Many of us are familiar with ramen and the first thought we get is to associate this kind of noodles to Japanese ramen. For the longest time, the word ramen has been uniquely tied to the Japanese cuisine but in Chinese hand-pulled noodles is also pronounced as ‘La Mian’ which sounds similar to ramen. So when Paradise restaurant group first introduced Le Shrimp ramen, I had initially thought that it was a shrimp based Japanese ramen restaurant but I subsequently found out that they serve a fusion of the Chinese style of noodles with Japanese style broth. This was something out of the ordinary so I definitely had to give it a try.
The restaurant is very small and is structured more like a noodle bar with limited seating. You can see the chefs working on the noodles through the windowed kitchen but the whole duration I was there, I did not see any noodle hand pulling. The space in the entire restaurant is limited and space between tables is limited so you can really feel quite claustrophobic
There are a few signature items on the menu and you can see huge posters on the trio shrimp ramen which is the most expensive of all the options at SGD 19.90.
Order is taken via the order chit that is left at the table so once you are done, you can pass it to the servers who will key your orders into the system.
There was an ongoing promotion where you can add a couple of dollars to get a drink and a side dish. The interesting thing is that other than the usual green tea and Chinese tea, they also offer a selection of beverages from Taiwan like the canned soybean drink and packet fruit vinegar drinks. The soybean was not very special and tasted like our yeo’s version but I personally liked the vinegar drinks as they have a great balance between sweet and sour taste which whetted my appetite for the meal.
The side dishes were more of a familiar sight from other paradise group restaurant like the chilled century egg beancurd in light soy sauce. The only difference is that this version comes with generous toppings of bonito flakes. We are all familiar with the silky smooth cold tofu with its creamy century egg companion but the bonito flakes do add an additional layer of umami flavours.
The other dish something that is common in Taiwanese cuisine which is the braised beancurd. Braised in soy sauce and five spices for many hours, the beancurd used is the more dense version which allows it to absorb all the gravy it has been soaking in to present a light yet flavourful dish.
Highly recommended in the menu, I decided to order another side of braised soft bone pork chunks. The moment the dish was served, you could smell the deep flavours of this dish which makes you salivate. The pork was braised till soft and succulent and fell off the bones easily. Every bite of the meat was oozing with flavours from the braised sauce and would be perfect with a bowl of white rice.
Now for the signature ramen which did not look half as exciting as the picture in the menu.(My photo was taken as it is served) The serving size was similar to a Chinese La mian size served in their paradise xiao long bao restaurant. There were shrimp dumplings, fresh prawns as well as prawn paste balls with ebiko. The noodles were the same as those served in xiao long bao restaurant where it is soft and floury. The soup had an extremely strong prawn based taste and was almost like a prawn bisque but in more watery consistency. There was a slight fishy after taste to the broth which probably came from the prawn roe which personally I am ok with but both my parents did not like it.
We also ordered the noodles with pork dumplings in Tonkatsu broth. This version of pork bone soup is lighter than the usual Japanese pork broth but was nevertheless filled with flavours. The noodles were the same hand-pulled noodles which were cooked quite perfectly. The dumplings were huge and juicy and with the natural flavours of the fresh meat as it was lightly seasoned.
The last variation we ordered had the same pork bone soup with noodles topped with fried chicken cutlet. The fried chicken was served separately on a plate to keep the chicken crispy and instead of putting it in the noodles and making it soggy. The chicken is crispy and very juicy with a nice peppery seasoning.
Overall, the ramen served at the Le Shrimp is not overly fantastic but it is also not entirely horrible. The noodles are definitely nicely hand-pulled with a good spring and texture. The prawn broth is very different from the usual Japanese soup which vaguely reminds me of some local prawn noodles broth while the Tonkatsu broth was slightly thin in flavours for me.
Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk, VivoCity #B2-25, Singapore 098585
Operating hours: Mon to Fri 11.00 am – 10.00 pm , Sat, Sun & PH 10.30 am – 10.00 pm