Cheap ramen around Singapore
Ramen holds a special place in my heart, having been there for me at crucial moments of my life. Instant ramen used to double up as my supper and study buddy while I mugged for exams, and ramen restaurants are my go-to places whenever I’m in need of food therapy. The latter happens pretty often, and my wallet is not the least bit happy about that. To ensure that I stick to my New Year’s resolution of spending less on food, I’ve found a list of places to satisfy my ramen cravings without breaking the bank, and here it is for those who love this dish as much as me.
1. Goen Udon
As much as I recommend Goen Udon’s humongous Ultimate Curry Rice ($19.80), there are days when we are in town alone and crave for a fuss-free and cheap meal. Kake Ramen ($4.80) does the job, with springy ramen noodles swimming in a briny kelp and bonito broth. A single slice of braised cha shu imparts a slight sweetness and some protein to the dish.
Check out our full review of Goen Udon.
Address: 435 Orchard Road, #04-02/38, Stall 11, Wisma Atria Food Republic, Singapore 238877
Opening hours: Daily 10am to 10pm
Tel: 6337 4237
2. Takagi Ramen Shop
Black Tonkotsu Ramen ($6.50) from Takagi Ramen might look slightly intimidating because of its orh lu lu broth, but that is due to a splash of charred garlic oil. If you’d like to turn up the heat, Karaka-men ($6) is the bowl for you, with a spicy broth that is not overly salty. Warning: a low-carb diet is a no go here, as they offer a free one-time refill of noodles.
KURO-OBI is a takeaway by Ippudo and it dishes out bowls of ramen at lower prices. Aka-Obi ($10) stands out from regular ramen bowls, as it is topped with a splash of chilli oil, spicy shrimp paste and minced meat. What kept me wanting more was the soup, which was sweet, creamy and had a slightly spicy hae bee hiam (dried shrimp sambal) flavour.
Check out our full review of Kuro-Obi.
Address: 2 Bayfront Avenue, #B2-54/55, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972
Opening hours: Sun-Thur & PH 10:30am to 11pm (last order at 10:20pm), Fri-Sat & eve of PH 10:30am to 11:30pm (last order at 10:50pm)
Tel: 6688 7064
Full list of outlets
4. A Noodle Story
Taste Affair and Han Kee Fish Soup are not the only two stalls with a queue at Amoy Street Food Centre. Awarded Bib Gourmand by the Michelin guide, A Noodle Story draws in the crowd at level one by serving a unique Singapore-style Ramen ($7/$8/$9). Essentially a marriage between ramen and wonton noodles, expect a bowl of springy noodles topped with tender braised cha shu, juicy prawn wontons, ajitama (flavoured egg) and crispy potato-wrapped prawn.
Address: 7 Maxwell Road, #01-39, Amoy Street Food Centre, Singapore 069111
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11:15am to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 7:30pm, Sat 10:30am to 1:30pm
Tel: 9027 6289
5. Buta Kin
The most expensive item on Buta Kin’s menu is Special Tonkotsu Ramen ($6.90) that includes three thick slices of pan-fried cha shu, an ajitama, black fungus and nori (seaweed) arranged atop noodles. If you’re a fan of heavy flavours, pick Tonkotsu Black Ramen ($6), which comes with a slice of cha shu, garlic oil and black tonkotsu broth speckled with black garlic. They are extra generous with their toppings, so every spoonful of noodles can be a party in your mouth!
Check out our full review of Buta Kin.
Address: 217 Bedok North Street 1, #01-77, Singapore 460217
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11:30am to 9pm
Tel: 8661 6028
6. Curry Times
My favourite curry chicken bee hoon shop always has a long queue. On days I feel impatient and want my curry noodles chop chop, I head down to Curry Times, which is started by Old Chang Kee. Curry Chicken Ramen ($8.50) takes the classic hawker dish up a notch with ramen noodles and curry made without coconut milk.
7. Wok Hey
Wok Hey is barely six months old, yet they’ve already garnered a strong fan base and is always seen with a queue. Offering fried dishes that can be customised to your liking, this takeaway at Bugis Junction is a convenient spot for those who are looking to dapao dinner home. My go-to here is Fresh Ramen with Grilled Chicken ($6.80), and you can pimp it to your liking by adding extra ingredients such as edamame, tobiko and capsicums at $1 each.
Address: 200 Victoria Street, #B1-K3, Bugis Junction, Singapore 188021
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am to 9:30pm
The last time we were at Gyoza-ya, we headed down specifically for their wide range of gyoza. Though Pan-Fried Dumplings with Mentaiko Miso ($8.80++ for five) and Truffle Gyoza ($9.80++ for three) sound tempting, those on a budget can settle for a more filling and affordable option – Special Pork Bone Soup with Ramen ($6.80++). This dish sounds simple, but each component is done excellently, from the pork broth to the thick slice of cha shu.
Check out our full review of Gyoza-ya.
9. Japanese Curry Express
Smoked Duck Ramen ($7) sounded a little too unconventional initially, but Japanese Curry Express managed to nail this bowl, and convinced me that cha shu doesn’t always have to be a #holygrail in ramen. The soup is light and refreshing, complementing the thick slices of salty smoked duck. Don’t fret if you prefer rice over noodles, as they offer other rice-based dishes such as Salmon Mentai Don ($10/$13) and Pork Katsu Curry Rice ($7).
Check out our full review of Japanese Curry Express.
Address: 190 Middle Road, #03-04, Fortune Centre, Singapore 188979
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am to 3pm, 4:30pm to 8:30pm
Tel: 9689 6314
Men-Ichi makes everything in their Tonkotsu Ramen ($8.90++/$11.50++) from scratch, including the thin ramen noodles. The star of the show is the pork bone broth, which is creamy with just the right amount of flavour. The bamboo shoots in this also lend a good crunch to the dish.
Ra(men) is my favourite man
Though the ramen I had in Japan along Takadanobaba station will always be number one, the bowls of ramen mentioned above are more than enough to satisfy my ramen cravings without burning a hole in my pocket. Let us know in the comments below if you have a go-to ramen place!