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Review: Hokkaido's Ramen Shingen (らーめん 信玄 南6条店)

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Review: Hokkaido's Ramen Shingen (らーめん 信玄 南6条店)

Singaporeans know this very well: Long queues spell good food.

In Hokkaido I did a last minute google search on popular Hokkaido ramen stores and this one popped up.

Since it was near my hotel, we decided to go for it, especially when the weather was so so windy and cold. This ramen shop is located somewhere in the Susukino district (a.k.a entertainment district).


When we reached there, the small shop already had its seats all filled, that's because they really don't have many seats to begin with (about 13 counter seats). Either way, we decided to sit down to wait. Everyone there was local.

Queues started to form behind us as it hit 5.40pm. We were impressed by the snaking queues, at this time, still all locals, we were the only tourists (perhaps because of the timing).

To my joy, we didn't have to wait very long as the Japanese eats their ramen very fast, I realised. After waiting for less than 15 mins, we managed to get our seats.


There's also an English menu to help you choose your food, so no worries on that.

I learnt that if you're not sure how to read the Japanese menu in such shops, just take the first order, you'll never go wrong. Either way, I decided to check with the staff as my dad wanted a spicy version of their ramen.

I have to say that the staff are incredibly accommodating and polite even though they’re really busy serving everyone's orders. Cool, they could also manage simple English conversations.

Each bowl of ramen cost us about 760 yen.



Cutlery, tissue paper and seasonings aplenty on the table. I love grating some fresh sesame into my ramen, don't forget to try that as well as it'll really elevate the taste!



Watch the chefs cook in front of you in the open kitchen as you wait.



I also ordered gyoza (380yen), which satisfied my gyoza cravings. It was nicely panfried, skin was crisp and fillings were delicious.


There are various soup bases for you to select from: soy, salt, miso and spicy miso. You can also choose to add more slices of roast pork for additional costs, which we didn't go for.


The ramen is made of pork bone broth, and it was pretty flavourful and fragrant. Every one is heard slurping their ramen, which I guess is really only culturally acceptable to slurp soup so loudly in Japan to represent your happiness with a noodle soup dish.

5.51pm: My piping hot ramen is served.


The noodles will fill you up like crazy because they are pretty generous. The noodles also has a surprisingly nice chewy texture to it. The soup was rich in flavour, a slight creaminess that I love in a broth and I finished my soup because it was really delicious and comforting on a cold night.

They are supposedly the ramen store that sells traditional Sapporo Miso Ramen, so if you want to try how the traditional taste tastes like, visit Ramen Shingen.


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Ramen Shingen (Minami 6 Jo Store)
Location: 8-8-2, Minami 6 Jonishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Tel: 011-530-5002
Operating Hourse: 11:30am – 1am

SORA: ANA's First Ever Overseas Japanese Gourmet Hall Opens in Changi Airport T2

Monday, 13 November 2017

SORA: ANA's First Ever Overseas Japanese Gourmet Hall Opens in Changi Airport T2
Visited SORA Japanese Gourmet Hall: ANA's first ever overseas Japan Gourmet Hall in Changi Airport's Terminal 2! I'm really honoured to be one of those who got invited to the launch of this new exciting restaurant in T2 and was glad I got to try a variety of foods from the various brands in this food hall.




It's located just one level up the departure hall (take the escalator near row 7).

This space seats 300 people in a seating and is fashioned after an airline lounge. There, you're in for a treat as you get to choose from 6 restaurant brands that also are located at Suntec's Eat at Seven, a Japanese food specialist concept restaurant.


Sora (also meaning 'Sky' in Japanese) will officially open its doors tomorrow (14 November 2017). It's also the largest restaurant across the 4 terminals in Changi Airport.

You can find these renowned Japanese brands in SORA: Tsuruhashi Fugetsu, Japoli Kitchen, Kuro Maguro, Menya Takeichi, Tendon Kohaku, Tokyo Sundubu and SORA Bar. 


If you need a drink or two, SORA Bar can help you with that. They also offer desserts! On the menu are desserts such as Hokkaido milk ice-cream, sake and cocktails.

Have kids? There's also an interactive kid's corner with a playground and a television screen for tired parents to catch a break!


The concept of ordering works in a similar fashion to Marche Restaurant. All you have to do is to get a number tag at the counter when you arrive, choose your seats, then go order with the number tag! When you're done with your meal and ready to checkout, you just have to pay up after they tally the order on your number tags.

Modelled after airline lounges, SORA Gourmet Hall has both booth seating as well as the traditional Japanese tatami seating options, where diners can chose to take off their shoes before dining. The seating options also come with awesome features where you can charge your mobile devices.

We got to try some of their food and left with a happy bellies!

Menya Takeichi, Tokyo's top chicken ramen chain, features collagen-rich chicken peitan broth. Ramen dishes are available from $13.90 onwards.


Menya Takeichi's Special Shoyu Ramen - Rich Soup version ($17.20), one of my favourites for the night! Totally in love with the thick broth!


Tsuruhashi Fugestu, a renowned okonomiyaki chain from Osaka is here too! Dishes from $13 onwards, featuring savoury pancakes made with fresh cabbage, yakisoba (fried noodles) and an assortment of meat and seafood.


Tsuruhashi Fugetsu's Mix Modan ($21) and Mix Yakisoba ($19).




Kuro Maguro, started by well-known Japanese fish wholesalers, serves up meshi (rice dishes) with seafood and torobutsu (tuna) air flown daily from Japan! Prices start from $18.


Kuro Maguro's Toro Butsu Meshi ($29.80) is totally worth it. The tuna bites are just melts in your mouth as you savor it with wasabi and rice. Lovin' it totally!


Japoli Kitchen offers Italian dishes infused with Japanese touches. Prices start from $10.80.


Japoli Kitchen's Bolognese Pasta ($14) and Mentaiko Pizza ($15). I loved the light, cheesy and flavourful Mentaiko pizza, which is made using pizza dough specially imported from Japan. 




Tokyo Sundubu has seen long snaking queues at Eat at Seven. This is Japan's largest restaurant chain serving up hearty korean stews. Prices start from $15.


Tokyo Sundubu's Health and Beauty Sundubu ($19.30)



Tendon Kohaku specialises in Edomae-style tendon, featuring Hokkaido rice with crisp tempura drizzled in special tendon sauce. Prices start from $16.60.


Tendon Kohaku's Kohaku Tendon ($17.70) was flavourful and altogether delicious! One of my favourites of the night too!



Overall, the quality of the food is worth the money you pay here, and it's one place I would definitely come back again.

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SORA Japanese Gourmet Hall
Location: Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, 60 Airport Boulevard #036-058/059, Singapore 819643
Opening Hours: 10.30am to 11pm daily
Tel: +65-63867005

For more information on SORA, go to their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/japangourmethallsora/

Kinotoya Bake: Hokkaido's Awesome Cheese Tarts

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Kinotoya Bake: Hokkaido's Awesome Cheese Tarts
Hokkaido is a place for cheesy people. Yessss. I mean it.

Love cheese? You got it. Kinotoya Bake's the answer.


To be honest, I was kinda worried that I was going to miss trying these cheese tarts because I was rushing to board the reserved train seats at 9.30am. So being the kiasu Singaporean, while I was booking my reserved train seats the morning itself (about 7.30am), I went to the train counter to try and find out where Kinotoya Bake Cheese Tarts store was located within the Sapporo train station so that I could rush there to purchase the cheese tarts once the store opened at 9am.

Thank goodness, it wasn't very difficult to locate the shop and it was a very short walk across a stretch of lockers and I was super happy to see the shop signage. Actually, when I reached, it was already 8.55am and I was so eager to see the shop open but it was still shuttered. I told myself it'll be okay, and that I'll get to eat them. We were the only ones queuing at that time.

8.56am, nothing.

8.59am, nothing. *jitters*

9am sharp, the shutters slowly opened. Japan is extremely on time for everything.


When the shop opened, the whiff of the cheese tarts came towards me and lured me in like a fish taking to a hook.


If you get it in a box of 6, it'll be cheaper at 1080 yen, instead of 183 yen per tart. As we were their first customers, we got the freshly baked cheese tarts, still warm and fragrant. I love my cheese tarts warm.

If you're buying it for takeaway, you'll have to heat it up in the oven to enjoy it warm. If you like it cold, just put it in the fridge, no heating needed. They said freezer, but who does that, really? It's too delicious to be frozen?

And yes, like they suggested, please enjoy them on the day itself. It's the best.


Looking at the rows of yellow cheese tarts, they immediately reminded me of BAKE Cheese Tarts, another awesome brand of cheese tarts I love.




I only bought 2 as we had some breakfast in the morning already. Wrong choice. Should have gone with 6 at least, it was soooo good I knew I regretted getting so little once I tried some of it in my mouth.



That perfectly golden baked crust and a cheesy, melty mousse interior will leave you wanting more. Creamy, piping warm cheese tarts tasted so awesome I almost literally cried.

I have to put in a disclaimer that cheesy people like my mum and I loved it extremely while my sister and dad kinda... was so-so with it because it proved too cheesy for them.

I totally enjoyed every bite of it and what can I do when I miss them but to tear silent tears reminiscing its taste?

For now, Singapore's BAKE Cheese Tarts will have to do, to ease my desire for these mousse-like cheesy goodness.




I saw how some people mentioned online that the shop also serves soft serve ice-cream? Didn't get to try it because it was so early in the morning and I was also more interested in the cheese tarts! But if soft serve is your thing, please remember to try that too and let me know what you think!

Ending on a serious note, Japan has one of the best cheese tarts I've ever tasted, never disappointing me, whichever area I visit. So please, if you ever visit Hokkaido, please try Kinotoya's BAKE Cheese Tarts.

For those who are looking for souvenirs or some Kinotoya cheese snacks to bring back home, their sables could be one consideration too. These sables can't be purchased in their cheese tart stores, but rather, at various souvenir stores. So don't forget to check them out!

Hokkaido kidney beans "Kurosengoku" biscuits

Hokkaido milk cookies


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Kinotoya BAKE Cheese Tarts (Hokkaido only!)
Website: http://www.kinotoya.com
Locations: http://www.kinotoya.com/shop/list.html