Yes, yes, we hear you, friends — we’re all a little tired of these infusions of local flavors into unlikely cuisines. There are only so many nasi lemak-inspired dishes that one can take, after all. But for those who love the occasional food gimmick, here’s a couple more: laksa ramen and green curry ramen bowls.
Exclusive to Ramen Champion Clarke Quay Central, the new offerings were launched last month and will go on for an indefinite time period. We were initially a bit hesitant to get too into it, but hey, turns out the laksa version is no slouch. The creamy stock is made with pronounced flavors of chili, garlic, galangal, turmeric, and dried shrimps, which actually go quite well into Japanese tonkotsu broth. With that Laksa Tonkotsu as a ramen soup base, the bowl ($13.80) is topped with black fungus, spring onion, ajitama, and torched pork belly. Nice.
Technically not a local fare, of course, but still pervasive within our local food scene, Ramen Champion’s take on green curry ($14.80) is a non-spicy emulation of authentic Thai palates. Pork bone broth is steeped together with coriander, kaffir lime leaf, basil, green chilis, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and shallots — resulting in something that’s basically Thai green curry with ramen, topped with slices of chicken.
Both the entrées are serviceable enough as fun, distinctive takes on hearty Japanese ramen, but nothing to write home about. But wait! What redeems the two new soup bases is the fact that both are available as hot pots for the restaurant’s All-You-Can-Eat Shabu Champion Buffet, allowing diners to straight up feast on vegetables, seafood, and assorted shabu meat for less than $25.
Knowing Singaporeans and their kiasu ways, however, the buffet is limited to a 90-minute period — which is more than enough time to realize that the flavors of both their laksa and green curry soup bases kinda blend together after a while. Still, it’s a pretty solid (and affordable) way to have hotpot with alternative soup bases, to switch it up from those mala or herbal soups every once in awhile.
Ramen Champion Clarke Quay Central is at The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #03-89.
6221-2156. Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, 5-10pm; Sat, Sun, PH eve, PH 11am-10pm.
MRT: Clarke Quay