Ramen fans rejoice! Starting from 13th January this year, there is one more place where you can satisfy your ramen cravings..... Kuro-Obi at Marina Bay Sands!
Launched by Ippudo, Kuro-Obi's concept is of a takeaway store where service is promised to be quick without comprising on the quality of ramen.
No time to join the snaking queues at Ippudo? Want to enjoy a warm meal on the go? Kuro-Obi sounds like the perfect solution.
But as we found out, the offerings at Kuro-Obi are rather different from the typical Ippudo.
Main difference number 1: The broth!
Kuro-Obi Singapore is Ippudo's only concept worldwide that offers 100% chicken broth - Tori-paitan. This is a refreshing change from the traditional tonkotsu pork broth.
Main difference number 2: The noodles!
For PinkyPiggu who is used to Ippudo's Hakata-style thin, straight noodles, she was quite surprised to see the thicker, yellowish noodles at Kuro-Obi. The thicker noodles are said to be able to soak up the chicken broth better and doesn't turn soggy as quickly.
Currently, customers can look out for four ramen options.
The Shiro-Obi ($8) provides a classic, no-frills experience of simply noodles and chashu.
Eating clean just got easier with Cha-Obi ($8), starring a light and clear veggie broth with a variety of vegetables. This is light on the pocket and easy on the hips. Can be a tad too "chng" for some as we overheard comments that it taste like fishball noodle soup lol!
The original Kuro-Obi ($12) resonated with us best with its all-in ramen indulgence featuring 3 slices of chicken chashu, egg, diced onion, spinach and seaweed. That egg with its creamy yolk is a must-have for ramen egg lovers like me.
What is life without spice? The bowl of Aka-Obi ($10) boasts a slightly spicy kick and is topped with spicy shrimp floss to enhance the flavors even further. PinkyPiggu enjoyed this the most.
A notable mention is the chicken chashu which is slow-cooked to a delectable and tender bite.
What I like is that Kuro-Obi listens. We can look forward to customizing our own ramen dishes by tailoring the texture of the noodles, soup richness, stock concentration and even condiment add-ons such as garlic and onion to our liking.
The price-point between $8 to $12 for a bowl of ramen at Kuro-Obi is considered to be wallet-friendly in a swanky mall such as Marina Bay Sands.
If you're not pressed for time and prefer a dine-in Ippudo experience, the 90-seater outlet next door serves the brand's top three Singapore Exclusive ramen dishes - Shoyu Ramen, Niku Soba and Tsukemen - under one roof along with new dishes such as Pork Buns, Gyoza, Samurai Ribs and a very innovative Almond Jelly Noodle dessert.
Kuro-Obi by Ippudo
Address: 2 Bayfront Avenue, #B2-54/55, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972 (beside skating rink)
Contact: Not available
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu & PH 10.30am-11pm (last order side dish 10pm, ramen 10.20pm) / Fri-Sat & PH Eve 10.30am-11.30pm (last order side dish 10.30pm, ramen 10.50pm)
Prices are (1) Stated in Singapore dollars (2) Nett for Kuro-Obi takeaway, Subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST for Kuro-Obi dine-in at Ippudo (3) Correct at point of published date.
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* Written by Sam @sgfoodsteps, a guy who wants to take you on a food adventure.
* Edited with additional inputs by PinkyPiggu
* Photos by @sgfoodsteps and PinkyPiggu