I’ve always enjoyed the ramen at Baikohken ever since Booze Queen first introduced it to me slightly over a year ago. As I usually eat there during lunch, I never had the chance to eat there with Iceman. After seeing it being featured on TV a couple of days ago, Iceman and I decided to drop by for dinner and boy did he love the food.
The menu’s limited – only 3 types of ramen being 1) Butter & Corn, 2) Char Siew and 3) Vegetables. You can also choose from 3 soup base, i.e. shoyu, shio and miso. The bowls of ramen come in two sizes, “half size” or “full size”. Additional toppings like a full egg (aka agitama), beansprouts, butter & corn, char siew, etc, can also be added to your ramen. I know you can order the gyoza as a side dish though I can’t recall if there’s anything else.
There’s a container of tea at every table so you can help yourself to that. Alternatively, you can order either Tiger beer, Sapporo beer, Coke or Coke Light.
This was what we ate tonight:
We started with a free plate of gyoza. For every $10 you spend, you can get a stamp on their loyalty card. Collect (I think) 10 stamps and you can change it for a plate of gyoza or a small bottle of beer. I would definitely recommend the gyoza. These delicious little dumplings are filled with pork and chopped vegetables. Although they are deep fried, they’re tasty and juicy – yup. Be warned. If you bite the gyoza into half like me, you risk having the soupy gravy inside flow down your chin. The taste is simply fantastic. *Slurp*
I went for the Butter & Corn shoyu ramen today and added an egg. (I usually take the Butter & Corn shio ramen but thought of trying something different today). Don’t ask me why but the B&C shoyu ramen as well as the B&C shio ramen come with 2 slices of char siew. The B&C miso ramen doesn’t.
I used to be quite adverse to eating Japanese char siew because the only ones I tried before Baikohken were the ones from Ajisen, and those are fatty and tasteless. The char siew from Baikohken, however, totally changed my mind about Japanese char siew. The meat is lean with very minimal fat (that melts in your mouth) and the best thing is, the meat is so well marinated that it remains very tasty despite being soaked in the soup. The meat is also not overcooked so the flesh tears apart easily when you bite.
The corn is also not overly sweet and adds a good contrast with the slightly salty shoyu soup (I find the shio soup base less salty). My favourite ingredient in the ramen? The egg! My… no words can describe how good the egg is. The yolk is semi-cooked so it’s soft, but not runny. The egg white is well flavoured and braised. When you first bite into it, the savoury and smooth egg white tastes so good in the mouth and when you swallow the yolk? Delicious. Simply delicious.
Iceman ordered the Char Siew miso ramen with an egg added. He was very pleasantly surprised at the generous serving of char siew – 5 big slices of tasty char siew. The miso soup base was also very tasty (I have to admit it’s definitely better than the shio and the shoyu). BTW, we both ordered the half serving so you can imagine how big the full size is! Like me, Iceman was thoroughly impressed with the char siew and the egg. He was gladly slurping up his soup and ramen, Japanese style.
The pricing for the ramen is also very very reasonable. My B&C shoyu ramen cost $11 and I paid an additional $1 for the egg. Iceman’s Char Siew miso ramen cost $13.50 and likewise, an additional $1 for the egg.
The restaurant takes up 2 levels of the shophouse unit. If you go during lunch, do try to make it before 12:30pm. In spite of Singapore’s hot & humid weather, people who work in Raffles Place actually seem quite happy to queue outside the shop for the yummy ramen! When I arrived at 8:10pm just now, the place was almost full – I took the last table. When we left at about 9:45pm, the 2nd floor had emptied but the first level was still 3/4 full.
Here’re the details of the place:
Address: 7 North Canal Road
Opening Hrs: 11am – 3pm, 5 – 11pm (last order at 9:30pm).
The restaurant takes reservations for private functions at level 2. Please call them at 6534 3080 for enquiries.
While searching for the telephone number, I found an official website of Baikohken – http://www.baikohken.com/ but this is the site of the chain in Japan I believe (site’s in Japanese and I don’t read Japanese!) If I didn’t hear wrongly (sorry, wasn’t paying full attention to the TV programme on Wed), I think the Japanese owner of the Singapore Baikohken was sent here from the head office in Japan, but the restaurant didn’t do well and was about to close down when he bought it over. That probably explains why the staff’s uniform + utensils + food look exactly the same as those on the website. Oops.. and I forgot to mention earlier, the 2 chefs in Baikohken Singapore were brought in from Japan.
Anyway, before I end, I also want to compliment the staff on their top notch service. I always get very irritated when I go to Sakae Sushi ‘cos the staff keep yelling out these greetings in Japanese and they seem to yell for the sake of yelling. At Baikohken, though I don’t get a word of what they’re greeting, at least I feel that they’re sincerely saying hello and goodbye.
Special kudos (I forgot to ask for his name) to the waiter who was serving the upper floor just now, this young chap with chin length high and blonde highlights. He was polite and unobtrusive. Iceman and I originally arranged to meet at 8:15pm but he was held up in office. Unfortunately, I arrived at 8:10pm and ended up waiting till 9:05pm before Iceman reached. Although the waiter glanced over at my table a few times, not once did he chase me to order. He was also polite and smiled understandingly when he saw that I was waiting for someone. I genuinely appreciated it. His politeness also did not slip up throughout the time we were there. In fact, it is precisely ‘cos I was impressed with his service that I decided to do a proper write-up of Baikohken now.
Well done Baikohken! I’ll be back soon!