the search for my favourite bowl of ramen in singapore continues, this time with a trip to bariuma ramen. we decided to give this place a try after many people dubbed it underrated and after checking it out, i must say i have to agree!
a corner unit in the basement of the unremarkable tanglin shopping centre (accessed from the main road; there is no need to enter the mall at all) is where you’ll find this great ramen joint that hails from hiroshima. what i like about its location is that it is tucked away at the quieter side of bustling orchard road, making it central yet well away from the crowds.
we were there on a monday night and though there was no queue (which seems to be a prerequisite for ramen joints in singapore), there was quite a healthy crowd and even as we left at close to 9pm, there were still customers streaming in and several who placed takeaway orders.
its a really casual and fuss-free place that i felt gave off a very homely/family-run vibe, probably due to a combination of the relatively hidden location, simple decor, open kitchen and friendly staff. in fact, i could imagine this being a traditional ramen house in japan where customers came for piping hot bowl of ramen to hide from the cold outside!
we had read about and seen the sign outside the shop about the ajitama-uma ramen being their specialty, so that’s what the both of us opted for.
ajitama-uma ramen – $15.50
the ajitama-uma ramen comes with a thick-cut slice of flamed chashu, a whole onsen egg, bamboo shoots, and a sprinkling of fresh spring onions. the soup base is a combination of shoyu and tonkotsu – this is quite interesting and unique to bariuma, given that most ramen shops in singapore serve bowls of ramen that are either shoyu or tonkotsu based, never really a combination of both; i think this is the first place i’ve seen and tried this! it was super rich and tasty, and was not only served piping hot but also managed to stay that way for quite a long while after, something that doesn’t happen with bowls of ramen as often as it should (i find that many of them tend to cool down really quickly ie if you snap a few pics of it before tucking in, it is no longer as hot as when first served!). i slurped up every last drop of the collagen-filled soup that was simmered for hours.
we soon realised our initial apprehension that the chashu wouldn’t be enough (since each bowl only comes with 1 slice) was unfounded when we saw how thick the chashu slice in our soup was. check it out:
look at it glistening irresistibly in all its glory – it was an extremely substantial slice and was surprisingly enough to go with the whole bowl of noodles! despite its thickness, it was not tough or dry; on the contrary, it was moist and tender, and the fact that it was flamed made it extremely flavourful and yummy. (i am clearly quite a fan of their chashu) if you really enjoy the chashu, you can even order a plate of aburi chashu as a side (see menu above); i can only imagine how delicious that melt-in-your-mouth goodness will be!
as for the egg, 1 of us got a perfectly done onsen egg with a wonderfully viscous yolk, while the other (me, sadly) got one that was completely overcooked.
the far (far far) from perfect (i was the sad and very disappointed recipient of this completely overcooked onsen egg):
the only saving grace was that when i told the waitress that my egg was completely overcooked, she immediately brought another over with no questions whatsoever. the 3rd egg was an in-between – the yolk could definitely have been more liquid, but thankfully it was not overcooked:
so do note that the eggs are quite hit and miss! i also felt that the egg white could have been a little more strongly-flavoured.
oh yes, there is an ongoing promotion where if you sign up for their mobile membership, you get a free serving of 3 gyozas:
indeed, free food is hard to resist and so we ended up with these goodies to share between us:
we thought they were pretty good, but nothing exceptional. i liked how the filling was fresh and didn’t taste like the frozen sort, and how it was pan-fried till they had crispy bases like guo tie. they make a decent snack to stave off hunger pangs while waiting for the ramen to arrive. (although come to think of it, our gyozas arrived after our ramen hahaha!)
other than the problems with the eggs, i would say bariuma serves an extremely satisfying, and sadly underrated, bowl of ramen. i will undoubtedly be back for more and would even go so far as to say that in my humble opinion, bariuma serves up a better (and much more value-for-money) bowl of ramen than ippudo does! also, the fact that you don’t need to queue for the former is icing on the cake.
19 Tanglin Road
#B1-01, Tanglin Shopping Centre
ps. they’ve opened a 2nd branch at united square