Newly-opened in the Kovan area along the same row of shophouses as Nakhon Kitchen and Hatter Street is Gonpachi Ramen, which serves up affordable ramen in the heartland.
Decorated simply without being too empty nor bare, Gonpachi Ramen’s decor features plenty of wood furnishings and fittings with a good amount of seating around for a shop of its size. The menu features largely ramen, though there is a limited selection of rice bowl dishes and a number of sides available on the menu. The prices here generally seemed pretty pocket-friendly, with none of the items costing above $10 and in fact, sitting well below $10 at around $7 for a bowl of ramen without any of the optional add-ons. Patrons are to make their orders at the counter before finding a seat, while the staff would bring the order to the table once it is ready. Gonpachi Ramen also seem to allow patrons to choose from three different soup bases here, though they were only serving the Pork & Chicken broth on the day of our visit.
(Beef Shabu Ramen)
We opted for the Beef Shabu Ramen; it comes default with the onsen egg, corn, seaweed, bamboo shoots and beef slices. It is noted that the ramen noodles used in their ramen here are imported from Japan. Overall, the broth itself was light-tasting; carries a tinge of savoury flavours though not particularly profound while the noodles are pretty springy and chewy. The beef slices were a wee bit gamey; somehow reminded us of those found in a good bowl of Pho. The onsen egg was a clear favourite; the molten yolk still gooey within.
(Miso Kakuni Ramen)
Our dining partner went for the Miso Kakuni Ramen; pretty much the same components except the beef where pork belly was served instead and the omission of corn due to the partner’s preferences. Tasting pretty similar to the Beef Shabu Ramen, the chunky pork belly sealed the deal however with the gelatinous fats and smoky, savoury flavour which was actually pretty well-executed with a good lean meat to fat ratio.
While we are not really a big fan of ramen and lack knowledge about what makes for a good bowl of ramen (thus probably not the most qualified people to give an opinion; take this with a pinch of salt), Gonpachi Ramen’s offerings are pretty decent value for the price; it’s definitely not the best tasting ramen in town, but it does somehow taste good for its rather low price point. It’s pretty value-for-money, considering the ramen hover around $7 to $7.80. The food prepared is pretty honest and is good enough to reasonably satisfy any cravings for ramen in a convenient location being right in the heartlands. Probably a hidden gem that would be well-received and welcomed by the residents around the Kovan area.
Blk 212 Hougang Street 21