Irene, Elaine, Dee and I had such a gorgeous afternoon together trying out Tori King Ramen from the famed Ramen Keisuke chain in Japan. I finally found a good ramen joint that can alleviate my cravings!
I even got to personally meet Mr. Keisuke Takeda, the popular TV personality chef from Japan who owns Tori King and a whole string of successful ramen restaurants in Japan. This man is truly exceptional. He is incredibly nice and humble and given his gentle demeanor (unlike the other celebrity chefs I’ve heard and watched on tv aka Hell’s Kitchen), you wouldn’t even know that this man won the title of Raman Champion at Tokyo Ramen Championships 2011 in Japan. The Ramen Championship series is an annual gathering of over 30,000 ramen chefs in Japan to compete for the highly coveted Ramen King title. Imagine being the best out of over 30,000 competitors! I can’t wait to try his Tori King Ramen!
Nestled in the newly revamped Amara Hotel whose shopping center is getting a 32 million dollar facelift, Tori King is one of the first gems in the area to take note of. We were there on the 2nd day of it’s opening and it was already super packed with customers even though the rest of the shopping center is not fully completed!
A cosy little restaurant that has all the touches of the Japanese culture of the Showa period. Once I stepped in, I feel almost transported to Japan! The whole atmosphere is exactly like how I remembered in when I had Ramen in the restaurants in Tokyo and when I went to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Osaka.
Their simple menu belies the greatness within. There are 3 main ramens to choose from. Tori King Ramen, Black Spicy Tori King Ramen and Green Spicy Tori King Ramen. Although there are only 3 main choices, you can customize your ramen to the minute details of the types of toppings, texture of noodles, amount of oil and richness of the broth! This also means each bowl of ramen has to be cooked individually so that it is prepared to perfection based on your preferences.
After a few minutes of chatting with the girls while celebrity chef, Mr. Keisuke Takeda and his staff are busy behind the open kitchen, our ramen arrived! The first thing that struck me was the absolutely generous portions and the huge seaweed!
The 4 bowls of ramen we had filled up the entire table!
Here’s Elaine and I with our bowls for comparison sake.
Irene and Dee opted for the original Tori King Ramen. “Tori” in Japanese means “chicken” and what makes Tori King Ramen exceptional lies in the broth; made from ingredients such as chicken bones, chicken feet, Japanese seaweed and an assortment of vegetables boiled for eight hours to extract their individually essential flavours. These specially selected elements come together to create a tantalizing and creamy chicken broth, which is layered and deeply comforting.
Elaine ordered the Green Spicy Tori King Ramen which has the most unique flavor of the 3. I’m definitely going to be ordering this the next time I go back! The green spicy taste originates from wasabi. It has just the right amount of wasabi aroma and taste without being too overpowering.
My choice is the Black Spicy Tori King Ramen which was also pretty awesome with a tinge of black pepper spiciness.
I was already impressed but Mr. Keisuke Takeda takes it a step further by allowing the customers to customize their ramen further before tucking in! Tori King also offers unlimited complimentary hard-boiled eggs in a basket, slightly spicy beansprouts, bonito flakes and aromatic grind-them-yourself sesame seeds on the side for all of his customers.
After all that customizing, I was ready to taste the famous Mr. Keisuke Takeda’s creation.
The handmade ramen noodles had incredible texture! Firm, supple with the right amount of bounce. It’s the simple details that make this bowl of noodles incredibly delicious. I selected “normal” for the richness of broth and it was amazing! Rich, complex and very flavorful. The noodles, broth and topping make for a very hearty and intense experience.
I haven’t even gotten to the part of the toppings yet! The cha shu was soooooo succulent and fresh. Of course my must have in almost every ramen I order is the Hanjyukku Tamago – the heavenly eggs found at good ramen shops with hard boiled egg whites and soft boiled yolks. Finally, the heart of the dish is the huge chicken thigh! It’s marinated and grilled to perfection before added to the ramen! Super tender and tasty!!! Just WOW! If you are a spice lover, you are advise to have your chicken with the spicy sauce they have to help kick in another punch!
The food was superb but the prices at this place won’t kill your pocket! The ramens we had with all the toppings were only $15.90 or $16.90 each and the servings were so generous! I’m definitely bringing my family and friends back here before it gets too popular and too crowded because a gem like this is hard to hide!
Outfit of the day
Didn’t take an individual shot that day so here’s my full outfit in a photo with celebrity chef Mr. Keisuke Takeda. 🙂
Dress: Vintage from Dustbunny
Bag (not in pic): Prada