Torasho & the Beauty of Dried Ramen and Tsukemen
A busy Japanese bar sits snuggly along the bend on Tras Street that connects to the hectic Tanjong Pagar Road. Generally kept in a quiet lull in the day but when nighttime comes about though, is when Torasho Ramen & Charcoal Bar comes alive.
Unlike your regular Ramen-Ya, Torasho serves beyond just being a casual eat-and-go spot to satiate cravings for comfort food. In fact, the decor is imbued with a sharp urban edge that whispers: “We’re not your typical Ramen shop.”
Apart from the archetypal counter seats, very little of a traditional Ramen-Ya is seen — the ceiling is shaped out of rugged, exposed asphalt while strikingly coloured murals are splashed all across the shopfront.
Above all, it’s Torasho’s culinary repertoire that sets them apart, showcasing a fleet of charcoal grills working overtime to churn out smoky bar bites, something that most specialised ramen bars aren’t usually keen to commit themselves to.
Torasho’s modernity and diversity are also what give the vibrant watering hole its allure towards scores of post-office-hour CBD workers.
Ramen Dry but Saliva Pooling
There is this mental image of Ramen that most of us in Singapore are accustomed to — one of piping hot broth, Chashu, and pencil-straight noodles. Torasho, though, goes the extra mile in the Ramen varieties they serve.
Unlike your usual Tanjong Pagar Japanese joints that tend to specialise in robust Tonkotsu Ramen, the speciality here is the less-seen Tsukemen, Japanese-style dipping noodles.
After all, this is the spiritual successor to now-defunct Menya Sakura, which also prided itself in dipping Ramen.
The decision of pairing dry noodles with a concentrated uni dipping broth is one that paid off in the Uni & Chashu Tsukemen ($14/18) — the noodles return several multitudes richer after their free-diving excursions into the orange broth.
Broth latches on and imparts intense seafood sweetness and potent brininess and coats the mouth with deep umami as Torasho’s bouncy ramen ricocheted between cheek walls, all while accented by a brittle touch of yuzu. That said, the gratuitous dose of umami does eventually get monotonous.
So while Tsukemen might be the signature in name, I felt that the ravishing bowl of Truffle Wagyu Dry Ramen ($16/20) was Torasho’s true star, where the incorporation of Wagyu instilled a feeling of “luxe Japanese Bak Chor Mee“.
It paraded this boisterous medley of luscious beefiness and intoxicating truffle that, although skewed a tad sweet, just needed a splash of white vinegar and chilli oil to prop up the heavy and decadent gamut of flavours.
The rest of the gang
As much of a straightforward snack as it sounds, the Wagyu Chips ($8) are worth their price. Can’t beat deafeningly crispy and addictively seasoned chips, especially when they are fished out of sizzling beef fat.
In contrast, Torasho’s Truffle Tonkotsu ($14/18) didn’t quite match up to its dry counterparts. Despite a decently thick and umami broth, alas the truffle didn’t really come through articulately and it generally felt pedestrian.
Is it worse than its neighbours, in terms of Tonkotsu broth? No marked discrepancies, truthfully. However, I’ll save stomach space for the more unique and better-executed alternatives on the menu.
At the end of the day, Torasho isn’t about just warming up your stomach with creamy ramen broth. It’s about bold, decadent flavours and doing things their own way and giving you a unique ramen bar experience.
Make your reservations here.
Torasho Ramen & Charcoal Bar
- Address: 32 Tras St, Singapore 078972
- Hours: (Mon–Sun) 11:30am–3pm, 5:30pm–11pm