Ramen aficionados will be delighted to know that the popular Japanese ramen chain Afuri Ramen has finally opened their first outlet in Singapore at the revamped Funan mall.
The brand is brought in by Japan Food Holdings, which also owns the Ajisen Ramen chain and Menya Musashi brand.
Afuri's claim to fame is their signature yuzu-flavoured ramen. Yuzu is a small citrus fruit native to Asia. While yuzu-flavoured drinks are pretty popular in Singapore, yuzu-flavoured ramen is much less common.
When I first heard about Afuri, I was intrigued by the unusual pairing and eager to find out how the fruity punch of yuzu would pair with savoury noodles.
It seems like the rest of Singapore is curious as well. Immediately after their opening on June 28, the queues have been snaking. But is it really worth the hype?
We tried all four of Afuri's signature yuzu dishes at a recent media tasting and ranked the noodles so you'll know what to order.
#4: YUZU TSUKEMEN ($15.90)
Tsukemen is a dipping ramen. This means that you should pick up the ramen with your chopsticks and dip it into the broth. Don't pour the broth into your noodle bowl or you'll end up with a bowl of overly salty ramen.
The broth that comes with the ramen is full-bodied and tangy, with the pleasant aroma of sesame. We enjoyed the springy noodles, but found the dipping broth a little overpowering at first. It took some finessing to work out the perfect broth-to-noodle ratio.
#3: YUZU SHIO RAMEN ($15.90)
The Yuzu Shio Ramen, with a salt-based broth, is the lightest and clearest among the four different dishes. We found it refreshing with a subtle citrusy tang - almost a little too subtle for our taste. This would be perfect for those of you who aren't too adventurous with your tastebuds and are looking to ease into the yuzu-flavoured broth trend.
#2: YUZU RATAN RAMEN ($15.90)
Who knew chilli and yuzu would make a good combination? If the Yuzu Shio Ramen is too light for you, try this instead. Equal parts spicy and sour, this is ideal for those who like a stronger taste and a broth with some kick.
#1: YUZU SHOYU RAMEN ($15.90)
The Yuzu Shoyu Ramen has a soy-sauce flavoured broth infused with Yuzu. This is our favourite of the four thanks to its impeccable balance of flavours. The yuzu, dashi and shoyu combine together to make a fragrant broth that is just a little richer than the shio broth.
Our final verdict? They're all good but the Yuzu Shoyu Ramen stands out from the crowd and is our top pick.
We really enjoy how Afuri's signature chicken and yuzu broth is lighter and more refreshing than the usual rich ramen broth. Together with Afuri's springy whole grain noodles and smoky grilled pork, it truly is a unique combination of flavours that is worth a try.
Afuri Ramen, #B1-29
Funan, 107 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179105