It seems that there is an influx of Japanese eateries opening all around the island lately, given how most of our posts seem to have featured Japanese fare of the late.
New at Japan Food Town located within Wisma Atria, Kyushu Men-Road ISSI replaces the now-defunct Yomoda Soba, located right beside Rang Mang Shokudo facing Food Republic. Occupying a small space, the place seems to be more suitable for small groups of four, with a couple of two-seaters and a row of counter seats within the shop. Serving up mostly ramen dishes, the specialty here would be the Karamen; an item with its roots from Mizayaki Prefecture known for its spiciness — patrons can opt for various levels of spiciness at different prices. Apart from Karamen, the shop also serves up rice bowls, side dishes, and a few basic rice sets as well.
Ordering something to share at the table, the Cheese Croquettes come in portions of two pieces each, though patrons are allowed to make additional orders at a price of $1.50 per piece. Sadly, the Cheese Croquettes came with very little cheese; almost barely non-existent and filled almost entirely of potato — pretty much a miss in our opinion despite not being greasy and pretty crisp on the exterior.
Going for their signature Miyazaki Karamen, we opted for the standard variant — default level of spiciness with no add-ons, though patrons can choose to add meat/prawn, eggs and spring onion at an additional cost. Patrons can also add soup or noodles at an additional cost as well. Taking a sip of the broth, the broth seemed to have lacked depth; whilst slightly savoury, it felt as though it lacks body and just simply carried spiciness — a tad uninspiring. The noodles are the yellow, wavy sort — pretty much nothing to shout about on its own while the egg is added to the ramen resembles that of egg drop soup; fluffy and carried a manageable kick of spiciness. In fact, the entire bowl should suit those who are able to tolerate a low to moderate level of spiciness, though we wished that it could have been less “plain” overall. That being said, perhaps it can be a matter of personal preference, considering that this was our very first Karamen experience; a dish that is difficult to find in Singapore.
(Spicy Pork Belly Bowl)</em
We also tried the Spicy Pork Belly Bowl; essentially just spicy pork belly with cabbage atop a bed of rice. The dish carried a similar taste profile with the Miyazaki Karamen, using a similar marinade though the flavours were a little more prominent due to the lack of broth in this dish; the marinade provided a slightly zingy and moderately spicy kick — while the pork was a verging slightly towards the slightly tougher side, it does give a meaty bite and the cabbage did provide a complimenting crunch which gave the entire bowl a contrast of textures. The Spicy Pork Belly Bowl also comes with a bowl of Miso Soup on the side, which was decent but nothing much to shout about.
Overall, Kyushu Men-Road ISSI is a bold attempt of bringing something unfamiliar of the typical Singaporean’s perception of Japanese cuisine into Singapore — the Mizayaki Ramen, also a signature item of theirs is a dish rarely found here, and it is certainly interesting that a Japanese concept is serving it here locally. That being said, it remains to be seen if locals would be accustomed to what Kyushu Men-Road ISSI is serving; while the Mizayaki Ramen might ultimately be something that highly depends on perception and pretty subjective considering our limited exposure to the dish, there seems to be room for improvement for other items as well. The other menu items, apart from the Nagasaki Champonmen, seemed to be rather pedestrian; items often found to be served at run-off-the-mill Japanese food stalls even in food courts. The F&B scene in Singapore is highly competitive; with so many establishments dedicated to serving Japanese cuisine, it would be interesting to see how things would go for Kyushu Men-Road ISSI in the future.
Kyushu Men-Road ISSI
Japan Food Town
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