Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons in Bugis, Singapore

♫ It's my birthday and I'll eat ramen when I want to...eat ramen when I want to...eat ramen when I wantttt toooo! ♫

I officially turned a year older last Saturday..and you know what?! It was one of my happiest birthdays ever! It all began when I woke up with a big smile on my face and as I checked my phone, there were about 40+ greetings from friends and relatives back home. Wow!

Paul and I agreed to meet up for lunch with some of our good friends here in the Lion City. Thinking of a place for my birthday lunch was such a challenge! Not that Singapore has a shortage of good food but it's the other way around. There were just a LOT that it was so hard to choose. Why do we have to limit ourselves to just 3 big meals a day? Whyyyy?

Anyway, after a thorough research thanks to the local food blogs here, I finally found THE ONE.

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Meet Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons. It's a new ramen shop located at the heart of the Bugis district. It's owned by Chef Keisuke Takeda who also owns three other ramen shops in the country. One interesting thing about Chef Kaisuke's chain of restaurants is that each has its own unique specialty. One specializes in chicken broth, the other has crab broth ramen and another one is the good ol' pork broth.

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In his fourth restaurant venture, Chef Keisuke highlights the four different seasons in Japan -- Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall (I know you're singing while reading that!). Since there were 8 of us that day, we were able to order all the varieties available. However, I was only able to try the Fall (Autumn) which was my order and the Winter which was Paul's choice.

Ordering is easy, everyone was given a piece of white paper with the English list on one side and the Japanese on the other. First you choose the kind of ramen flavour that you'd like to get. Next you choose your toppings : Seaweed (S$1), Flavoured Eggs (S$2) or All toppings (S$4). Step 3 is where you create your flavour -- choose the taste of your soup, amount of chicken oil added and how about the noodle texture. Lastly, is there anything you'd like for them not to put in your ramen bowl? Spring onions/pork chasyu or black fungus? 

So, what exactly are the different flavours? 

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The Spring Ramen (S$11.90) is a very unique flavour as it had basil and parmesan cheese. I was initially drawn to this as it reminded me of my favorite pesto sauce. I somehow just couldn't imagine having such an Italian flavour in a very Japanese noodle soup. Mel was a brave soul as she was the only one in the group who ordered this and she was quite pleased with her choice. Now I know what I'm getting on my next visit.

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The Summer Ramen (S$13.90) was conceptualized by Chef Keisuke to embody the warm temparature during this time of the year. Thus, this bowl of ramen is fired up with Szechuan and Cayenne peppers! Irene tried this and she said that it wasn't that spicy as she was expecting it to be. I noticed that they have added a scoop of ground pork on top of the ramen noodles too. Irene really liked her noodles and after having a taste of all the other ramen variants on the table, she happily declared that her Summer Ramen was the best.

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I had the Autumn Ramen (S$12.90) which was filled with lots of mushroom. As we know, mushrooms grow abudantly during this particular season. Thus, this variant came with not one but with three different kinds of mushrooms. I got a good slice of tender charsiu pork too! I loved how soft the pork was and the soup broth was very tasty. It wasn't salty nor filled with MSG at all. One way we felt it didn't have too much salt or a even the tiniest bit of MSG was because we didn't feel unusually thirsty after our meal. I love mushroom and I would have loved for my ramen to have a stronger mushroom taste though.

When it comes to ramen, Paul likes it simple. He's a no-frills man who just wants his bowl of noodles authentic and straightforward. I would tease him at times that his choices are always soooo boring but he really likes it that way. However, he can be quite picky with his ramen. For one thing, he likes it extremely flavourful. Case in point, only a handful of Manila's ramen shops have passed his standards. He's a Capampangan after all which means he really gives a high regard to flavour or as he would say "it has to be malinamnam."

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He got the Winter Ramen (S$10.90) which was the original pork broth noodles variant with a big slice of charsiu. He skipped the aji tamago and the seaweed and instead topped his ramen bowl with the complimentary beansprout served to us. He ate his bowl of ramen with gusto and told me that he was really happy with his choice. I was able to have a spoonful of the broth and I have to admit that it was really yummy. Somehow, my broth seemed weaker in taste compared to Paul's.

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For those who wants something special, try the King Ramen (S$13.90). It's closely similar to the Winter Ramen only it's topped with ginger stir-fried pork and mushrooms. Carlo was able to try the King Ramen and said it had a strong ginger flavour. Nonetheless, he liked his bowl of ramen the same way we all did with ours.

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I love restaurants that give so much attention to details. Look at the bowls closely, each is different depending on the variant (season) that you choose. The chinese word (or is this Japanese kanji?) is also painted on each bowl. The king bowl had all four words on it. Even the detail on the bowl depicts the four seasons such as snowflakes for winter, falling leaves for autumn and so on. So cool huh?

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They also mean business when it comes to ramen eating that we were given complimentary hair tie and clips to prevent our bangs or hair from taking a dip into the rich ramen soup. I asked for a box of paper napkin and I was surprised to be given this big box of facial tissue. Works just fine!

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Lastly, they say, the best things in life are FREE! As you enjoy your ramen, you can also indulge on the complimentary beanspouts and hard boiled egg (just a piece of this please!) too! We loved the beansprouts though as it had a strong sesame oil flavour and was slightly spicy. So yummy!

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We had a great time enjoying the food at Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons and most importantly, we loved each other's company. Reservations is sadly not allowed so I highly recommend that you go during the non-peak hours to avoid the line. That would be upon opening time at 11AM or after 2PM.

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsue King Four Seasons is located at 158 Rochor road, Bugis Village, Singapore. It's right in between McDonald's and KFC and is just a block away from the Bugis MRT Station. For inquiry, call them at +65 63335740 or like them on Facebook

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