on the menu as coming with a "special sauce" but as far as we could tell it was just a very salty soy sauce. I made the mistake of liberally drenching the wonton in the sauce and ended up with my tongue getting overwhelmed by the saltiness.

For the Ramen, the darling has the Negi Ramen (SGD15.00). That black sauce you see floating on top is the ma-yu/garlic oil. If that's not enough garlic for you, or if you're fearing an imminent vampire attack, you can request for as many (free) cloves of garlic as you wish - these come with a garlic press so you can squeeze and add as much crushed garlic as you desire.

The ramen comes with a creamy tonkotsu-type broth, which is pretty nice but a little lacking in flavor compared to the flavor champion Ippudo, or even Santouka.

My choice was the Kara Miso Ramen Mouretsu Tanmen Hana-ji Boo (SGD16.00). A combination of pork & miso broths with fried ground pork and hot pepper (you get to choose how hot you want it), this bowl was a lot more tasty! A little too tasty though, because once the noodles are finished, the broth combined with the chili makes it difficult to drink on its' own.

Overall, we found Nantsuttei to be above average, and at about SGD20 per person, pretty par for the course for 'specialized' ramen joints in Singapore (i.e. lots of soup and noodles but hardly any meat).

Nantsuttei is in Millenia Walk. If you're not familiar with the mall, you won't find it listed on the mall directory - head to the third floor of Parco (the department store) and you'll see it at the right hand side of the "food court" there. Non halal.

Our Ramen Rankings:
Superb!: Ippudo & Santouka
Delicious!: Nantsuttei & Tampopo
Solid: Shin-Sapporo, Keisuke, Gantetsu, Gensuke, Riki & Ikkousha
Below Average: Marutama & Menya Musashi


  1. i'm totally nuts about garlic, and i happily eat it hand-chopped & raw, so this ramen would be right up my alley! OK, here's hoping that this will be another singaporean business that launches a franchise in KL! :D

  2. The table beside us had a lady who squeezed something like a dozen cloves of garlic into her bowl @_@

  3. aw, i wan a bowl of hot ramen now, on this kind of weather!