Best of both prawn and ramen at Le Shrimp Ramen
Seafood ranks high on Singaporeans' love list, with prawns among the star players. And when it comes to cuisines, we are clearly obsessed with Japanese.
The Paradise Group has combined these two favourites and came up with the prawn-broth ramen.
The foundation of the ramen at Le Shrimp Ramen is the broth. The restaurant bakes the prawns, then grinds them down before it is cooked with conpoy and spices, such as star anise and white peppercorn.
The result is an umami-laden broth that has a hint of sweetness and a touch of spice.
This broth is the base of the star dish, the photogenic le signature trio shrimp ramen ($19.90).
The prawns, ebiko prawn paste and prawn dumplings add to the extravaganza, propped up by the smooth Chinese noodles.
This is appealing to the eyes and the nostrils, but the overall feel is not as robust as I had hoped - there is just something slightly lacking.
But for a dish brimming with ingredients and under $20, this is great value.
On the other hand, the less flashy ebiko prawn paste balls with chilli vinaigrette ($12.90) caught my attention.
The prawn paste balls are generous in size and sweetness, but it is that gloriously addictive chilli vinaigrette that won me over.
The peppercorn will hit you hard though, so be prepared. I almost choked at first bite.
You can order the red garoupa with pickled vegetables tonkatsu as a soup ($17.90) or with ramen ($18.90).
I had it as a soup, and I love that blast of saltiness that the pickled vegetable brings, which complements the sweetness of the chunks of fish.
There is a tinge of spice but it is more a suggestion than an actual presence. It whets the appetite and is immensely satisfying. For me, it is the perfect convalescence food.
The braised pork with scallion ($6.90) is also something that you can order on its own or with ramen.
While the meat is tender, the level of saltiness is challenging for me. A little goes a long way, and ramen will take the edge off a little.
Let us be honest, the side dishes are not outstanding.
The crispy chicken cutlet ($6.90) is decent but not particularly exciting, while the twister prawn roll ($5.90) is ho-hum.
When you are at Le Shrimp, calories - and cholesterol - should not be wasted on these side dishes when the mains are tasty enough.
MAKE YOUR OWN PEN CAI
If you need a Chinese New Year dish in a jiffy, New Moon's Premium Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot ($118, available at most supermarkets) is a good solution. Just heat it up and you are ready to serve. It comes with 10 baby abalone and a doubled boiled chicken soup base. You can serve it in the free yuan yang steamboat pot (worth $139) that comes with each purchase.
The exclusive Iconic Wine dinner returns for a second run on Jan 31 at Origin Grill (Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Tel: 6213-4595). It will highlight nine rare wines paired with a degustation set menu. There are only 10 spaces, at $1,380 each.
For tomorrow only, Uma Uma Millenia Walk (Tel: 6837-0827) is offering a one-for-one promotion on eight types of ramen from 11.30am to 10pm. This is only for dine-in and no reservations are allowed. Terms and conditions also apply.
From Jan 18, head to MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Tel: 6885-3500) for its Chinese New Year cocktail named The Golden Fortune ($26), featuring ingredients such as bak kwa-infused gin, vermouth and egg white. Now you know where you can go if the family gathering gets too much to handle.