Ultimate Ramen Champion 2011 @ Iluma, Singapore

The Ultimate Ramen Champion 2011 event in Singapore has brought in six of Japan’s best ramen chefs from four major cities to battle it out at Iluma Bugis. When the event was announced, I excitedly arranged to meet some girlfriends on a ramen date.

Upon entering the ramen arena, customers are issued with cards to swipe on charges and a map, marking the location of each ramen stall. Seating is a free-for-all and relaxed. It was thankfully not terribly crowded, so waiting for our meals wasn’t very long.

Ikkousha's Hakata Ajitama Ramen

Hakata Ikkousha is a ramen shop which carefully selects its ingredients especially local produce pork bones, pork, wheat and soy sauce. It doesn’t have the strong smell of pork bones. It strikes a combination with the thin, flat cut noodles and is garnished and topped with extremely tender cha shu pork and seasoned boiled egg.

The SO and most of the girlfriends picked Ikkousha‘s Hakata Ajitama ramen. They also added the Big Fried chicken to their order, which is sprinkled with a chilli salt. Several pieces of the cha shu were quite fatty. View the rest of their menu.

Bario's Maze Soba with collagen soup

The Guardian UK recently listed Jiro in its “50 best things to eat in the world” list. The soup is nothing like standard milky-white Kyushu-style tonkotsu, while the noodles, made from bread flour of all things, are thick and heavy.

I, on the other hand, went for Bario. This stall is not for the peckish – you had better be straight up hungry as a wolf or have a hearty appetite to go with these guys. In fact, it’s macho macho man at Bario, from the Superman styled tee shirts to the 男 (male/man) character decorating the bowls’ inner-rim.

And the bowl is huge and the serving generous! I love that they heap beansprouts, which help balance the full fatty flavours. It is not very traditional and the noodles might be heavier, but I love it! Unfortunately I can count myself one of the many who had trouble finishing a bowl of Bario’s ramen. Check out the rest of their menu.

Gantetsu's miso ramen with butter and corn

“Gantetsu” in Japanese means stubbornness, the popularity from it stubborn chef’s recipe, and awarded winner of year for 3 conservative years in Sapporo. The mixed of miso to achieve the flavored and fragrant widely accepted in all over Japan, by celebrity Chef Masaki. The noodles are surprisingly, classic wavy yellow, perfectly boiling timing to branded the 6 hours broth soup.

A girlfriend chose Gantetsu‘s butter miso ramen, as the type is her favorite. See the rest of their menu here.

We did not try the other three ramen chefs’ offerings, but were told Tetsu’s Very Rich! Paitan Tsukemen is lovely.

The Ultimate Ramen Champion 2011 event runs till 30th June 2012 and judging criteria for this competition include sales takings and vote counts via SMS, Facebook and onsite voting.

Which ramen would you try? Do you already have a favorite?