Ramen reflections

This is probably one of the first ramen chains in Singapore. Back in those days, the stall was famous for its volcano ramen and one could pick the intensity that one wanted. No prizes for guessing that it’s spiciness intensity that we are talking about. The idea was pretty novel and the owner was willing to try new ideas, to great success. Today, that volcano sauce is like a signature dish of Ajisen. From the first few stores, there are now 21 stores in Singapore, and an evolving menu as well.

I do not like my ramen that spicy but I do like Tom Yum and today I tried the Pork shabu shabu tom yum ramen. It’s basically very thinly sliced pork in tom yum soup, with ramen. I liked their Dory fish tom yum ramen before and I like their pork shabu shabu one as well.

In the early days, the staff would consist of some Japanese and that added to the authencity of the whole experience. Soon, they were replaced with local staff or foreigners like Filipinos or those from mainland Chinese. Today, I heard a Southeast Asian struggling to be understood as she took down orders from two mainland Chinese customers. Both were trying hard to be understood by the other. The waitress was either from Cambodia, Myanmar or Vietnam. This little picture depicts how much Singapore has changed in the last few years. People from other South East Asian countries are coming here, hungry for work, putting in the effort to master a different language and earning a living. Others have found this a pleasant place to live in and even to call home. This is but a micro view of a much larger scenario — the story of how this country’s demography is changing — played out at the local ramen shop.

I set out to be a food blogger. But more and more, I find myself learning from the food makers and reflecting about life as I am blogging about food, hence, today’s title.


Ajisen Ramen, Junction 8, 9 Bishan Place, #B1-22/23/24, Singapore 579837. Tel: 6255 6642.

The tom yum soup base was nice. The thinly sliced pork meant that the soup flavour went into the meat quickly. I love lemon grass and I could taste that in the soup. A simple and delightful dish that was not too spicy for me.


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