Ebisboshi Shotengai

Dear Ebisboshi Shotengai, I have misspelled your name at least 5 times before I finally got it right, and I need to spell it at least 10 more times to be 99% confident I will get it right the n…ext time I attempt to spell it.

Considering majority of Singapore’s population do not speak fluent Japanese – although many of us can effortlessly utter a few simple lines like watashi wa (fill in your name) desu, kawaii ne, ohayo and arigato gazaimasu – a shorter and easier-to-remember name would be a virtue. Catchy names are always arresting.

Difficult-to-remember name aside, fortunately for this establishment the food draws the attention of patrons –even the ones who can’t pronounce its name.

What Ebisboshi Shotengai at Great World City has to offer, is a combination of 3 different Japanese dining establishments –housed under a single concrete roof, complete with their own respective menus.

Each establishment has its own distinctive trait and specialty, decked out in noticeably contrasting layouts and settings that are different from one another.

If you enjoy observing sushi chefs in action, head to Uomasa. This establishment has more than 15 years of history to its name.

For those who’re less proficient in Japanese, ‘Uo’ refers to a seafood village, while ‘Masa’ means good fortune and prosperity.

Salmon Shioyaki ($7.80)

Uomasa serves predominantly seafood, showcasing Sashimi, Sushi, Robatayaki and Izayaki (hence you have a wide selection of alcoholic libations to accompany).

Salmon Sashimi ($8.80)

Thick fat slices of sashimi resting on a bed of crushed ice, accompanied by slices of lemon. Can’t fault this.

Uomasa Mushi Sushi ($12)

One item that caught me eye was the Uomasa Mushi Sushi –steamed sushi topped with a bounty of seafood.

Ebi Kakiage ($13)

New on the menu is the Ebi Kakiage –tempura batter mixed with thin strips of vegetables and sizeable chunks of prawn. Because of its size, the succulent prawn stood out amongst the crisp goodness.

Arriving from Sapporo, Hokkaido, is Bishamon Sapporo Ramen.

Bishamon Original Gyoza ($6.60 for 6 pieces)

The menu is wide ranging; apart from their specialty ramen, there’s homemade Gyoza and Japanese Curry to please diverse taste buds.

Bishamon Curry Rice ($14.50)

The Bishamon Curry Rice comes in a generous portion of meats and seafood, good for two to share.

Bishamon Original Miso Ramen ($14.20)

At Bishamon, chicken bones are boiled for more than 8 hours to fully extract the flavour, obtaining a rich ramen broth.

Bishamon Original Miso Ramen

The ramen that’s doused in the tasty chicken broth is springy and slightly chewy.

Can’t express enough of my love for Japanese-style boiled eggs –the soft and almost molten saltish yolk appeals to me most.

Keishoken: Black Ramen ($13)

For more ramen options, Keishoken offers a range of savoury and spicy. It is one of the most celebrated ramen restaurants in the Gumma region of Japan. As opposed to the chicken-based broth at Bishamon, Keishoken offers pork-based broth.

Black Ramen

There are 6 different coloured ramen offerings on the menu, but one that left the deepest impression was the Black Ramen. The rich pork broth is topped with fried garlic blended with Ma-yu, providing a distinctly smoky flavour and aroma. Stir everything up, and the broth slowly turns into a blackish hue.

Yellow Ramen ($13)

On my second visit, I tried two other ramens –yellow and orange.

Curry lovers can go for the Yellow Ramen. The topping comprises of minced pork, onion, green onion, apple, tomato and ginger. In addition to that, curry powder is added. Rather than overwhelming rich, the curry flavour is mild; there are subtle hints of tumeric and cumin. The broth is simmered for hours to achieve the ideal richness.

I like the fact that they added chunks of potato to complete the curry experience.

Orange Ramen ($13)

A personal favourite would be the Orange Ramen. This miso-based broth comes with a scoop of a special blend, comprising ginger, garlic, apple, minced pork and peanut butter. (Nope it’s not your eyes playing tricks on you). PEANUT BUTTER! It provides a nutty flavour and creaminess to the broth without excessive richness.

Jyoshoken Seasonal Special Tsukemen ($16.80) (Available in December 2012)

At Ebisboshi Shotengai, there’s a surprise in stall every month. A guest chef from Japan will arrive in Singapore each month to partake in the Ramen KING Battle. Participating chefs will come up with their very own exclusive ramen creation, which will only be available for a month. Judged by the number of bowls of ramen sold, the most popular ramen will reign supreme.

Last December, I got to sample Tsukemen (Japanese-style dipping noodles) specially crafted by Chef Hideyuki Nakagawa –one of the disciples of the inventor of tsukemen.

Tsukemen (Japanese-style dipping noodles) noodles are served separately from a thick saltier broth. You are sooo not advised to drink it like soup. Dip the noodles into the concentrated liquid to allow the noodles to be embedded with the richness of the broth.

The noodles are topped with three different cuts of meat –pork loin, pork belly and meat the back of the neck. What stood out to me most was the tender slivers of pork belly, imbued with sweet and savoury flavours from the braising liquid.

This January, Chef Tetsu Toimyam presents his latest creation –the Special Ramen.
What’s so special about this ramen? The secret lies in the broth. Made from premium fish and pork, the broth is boiled for more than 20 hours to achieve a thick (almost creamy) consistency, brimming with a rich flavour of the ocean, sans any unpleasant fishiness or excessive saltiness.

GIVEAWAY (Coming up!)

Thanks to Ebisboshi Shotengai, I have 10 x $10 dining vouchers to give away! Details coming up soon.

Ebisboshi Shotengai
#01-22 Great World City
1 Kim Seng Promenade
Singapore 237994

Website: http://www.ebisboshishotengai.com/