Less than two weeks after our last visit to Ramen Champion at Iluma, we visited Ramen Champion at Changi Airport. In Terminal 3, this is much smaller, with only four ramen stalls here. Two of them are new and as yet, apparently not updated on the website so background information on them are a little sketchy.
Needless to say, the PigPig wanted to check out the newer ones and ordered “Nitamago Spicy Riki Ramen”. It’s Jiro style ramen, similar to Bario. However, there is an extra kick with the dollop of garlic chilli by the side. The broth was quite porky as well, but less so than either Bario or Ikkousha. The great thing here though is that the garlic used is pre-fried and fried shallots were added too, giving an extra layer of aroma and flavour to the bowl.
Riki ramen (right) VS Gensuke ramen (left)
The noodles are also quite thick, but less dense than Bario and definitely easier to handle. The cha-shu is thick and chunky, but somehow very porky in flavour (even for me) and isn’t as tender and tasty; the composition is also something like 60% meat 40% fat so not for the faint of heart. Lots of beansprouts and cabbage cover the bowl, but the cabbage is left in thicker slices. Oh the tori kara age (fried chicken) in curry powder is not bad too!
Summary: Broth: very garlicky, less porky, well complimented by the chilli. Noodles: dense and thick, but less so than Bario. Less extreme than Bario.
Last but not least of the stalls we tried, this stall serves a chicken based soup. However, compared to Menya Iroha (whose broth is also based on chicken), this is as contrasting as night and day. For starters, the soup is undeniably chicken based; it is as if a thousand chicken bodies were boiled and reduced down to make this extremely flavourful chicken stock. It wasn’t just a plain and simple chicken stock though, it was quite thick and rich, really comparable to the hakata style except that it used chicken instead of pork.
The noodles were a shade thinner than usual and a little bit softer than average. Three chicken slices were provided, which was not bad albeit skimpy, while a smattering of sliced spring onion is scattered about the top.
Summary: Broth: very rich and quite sweet chicken flavour. Noodles: softest amongst the stalls.
Just a brief note that we also tried Ikkousha in Changi Airport. The soup is as good as in Iluma but the noodles were overcooked and way too soft. Hopefully, it was just a one-off mistake, but it was a disappointment nonetheless.
Each bowl of ramen costs about $12 on average for each stall’s regular bowl, rising to about $15 for extra cha-shu. There’s a separate drinks stand which stocks most typical soft drinks although I tend to go for the oolong tea which is nice, refreshing and unsweetened after the salty ramen soup.
Both the PigPig and I feel that the ramen here are all slightly different which is really the great thing about this place; people with varying preferences and personal tastes can order a different ramen, each type being a local champion from Japan. We also felt that none of them is perfect. For example, I loved the porky soup of both Ikkousha and Bario, but liked Riki’s addition of fried and raw garlic oomph. Amongst the cha-shu, I like Bario’s chunky bite but Gantetsu’s is probably the tastiest. Riki and Gensuke’s eggs were both not bad, seasoned and soft; Bario’s is probably the worst. In other words, there’s no clear winner for me, and I enjoy each bowl for their individuality.
65 Airport Boulevard
#B2-58 Terminal 3
Singapore Changi Airport
(Near CHANGI AIRPORT MRT Station)
Tel: +65 6214 2958
Ramen stalls: Gantetsu, Ikkousha, Riki, Gensuke
Check out: The Ultimate Ramen Champion Singapore Part I, Iluma Bugis (Ramen stalls: Gantetsu, Ikkousha, Bario, Menya-Iroha, Tai-Sho-Ken, Tetsu)