Serene @ The Ramen Champion Singapore Event!
If you constantly keep track of the happenings at Ramen Champion, you would have realised that it's already been a year ever since the ULTIMATE RAMEN CHAMPION SINGAPORE 2012 voting has started! Thus, just last Thursday, there was a special event to reveal and crown the 2012 Ultimate Ramen Champion! Sadly, it's not open to public though, so only media, bloggers and selected guests are able to attend.
With much thanks to anibee, Q and I (as well as several other bloggers) were invited down to cover the event and to bring to you updates about what Ramen Champion has for us this year! :3
In case you didn't know, Ramen Champion is a competition that invites various ramen shops from all over Japan to compete for the Ultimate Ramen Champion title annually. This competition started in 2011. They are also currently the largest ramen operation in Singapore! This competition constantly brings about the desire to produce high-quality and good tasting ramen to the delight of ramen lovers anywhere!
The Ultimate Ramen Champion for year 2012 (1st August 2012 to 31st July 2013) is... Ikkousha! *round of applause* With no surprise because their soup caters well to the locals' tastebuds, Ikkousha is also the reigning champion for the last 2 years! This year, they've sold 118,500 bowls of ramen and are the clear winners.
Second came Gantetsu, who sold 64,300 bowls. They were followed closely by Bario who sold 60,600 bowls.
In total, all the 8 competing ramen brands for last year sold a total of 423,000 bowls of ramen! This is a clear sign that ramen is growing increasingly popular in Singapore. :3
This August marks the exciting 3rd edition of the Ultimate Ramen Champion Singapore! OAO For the 2013 edition, we have 3 new competitors from Tokyo: Muso, Menban Yamagishi Kazuo and Buta God! These brands have stormed into Singapore with their own speciality ramen; Muso's Special Cha Cha Ramen, Menban's Special Ramen and Buta God's Nikumashi Ramen - and they all want to claim as Singapore's best!
Besides the 3 new contenders, we have our experienced contenders joining the fray once again this year: Gantetsu, Bario, Taka No Tsume, Keishoken, Riki, and our reigning champion, Ikkousha.
Thus, over the period of a year, from 1st August 2013 to 31st July 2014, the mentioned 9 ramen brands will strive to sell as many bowls of ramen as they can. Taka No Tsume, Keishoken and Riki will have their stalls based out of Ramen Champion's outlet at Changi Airport Terminal 3. The remaining 6 will compete from stalls in the Bugis+ outlet.
Like previous years, the judging criteria include sales takings and votes (be it on Facebook or onsite). :D
After the initial announcement of the winners, and the revelation of the new contenders, it's time for the media sampling of the ramen!! :DDD Q was ravenous by then, so he was definitely looking forward to devouring the ramen! >D
First up was Buta God's Nikumashi ramen! This is a personal favourite of mine, because of how the taste of the soup explodes in your mouth. It has a really strong pork taste in the soup, in the noodles... It's everywhere! What's even better is, the pork has a hint of sweetness in it, making the whole bowl of ramen even more heavenly than it already is. The poached egg adds flavour when mixed with the broth and the noodles are soft and springy.
At the cost of only $15, it's really, really worth it. I'm already visualising that Buta God will definitely be a crowd favourite, and probably will be giving Ikkousha a really hard time for this year's competition. Even amongst the bloggers and media, Buta God was already popular.
Following that, we had Muso's Special Cha Cha Ramen. :3 Served with thick cuts of chashu, beansprouts, spring onions and ajitamas, this bowl of Ramen has a delicious blend of flavour as the taste of all the ingredients blend together. The ramen broth has plenty of pork fat as well! ;D Rich soup with chewy noodles and good tender meat, the Special Cha Cha Ramen is something worth trying - just for the price of $15!
Next was Gantetsu's King Chashu ramen! The special thing about this ramen would be the broth itself. As compared to the rest of the competitors, the chashu taste is especially strong in this one. With one sip of the soup, you can instantly understand why it's called "King Chashu" - the taste of the Chashu is overwhelmingly good!
It's complemented by the tender and well-marinated meat, along with the seaweed on the side that's unique to only Gantetsu in this competition. If you like a "chashu" taste, this bowl of ramen can be yours to devour for just $14.50!
Ikkousha's Special Ramen came after! The reigning champion's trademark ramen doesn't disappoint, with its relatively light broth tasting GREAT when mixed with the takana (preserved vegetables). The takana is slightly spicy and sour, and when added into the broth, it tastes really good. Not to mention the pork and noodles are thin and soft as well, giving the whole bowl of noodles a very refreshing pork taste. $16.50 for this bowl of Special ramen!
The last bowl delivered to our table was Menban Yamagishi Kazuo's Special Ramen. With comparisons made to its competitors, the broth for this bowl is considered to be pretty light! The spring onions help to lighten the broth even more, making this ramen very refreshing and different. The Chashu is tender as well, and doesn't lose its flavour in the soup. Menban Yamagishi Kazuo maintains the traditional taste from "Master of Ramen", Kazuo Yamagishi. This Special Ramen costs $14.50! :>
Well, that was all of the ramen we've sampled that day! :> Q and I were both really full by the time we finished sampling all the different ramen; we could barely walk. OTL
Anyways, for the Ultimate Ramen Champion Singapore 2013, Ramen Champion Singapore is collaborating with ASUS in a photo-taking contest! Stand a chance to win an ASUS Fonepad when you enter the Ramen Fun With ASUS photo-taking contest! This contest will be held over a period of a month, starting from 1st August 2013 to 31st August 2013.
To be eligible for the contest, all you need to do is to "like" both ASUS' and Ramen Champion Singapore's Facebook pages. After which, just head down to the Ramen Champion outlets to creatively snap photos of the ramens or the interior of the store! Feel free to have fun. XD Finally, after taking the photos, just upload the photos onto the Ramen Champion's Facebook page to take part.
Remember! It's a chance to win a free tablet (three winners will be chosen for this) and the remaining winner will receive a consolation prize of $50 CapitaVouchers! :D
So, head down to Ramen Champion to have a taste of the ramen ASAP! Don't forget to snap some photos while you're at it. ;>
Special Thanks to Ramen Champion for the invite! Remember to check out their Facebook Page for the latest updates and events!