So so ramen

I am now at a ramen dining place at Serangoon Gardens. I chose to sit outside so the photos would come out nicer under natural light.

I ordered their edamame which they had pan-fried with garlic and added salt. Usually, such beans are steamed as is for a lot less, price-wise. Frying them had made them a little more soggy than the usual steaming and because the beans are on the inside of their pods, the flavours from the salt and garlic ended up more on the fingers — one had to pop open the pods with fingers in order to get to the beans — than on the beans. But the price for these flavoured beans were almost double what you would get at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, and fresher there too.

I also ordered the vegetable ramen, mini-sized, cooked in salt as well. It tasted better than it looked. Perhaps I am used to tonkotsu (pork-based) soup, miso and shoyu (soy based) soups which looked like they had more stock in them. A mini portion was going for $10 before the extra charges and there wasn’t much in it; I ordered mini, not kid size. They could have value added to the dish as Japanese restaurants in Japan are known to do. Even ramen restaurants in Singapore value-add to their dishes as it is such a competitive market. They do so by giving customers free flow of bean sprouts or fried garlic flakes or other things; whether or not the customers actually load up their bowls with them is secondary, the restaurant is at least perceived to be generous.

The tempura egg looked a lot nicer in the menu than when it was served. It tasted fine, but again the presentation could have been better.

This place may seem to serve affordable Japanese ramen and other side dishes but there are nicer ramen places around. However, this place seems to attract customers mainly by location and if one is looking for Japanese food without going too far away, then this might be a good place to come to. It does have the usual favourites like karaage (fried chicken) and gyoza (minced meat dumplings) on the menu. There are three outlets in Singapore, out of which two are located in Orchard and the city area where traffic may be higher. Perhaps the food there may be of better quality. The service was fine — no complaints there.

Daikokuya, Serangoon Gardens, 1 Maju Avenue #01-01, myVillage, Singapore 556679. Tel: 6509 1690.

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