Chinatown's hip ramen shop, Ramen Champ,
is officially ready to be up and running again after taking a brief hiatus. The original Ramen Champ, which was a partnership between Eggslut co-owners Alvin Cailan and Johnny Lee, and Men Oh Tukushima chef Nathan Asamoto has now been taken over by Yoshimasa Kasai, the former director of the Ramen Yokocho festival
. I was invited to preview the new menu before the new Ramen Champ opens to the public on October 2nd.
Up first was the Tonkotsu Tan Tan Ramen that the staff said was very spicy. It wasn't spicy at all in my opinion so don't be afraid to try it. This is made of Ramen Champ's original Tonkotsu broth paired with medium thick noodles, topped with komatsuna green, roasted with sesame, chili and hot-meat sauce seasoned with Sichuan peppercorn and garlic. The next ramen flavor on the tasting board was the original Tonkotsu, which had a creamy base topped with slow cooked chasiu, mushrooms, green onion, and black sesame oil. The base had a little fish flavor. The noodles used for the tonkotsu are the thin ramen noodles. My favorite ramen of the the night was quite unexpected. It was actually the following vegan one. This was the shocker of the night. The broth was made with kelp, shiitake mushrooms, onions, carrots, cabbage, green onion, garlic, ginger, and spinach noodles. The 'meat' was made with soy meat. Vegan ramen isn't something you come by everyday and I have to say it was quite a winner. It's nice to know if there's someone in the group that is vegan that they too can have ramen with the group as well. Hurray! Since I was at the Far East Plaza in Chinatown, I also paid a visit to Scoops Ice Cream. I was in the mood for coffee so I ended up with the coffee crunch flavor, however Scoops is known for their unique and immigantive flavors like yuzu jamaica, almond chocolate, peanut butter and banana chips, etc. My coffee craving didn't stop there. Endorffeine Coffee had just opened next door a few weeks ago so my friends and I had to give it a try. My friends ordered a Palm Sugar Whiskey Iced Latte, which sounded delicious until I looked through the menu and saw a drink with pandan in it. Damn it! I love pandan so I couldn't say no.