Chilli crab is one of those dishes that I am familiar with, but hardly ever crave for since halal places that serve them are not as ubiquitous as a nasi padang stall.
However, when I found out that Ichikokudo recently launched a Chilli Crab Ramen in celebration of National Day, I knew it called for a revisit to the halal-certified ramen chain.
Ever since its first outlet at Suntec City, Ichikokudo has always been top-of-mind whenever anyone asks me to recommend halal Japanese food. And for good reason.
Ichikokudo’s signature ramen soup is a rich, dense soup packed with umami flavours, and dare I say, many folds better than the one from that other ramen stall.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Ichikokudo obviously knows this, which is why the base of the Chilli Crab Ramen ($19.90) is made of their signature chicken broth.
Aside from that, there are so many other different ingredients at play in the dish, and the sum of their parts is outstanding.
Chilli is added to the broth, turning it into a sweet and spicy concoction for the springy wheat ramen noodles to soak in. Scrambled eggs are also visible in the soup, whilst diced tomatoes, coriander and shredded leek added texture and crunch to the dish.
Of course, the standout ingredient is undeniably the crab meat. A whole flower crab with its deshelled body bathes in the chilli broth, with its abundant meat sitting on the side waiting to be devoured.
Only the crab legs remain attached. Not to worry, though, as plastic gloves, disposable apron and a crab cracker are provided for you to get messy.
I got the grilled gyoza set and for good measure, added chilli furikake for an extra kick.
The first spoonful of the broth foreshadows the rest of the meal. Instantly, my taste buds revel in the onslaught of flavours and textures – the sweetness of the broth, tanginess of the tomatoes, smooth pieces of egg, and the crisp, fresh vegetables with some great crunch.
However, the spiciness is a tad underwhelming. Initially, I thought that the spice will only kick in after a couple slurps but I never found it.
The chilli furikake, as intimidating as it looks, does not aid in dialling up the heat.
Disclaimer: I have a very high tolerance for spice, so the broth may very well may you cry if you cannot handle spicy food. Proceed with caution.
Lack of spice notwithstanding, the dish shines in all other aspects.
I appreciate the bounty of crab meat that is already presented with the ramen. And more flesh remains to be dug up from the crab’s legs and claws.
The wheat noodles are springy and very substantial, a consistent trait in all of Ichikokudo’s ramens. They also soak up the broth very well, lending to an incredible mouthfeel and bursts of flavours every time you eat them.
I just wish the dish comes with muntou buns for me to soak up all that sauce.
At $19.90, the Chilli Crab Ramen is more expensive than the standard ramens, and similarly priced as the Ichi-Ramen Gifts From The Sea, a seafood-based ramen featuring crab leg, shrimps and scallops.
However, I feel that the Chill Crab is heftier than the seafood ramen, and hence more bang for your buck.
The limited edition Chill Crab Ramen is now available for a limited time only in all Ichikokudo outlets. However, we favour the Bussorah Street outlet the most.
Despite being one of the smaller outlets, we appreciate the restaurant’s second floor large windows which let in natural light.
Tables 41 and 42 are hands down the best seats in the house overlooking the Sultan Mosque. Try to reserve that if you are visiting.
Find a Ichikokudo outlet here.
Photos taken by Izad Razi
This was a media tasting at Ichikokudo. However, opinions are our own.
Food4/5 GoodHuge portion. Real crab meat used. However, broth can be spicier and muntou buns at the side would be a nicer touch.
Price5/5 AmazingQuite steep at $19.90, but the dish is very substantial so worth every cent.
Ambiance5/5 AmazingCool, bright and airy confines in the Bussorah outlet (second floor). Get table 41 or 42 for the best seats and even better views.