There are some friends whose emails and text messages you simply don’t ignore. My buddy IC is one such fellow. Prone to over-ordering (and over-eating), he has one of the most discriminating and well-cultivated palates on the planet. It’s funny because for many of my friends, whenever they travel, they email my wife S or me, asking for advice on where to eat (as well as where to shop and stay). But when we travel, we turn to IC for advice. We’ll bombard him and his wife with questions on what are the very best places, cheap or chic, in which we can stuff our very greedy faces. The two of them travel constantly and always stay at the nicest places and eat at the most exceptional restaurants.

A couple days ago, IC sent me a short little SMS. It read, “Ramen Marutama at Central shopping cetre opposite Merchant Court Hotel on Eu Tong Sen Rd 3rd floor. Is the best ramen I’ve had in town. I recommend to go soon before the press write about.” As you can imagine, a message like that got me pretty darned excited. So, as soon as I had some free time, I dragged S down to Central (a mall we had pretty much written off ever visiting) to check out Marutama.

(Along the way to the noodle shop, I was quite pleasantly surprised to spy a new and larger branch of Tom Ton, also on the 3rd floor of Central. I’m a huge fan of this place. I love going to the Liang Court outlet for its delicious black pig katsu. I can’t wait to try this new and sexier looking branch.)

Marutama Ra-Men is the first Southeast Asian outlet of an established Saitama and Tokyo-based ramen shop. For the time being, owner and head-chef Tetsuya Kudoh is here in town, overseeing the little restaurant’s operations and ensuring that the food is of the highest quality. His menu is simple. The ramen is served in a savoury chicken soup. Diners are asked to choose between having it normal or spicy. Then you choose what items to have in your ramen. Again, there are just a few options. S had hers with stewed pork belly. I had mine with a seasoned egg and char siu. Both were excellent. The soup is very tasty and the noodles, thin but full-bodied, were truly exceptional. Both my char siu and S’s pork belly slices were cooked to perfection. The ramen is served with some super-yummy, seasoned seaweed. On the counter, there’s a bowl of fried garlic, which adds a nice kick to the soup. The menu also has a few side dishes and two seasonal ramen specials. I plan on trying the house special on my next trip. It’s a ramen which contains soup made with seven different kinds of nuts.

I can see why my buddy IC recommended trying this place as soon as possible. I’m sure that over the next few weeks, more and more people will discover Marutama and the word will surely be out. The restaurant has a small counter and just a few tables. Fortunately, ramen’s a quick meal. Both in terms of preparation and consumption. Which means that even if it’s crowded, the wait for a seat shouldn’t take too long. Either way, the ramen here is definitely worth the wait.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his three kids!


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26 March 2007


I really enjoyed your website and the articles. I’ll definitely try out this ramen place since I’m quite a fan of ramen. I’ve also been to graze and wildrocket and truly enjoyed the experience there. thank you so much

For a recent American college grad such as myself, I have to think twice before automatically equating ramen noodles with college budget. They are such a comfort food for me and the steaming bowl you described sounds heavenly! If only Chicago were close to Bangkok…. 🙂

Hi, my partner and I tried out the ramen place yesterday, David was so excited to track down another good spot you recommended. Very good! There was a long queue snaking out. The pork belly is perfection. The chicken balls (torinagi?) side dish is handrolled, in a gentle broth, very nice and satisfying. Quite a good spot, thanks!

Amazing stuff.. the 7 nut ramen was exceptional with the fragrant parsley. My companion’s chilli chicken was quite subtle with the spice but left quite a kick! The ramen is quite adequate without the additional toppings. But $4 is a great deal for tons of tender cha shu. The word is out already.. had to queue 30 mins for lunch on Sat! 🙂

I had a slightly difference experience with the char siew served there.

A month ago when it just opened, the char siew was incredibly succulent, melt-in-your-mouth and flavorsome.

However, 2 weekends ago, the char siew was sliced thicker and somehow the flavors aren’t as infused and one could tell that the char siew wasn’t broiled sufficiently long as the fats didn’t do the melty thing for me.

My other friend also spoke of similar experiences (he went separately) so it’s definitely not just my tastebud.

I am tempted to ask the chef if the cooking time was cut short.

ohh, I love ramen. My sis and I are addicted to Miharu Ramen located at Gallery Hotel. A bowl of it really warms the heart(and tummy too). Will definitly put Marutama on ‘food to try’ list. Was at Tom-Ton a week ago. The black pig is really good, which ever way they prepare it…breaded deepfried or grilled or steamboat with a good serving of vegetables.

I have tried Marutama a couple of weeks ago. The soup is thick and good but a bit too salty for me. The Char siew tastes great too. I am a bit disappointed with the egg though as I find it too hard. There is a new joint at Robinson Center that serves excellent ramen. You guys should check it out.

I prefer the noodles at Miharu but love the stock at Marutama. Actually I really quite enjoy the Kyushu Ramen at Tampopo (Liang Court).

Had a terrible experience with the service at Tom Ton (Central) and was so disappointed. Ordered the Black Pork Katsu Curry and the curry was way too watery. What was completely unforgivable was the attitude of the kitchen and staff when I enquired about this – both came back and said, “that’s the way it’s supposed to be”…

I went to Marutama last weekend, tried the 7 nuts soup Ramen. It was okay only. Miharu is still much much better as compared to Marutama. Especially their Rice…Gorgeous.

Men tei is good too.
new kids along robinson road, that colonial-like building some 100m away frm Lau Pasat, next to where AH KUN is, where you also see SPINELLI;s. (Hope you would be able to see it)
FOr now they r only open for lunch.
Go try it

The comments makes me wanna try it out next week since my office is nearby!

Another place definitely worth tryin is at Marina Sqaure level 1, shop name is MIAN AI MIAN.

The shop doesnt have a 10 percent svc charge on your bill, yet u still get delicious ramen..kyo nichi ramen is my recommendation..try this out, u wont regret ur trip.

My hubby and I are going to attend a watch convention in Singapore this coming September. Any suggestions as to new places we can eat at? We are foodies by nature and shopping freaks. We will be staying at the raffles the plaza. feel free to email me separately for your answers. thanks 🙂

sounds fab. i’ve been craving ramen, udon, soba, and all sorts of carbs this month. i don’t know how else to be in touch but i shall be in singapore this weekend enough for three dinners, two lunches, two mid afternoon snacks, and three post drinking binges. Daytime would be the best food singapore has to offer, hawker stalls, malls, sidestreets, ambience need not apply. Dinners would be a balance of what’s hip and happening, ambience, but please more than edible food. Still good food. Pretension can apply. Would you be so kind as to email me your grand list of the moment? I’ve enjoyed your blog for some time now. Hoping you would indulge me and fuel my admiration. Haha. Cheers !

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