FEEL THE HEAT
MENBAKA FIRE RAMEN
Menbaka Fire Ramen from Kyoto is setting social media here on fire with its unique way of serving the popular Japanese noodle soup.
The final step of the dish involves igniting hot negi (Japanese scallion) oil and pouring it onto the noodle soup, creating a dramatic burst of tall flames.
Created by ramen master Masamichi Miyazawa in Kyoto in 1984, it is not just for visual effect. The flames also imbue the dish with a pleasant smokiness.
The Singapore outlet in Cineleisure Orchard, which opened on Nov 24, is only Menbaka's second. It offers the noodles in three flavours - the original Shoyu Fire Ramen ($17.90) and Vegetarian Fire Ramen ($16.90), plus the Tonkotsu Fire Ramen ($18.90) that was created for the Singapore market.
My favourite is the Shoyu Fire Ramen, which is flavoured with shoyu (soya sauce) from a 220-year-old manufacturer in Japan. The smokiness comes through much better than the tonkotsu version. And the slices of char siu and half an egg that come with it make it more interesting than the plainer vegetarian noodles that are topped with heaps of scallions.
You can watch your noodles being prepared from the counter but there are safety rules to follow. For example, you have to keep your hands behind your back. But the staff can help take a photo or video on your phone using selfie sticks from the other side of the counter.
It may be wiser not to wear hairspray when patronising the eatery.
WHERE 05-03 Cineleisure Orchard, 8 Grange Road
OPEN Noon to 9pm daily
SEAFOOD IN A BAG
The Jumbo Group launched a new delivery concept yesterday called Hack It, offering seafood in a bag with Asian sauces (left).
There are four to choose from: Xiao Long Xia In A Pack ($42) with 500g of baby lobster; Crab In A Pack ($66) with a 600g mud crab; Lobster In A Pack ($66) with a 500g live Boston lobster; and Deluxe Seafood Pack ($108), which has mud crab and Boston lobster.
Each pack also contains clams, mussels, prawns and pearl corn.
For sauces, you can pick from chilli crab, black pepper, creamy butter, sweet and spicy tomato, and ginger spring onion.
There is also mala sauce (add $6), which has extra broccoli, lotus root and assorted mushrooms. That is the one I tried and it was good.
Side items include Hack It's Signature Salad ($12) and Seafood Baked Rice With Chilli Crab Sauce ($9.80).
HOW TO ORDER Go to order.hackitseafood.com.sg
INFO Free delivery for minimum spend of $50 until Dec 31
BRING HOME A PARTY PACK
FESTIVE FUSION FEAST
If you're looking for something other than the usual roast turkey and honey baked ham for your Christmas feast, consider going fusion.
Cantonese restaurant chain Peach Garden has come up with a party pack that combines Asian and Western elements (above).
Priced at $254.66 (including GST), it is meant for five persons and includes a Garlic Baked Turkey stuffed with penne and cheese. It is accompanied by vegetables and three sauces - black pepper, mala and mushroom.
There is also a Lobster With Radish Soup with a mildly peppery flavour that is welcome in rainy weather. Dessert is a Chocolate Marquise Yule Log.
Among the a la carte items for takeaway are Crisp-fried Crayfish (eight pieces) with cold wasabi pasta ($40.66) and Roasted Pork Crackling with mustard sauce ($62.06).
You can also get the Garlic Baked Turkey for $169.06.
HOW TO ORDER Go to www.peachgardeneshop.com
WHEN Available till Dec 25. Early bird discount applies to some items until Dec 10.