Menya Sakura, a Nagoya-style ramen shop originally established in Nagoya city, Japan started out as a humble 9-seater restaurant. With further expansions to 15 ramen restaurants in Japan, and 7 ramen restaurants in Indonesia, Menya Sakura is the first outlet to land in Singapore, located along the vibrant stretch of Boat Quay and helmed by chef Sho Naganuma. With a dedicated focus on quality ingredients and authenticity in its taste, one would be able to relish in satisfying bowls of slurp-worthy ramen. Here, you can expect a range of items from their menu, predominantly tonkotsu ramen, tsukemen, as well as chuka soba, and dons.
A4 Wagyu Shabu Shabu Tsukemen 3.8/5
Acclaimed to be the first of such a dish in Singapore - this newly launched A4 Wagyu Shabu Shabu Tsukemen ($29) comes in an alluring blanket of A4 wagyu sirloin shabu shabu slices atop springy thick noodles, an inviting alternative to their signature pork chasu. Made with ingredients directly imported from Japan and a range of different soy sauces such as the Shibanuma Shoyu (est 1688 in Japan), the soup was blended with dried sardine, bonito flake, organic kelp and double flavoured clear chicken and seafood dashi, amplifying that umami factor as you dip those fork-tender shabu shabu slices into the piping hot broth to 'cook' it. Slurping up the warmed pieces with the dipped dry noodles and soup ensued a harmony of flavours and textures that is simply satisfying. No doubt I found the concept to be a refreshing idea, and this dish full of slurp-goodness to be quite enjoyable, albeit a tad salty which might be overpowering for some.
Note: This dish is only available in limited portions each day for a limited time period.
Tonkotsu Tsukemen (Dipping Ramen) 4.2/5
One of the more popular choices in the restaurant includes their Tonkotsu Tsukemen ($17). It comes in the form of thick texture noodles with well-marinated pork chasu slices, and a bowl of rich seafood and tonkotsu dipping soup. The noodles were done al dente, springy yet firm with each bite while the accompanying warm bowl of seafood and tonkotsu broth packs a robust punch with each dip of those sturdy noodles, aptly coating each strand and delivering an intense burst of flavours with each bite. Yet not too overwhelming, it flaunts a fine balance of intensity and savouriness that I really enjoyed. A clear hot stock is also served as an add-on to the remaining broth after finishing the noodles, to make it more drinkable on its own.
Spicy Premium Tonkotsu Ramen 4/5
The Spicy Premium Tonkotsu Ramen ($16) was created to cater to the local palate which has a propensity for spicier food. It comes in the form of chewy thin noodles in a creamy, full-bodied tonkotsu broth, delivering just a mild spice kick, so perhaps you can add a smidgen of chilli oil to liven it up even more. Although my preference leans more towards the non-spicy version of the Tonkotsu Tsukemen for its richer and more intense flavoured broth less the distraction of the chilli oil, it is no doubt still a straightforward and comforting bowl of ramen that fared well.
Truffle Chasu Egg Don, includes Mini Tonkotsu Soup 4.2/5
The rice dish we had was the Truffle Chashu Egg Don ($15), which comes with an onsen egg, black truffle oil, minced pork, scallions, kombu, and nestled on a bed of warm Japanese rice. Breaking apart the egg reveals a tempting runny yellow, that just gels all the unami elements together upon mixing them up. What you get is a bowl of comfort food devoid of any pretentiousness, with that strong black truffle aroma still lingering, as you send spoonfuls into your mouth. A sublime dish, I thoroughly enjoyed it from the first bite to the last.
Menya Sakura has set the standard and certainly yields a considerable edge over its rivals with its hearty bowls of Nagoya-style ramen. I liked the level of authenticity in its taste, which is robust and slightly heavier to the palate as well.
Do note that the A4 Wagyu Shabu Shabu Tsukemen is ony avilable in limited portions for a limited time period till further notice from the outlet.
Written and photography by Crystal. A girl who likes to eat, photograph, and write about food, and dreams about travelling around the world one day. Note: This is an invited tasting.
69 Boat Quay
Tel: +65 9469 3366
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay (NE Line), Raffles Place (EW Line, NS Line)
Mon-Sat 1130am - 1030pm
(Closed on Sun & PH)
1) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station. Take Exit E. Cross the road walk to Upper Circular Road. Walk down Upper Circular Road to North Bridge Road. Cross the road and walk to destination. Journey time about 6 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Raffles Place MRT station. Take Exit G. Walk to the river front. Turn left and walk down Boat Quay. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]