He has many branches in Japan and now with the 4th branch in Singapore, all of his branches sells different things. The broth is made differently, the noodles are different too. Many restaurants add new stuff to their menu, to me, Keisuke adds shops to introduce new things!
This fourth branch in Singapore opens on 10 May 2013 and I can just imagine the snaking queue that will form like his other branches. This branch is called Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu Four Seasons. Four seasons to represent what Japanese are very proud of, their 4 seasons that have different festivities.
The wife and I with a few fellow foodie bloggers were there before their official opening today to try their ramen. Thanks to their PR folks for the invitation. Here’s what you can expect:
This is probably their nicest branch other than the Parco branch. The kitchen here seems to be bigger than my favourite branch at Orchid Hotel.
As you enter into the restaurant, you can experience the four seasons via the drawings on the walls! Can you see which is Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter? They have cleverly carve the restaurant into 4 different sections.
They have artist draw on the wall directly and we were told the guys just took paint and drew on it straight away without outlining things first!
Reminds me of my childhood home when Dad asked one of his artist friend to paint our outside wall! We had the ‘garden of eden’ with different animals just without Adam and Eve on our wall!
The brilliant guy behind it all. Keisuke Takeda. This is my first time meeting him in person after tasting food from his various branches. Trained in French cooking techniques, marrying it to make the best Japanese food.
We asked him what was special about this branch. This branch is for those who likes very thick broth. They use 1.5 times more bones when boiling the broth here. They also boil it longer too, 11 hours if my memory serves me correctly.
When we asked what bones are used for the broth, he told us he uses from four parts of the pig. He only told us 3 parts and said the 4th is a trade secret. I shall not tell you the 3 that we now know. hehe…
If you are like me wondering how the consistency will be maintained when Keisuke returns to Japan. We found the answer ourselves without him telling us. We peeped into their kitchen at the right time and saw his staff using a refractometer to measure the consistency of the broth! Even if eyes and tongues are different, the instruments gives accurate measurement.
Just like in other branches, you order your food on a piece of paper. The Japanese version of it on the other side. Looks familiar ya?
The wife and I with Camemberu and TheHungryCow tried all 5 of it amongst the 4 of us.
Something new on the menu is this Japanese Green Tea Cola! ($3.80) Keisuke like this and he has bottled it under his own brand and is selling it in this branch. It tastes a bit like 7-Up or Sprite mixed with Green Tea. I like it!
On their Facebook page, there’s a promo now that says between 10 May – 31 May, if you order a bowl of ramen, you get a bottle of Japanese Green Tea Cola for free!
You can ask for an apron if you want. Big plastic ones. We declined when offered.
What is a beautiful rubber band? It’s colourful bands for typing your long hair! Keisuke has long hair so he know guys or girls with long hair need them when they have ramen! So thoughtful ya?
Just like their other branches, they have free boiled eggs and free beansprouts. I love their marinated beansprouts!
If you want to make your ramen the sesame fragrance, you know what to do.
And the noodles……
The inspiration according to Keisuke is the colours of spring! (Green and Pink). The green is the basil that goes very well with cheese. The pink is in the bright bowl with the pink spring character.
They had originally wanted to have green shiso, but it is hard to find good quality shiso all year round in Singapore in big quantity so they used basil instead.
How does it taste? It’s reminds the 4 of us of having pasta! If you close your eyes and was served this, you might think you are having a bowl of pasta because of the nice parmesan aroma. The taste is nice just that our eyes is telling the brain different things.
Prices for Spring starts from $11.90
Summer is hot and spicy! It’s a blend of miso, Japanese chilli, Szechuan pepper and Cayenne pepper. It’s pork minced that has been mixed with the addictive concoction. If you look and stare into the minced, you will notice small little prawns too.
If you like spicy stuff, you will find it rather addictive. You can mix it in the broth or you can have it on its own with the noodles. It’s spicy enough but not killing to me. Reminds me of the fragrant chilli flakes in small bottles that you add to noodles in many Japanese restaurants, just a tad fragrant because of the szechuan pepper and cayenne.
Just make sure you have your first mouth ‘correctly’ (you know what I mean right, when eating chilli) or you will cough and have to drown yourself with water.
It’s very difficult to explain how it tastes. It’s like bak chor and yet a bit like hae bee hiam. It’s complex, but I think if you try it, you might find it a tad familiar. Tell me what you think!
Prices for Summer starts from $13.90
Autumn’s inspiration is mushrooms! They have 3 different types of mushrooms that’s fried. Mushrooms if you cook shrink, so it’s those small bits around in the photo below. The other inspiration is bonito flakes.
The ball of minced meat you see if a mix of bonito and minced pork. There’s quite a lot of bonito in it, it gets you addicted like you know how we sometimes use our fingers to swipe up all the remaining bits in a junk food packet? That’s how I can describe the dish. Very additively nice.
Mix it into your broth and it transform the already nice broth into something greater. If you ask for ‘special toppings’, you get the extra stir fried pork too! That’s very yummy!
Prices for Autumn starts from $12.90
If you like the version at Orchid Hotel, this is about the same there except it has been made richer and thicker!
If you like the good old Tonkotsu broth without anything additions like basil and cheese etc, you will like this. It’s nice and rich, the reason many people who like me who likes thick rich version queue up at the Orchid Hotel branch.
I like to have this with the marinated bean sprouts. I wonder if I can ask for more spring onions the next time.
Prices for Winter starts from $10.90
If you feel like King! This version was my favourite. It has stir fried pork with ginger on top. There’s also onions fried with pork which I like. It also has black fungus.
It’s like having a bowl of winter above and asking for a bowl of stir fried pork and adding into it! Rather addictive eating the pork slices.
Prices for King starts from $13.90
These are the bowls that the noodles are served on. It’s beautiful isn’t it?
They are Arita Porcelain bowls, specially made for Four Seasons.
They have a contest now at their Facebook Page. Take any creative photo when you are dining there and post to their Facebook page. Prizes includes tickets to Tokyo! You can also win one of the Arita porcelain bowls too.
This is probably their biggest seating capacity branch so far. They have 56 seats here.
There’s always talk about noodles thickness when people talk about ramen.
Out of curiosity, we asked if they are made in house. They said the noodles are made using their own recipe in a factory in Singapore. It’s the same company that made their noodles in Japan. The factory in Japan has opened a similar factory in Singapore to supply noodles to the 4 branches here!
The noodles they use in the 4 branches are different in thickness and shape. Apparently, the noodles served are based on the broth. This branch has very strong and thick broth, so they use thinner noodles here. The science of thickness of noodles so that it just soaks up enough broth to enjoy it the best. Interesting eh?
Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu Four Seasons
158 Rochor Road
Bugis Village (between KFC and Mcdonalds)
Tel: 6333 5740
Mon – Fri: 11.30 am – 2.30 pm / 5 pm – 10.30 pm
Sat, Sun, Public Holidays: 11.30 am – 10.30 pm