Friday, March 24

Hajime Tonkatsu and Ramen, myVillage @ Serangoon

"It's by the ex-Tampopo chef ..." That was really all it took to pique my interest. Once upon a time, my family were fans of Tampopo at Liang Court. Not quite sure why we don't visit anymore. I think it is a combination of distance (too far from where we live), a relatively boring mall, and the price point. The food at good but I guess not good enough to make regular patronage.

Cue Hajime Tonkatsu and Ramen. Located at a suburban neighbourhood, it is a likeable space with a more modest menu, compared to Tampopo. The menu is neat and concise - covering tonkotsu, ramen, dons and side dishes - the chef is clearly focusing on what they are good at.

One of the starters that we ordered was the croquette. A potato and pork mash encased with a light panko-breadcrumbed batter. It immediately reminded of of a childhood snack my parents used to get. We were off to a good start.

Blessed with a smoky aroma, one wonders why people don't invest more time in roasting edamame. That wouldn’t be the first time you have tried edamame but it will be the first time you think to yourself, Mmm, I could actually get on board with edamame.

We ordered the Chashu Ramen for the boys. It was pleasing and serviceable. Perhaps because I am not a ramen person, this was pleasant. Just pleasant.

KW had their special Ebi Ramen and topped it with a tasty egg. I was quite blown away by how it tasted almost like our local Prawn Noodle Soup.

Coming here and not ordering tonkotsu is like committing a hate crime. Do you not love babies, cuddly koalas and crispy thingies? 

I order the Premium Pork Loin, which was gloriously fatty and tender. This was a thing of beauty. Every bite consisted of a flitter-like crunch that broke away to reveal juicy fatty insides. Truly quite spot on in terms of consistency and taste, the price point ($19.90) was easy to swallow too. I didn't try the other tonkotsu options but I would highly suggest go pig big or go home.

What I really liked was how they handled their rice, which was imported from Niigata region in Japan. Full-bodied and puffy. Permission to forgo your Paleo diet.

 Similar to Tampopo, the accompanying soup is a Tonjiru Soup, that is made from tonkotsu broth simmered with a hint of yuzu. Given I am not a miso person, this was a much-welcomed change.

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