Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Menya Shinchan

Quality noodles but definitely too soft for me
Menya Shinchan was the second stop on our mini Robertson Quay pigout. Yes, after pizza, pasta, antipasto, calamari and tiramisu at Da Mario, we gorged on ramen to round up the day! This shop handmakes their own noodles, and their boss is a former MNC head who quit to pursue his love of ramen.

Whoa! Warm oshibori always makes you feel welcome!
Cheerful waitstaff greeted us with warm oshibori (wet towels for cleaning hands) prior to our meal. Always a nice touch! They have a rather extensive (and at times repetitive) menu, but somehow we all wanted to try the same thing. Tonkotsu!

Pork bone broth ramen with scorched sesame and garlic oil
You've probably heard of Menya Shinchan's famous "black ramen". It's the "scorched sesame and garlic oil" layer that makes it look ominous but the broth below is pale. Despite the charred appearance, there is no burnt taste. In fact, there's very little taste of anything. My bowl of "salty" (shio) pork bone broth was anything but. However, the cha siu was delicious. Too bad there were only three tiny slices.

Extra rich pork bone broth ramen
Southernoise picked the "rich" version of the salty pork bone broth - that just means it's got more oil on top! And it's pork oil, i.e. LARD, no less. Look at the shiny gleam. But again, the ramen was not as salty as we'd liked.

Miso pork bone broth ramen with scorched sesame and garlic oil
Keropokman chose the miso version of the pork bone broth, with the "scorched" sesame and garlic oil. It was also a bit light on taste. Prices range between S$11-13 for our bowls, but I can't remember which is what.

Seasoning and condiments tray
So, it's a good thing that every table comes with a generous tray of seasoning and condiments for you to tailor your ramen to your taste. I helped myself to the spicy miso paste, garlic puree, chili flakes and soy sauce.

Menya Shinchan is in this hidden alley near Robertson Walk. You might miss it if you're only looking around the main thoroughfare. I love the spartan yet cosy aesthetic of many Japanese eateries. There's al fresco seating as well, presumably for smokers.

What I appreciated was that even though we came late and overstayed their lunch operating hour, no one came to hurry us about settling the bill and leaving. We forgot the time, and chatted there for quite a while, enjoying the table mini-fans that they so kindly provide.

Will I be back? Possibly. There's still other stuff like the sardine-based seafood broth, cheese gyoza, Sinjiro ramen and Mazesoba that we didn't try. If I do come back, I will be sure to ask for ばりかた (barikata) or extra firm noodles.

You can read Keropokman's review here!

30 Robertson Quay
#01-05 Riverside View
Tel: 6732 0114
Open daily: 11.30am - 3pm; 6.30pm - 10pm (Sundays from 6pm only)


  1. The scorched sesame adds such a rustic feel to it. How was it, fragrant? Pity it was a bit light on the taste.

    P.S. Again, gorgeous pics. :)

  2. You should try the Shinjiro...though the portion is really enormous. The super rich broth of the Shinjiro makes it all worthwhile.

  3. i've tried black soup ramen before in osaka but couldnt find it here, in singapore. OK, die-die must try already! :)

  4. your photography is so beautiful, love it. I have never tried "black ramen" b4, it looks great!

  5. another place for ramen! didn't hear of this place before though, not very into Jap food. haha

  6. Kenny: it looked and sounded more exciting than it tasted. I was hoping for something more intense but oddly there was no fragrance of sesame or garlic.

    P.Chong: thanks for the suggestion, but the menu said Sinjiro was only available on weekdays and we were there Saturday.

    Nic: aah, you've had it in Osaka? Then you must temper your expectations for the one here! Even though it's made by a real Japanese, it may taste different.

    Noobcook: thank you!!! :)

    LIC: hehe, if you're not into Japanese, you may not like this.

  7. Camemberu: the Shinjiro is available daily...I have eaten it on Sunday. They also have a Lady Shinjiro - half portion noodles same veg, same broth, and I think a dessert.


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