Established since 1966 from a ramen shop in Osaka, Tonkotsu Kazan opens its second outlet in Singapore just two months ago. While the shop has a weird space, the decor is reminiscent of any ramen shop in Japan.
Its signature has to be the kazan (volcano) ramen. The ingredients come in a hot stone bowl; tonkotsu (pork) broth, cooked for more than 10 hours, is poured into the bowl in front of the customers; and then left to simmered like a volcano. BOOMZ. There are 4 flavors, each selling for $15 (small) or $18 (big). A big portion can be shared between 2 persons.
The Kazan Kaisen-Shio, a salted tonkotsu broth, comes with seafood, such as prawn, mussel, scallop and squid. If you leave the broth to simmer for a while, the broth would have the sweetness of seafood. The Kazan Karamiso (pictured above) is enhanced with spicy miso paste and three slices of tender chashu. Flavored egg with runny yolk at additional $1.
Both ramen had its merits and were equally good. The hot stone bowl kept the ramen hot throughout the meal, but might dry up the broth. (Luckily, the broth can be topped up.) The ramen used here was flat like fettuccine or mee pok and remained firm. While I prefer a thinner noodle, like mee kia, I understand that a thin noodle might become soggy under a volcano. If you prefer a thin noodle too, order the usual ramen that comes in a bowl.
While the hot stone kept the ramen hot, it wasn’t so good for the hot stone curry rice with fried prawn ($12). The heat dried up the curry, and the taste was so-so.
Among the side dishes, the karaage (5 pc fried chicken, $5) is a must-order. It came hot and fat, but not greasy. Crispy on the outside, tender inside, and when it was dipped in the Japanese mayo, it was umami. The gyoza (6 pc, $8) was not bad too. Give the chicken wing (3 pc, $6) a miss.
Before our dessert Matcha Shiratama with ice cream ($8) arrived, we heard other tables go WOAAHHH. It was huge as a mountain! Mount Fuji, not Bukit Timah. While the green tea ice kacang did not have a green tea taste, Chiobu loved it so much she kept digging for more. The mochi was soft and chewy, the red bean had a nice bite, and the milk ice cream pulled the dessert together. Altogether a very good dessert, but might be too sweet. Best to share among 4 people. Very worth the money.
Overall, the food was not bad and fun, but the selling point of Tonkotsu Kazan may be the good value.
177 River Valley Road, Liang Court #01-10 Singapore 179030
T: 6336 8698
Rating: 3.333/5 stars
ps: Thanks, Ariel, Midi and Yoshida-san, for the hospitality.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.