Daikokuya (Paragon): Ramen stop.

Ramen is a meal option in abundance, especially when straddling the length of Orchard road. There's just something about a group of friends bent over hot bowls of noodles, slurping on thick broth full of umami that sets the stage for feelings of camaraderie.

Daikokuya located in the basement of Paragon with its long term residence in the same location has been on my "to-try' list, at least subconsciously, for the longest period of time. 

It was a Monday night when we set foot in the establishment. Business was all but a thin whisper of cold air apart from the subdued laughter from our table. Perhaps it's the Monday blues at work, but with the queue system at Din Tai Feng in full swing next door; one begins to wonder if the change in menu has had an adverse effect on business.

In an effort to get some greens into our system, I ordered the Tofu Salad with Japanese Dressing ($9), a lofty pile of lettuce, silken tofu, cherry tomatoes, seaweed and bonito flakes, a delicious feast for the veggie-lovers, with a good lashing of that umami laden goma dressing.

Not to be missed is the Sizzling signature Miso Katsu on hot plate ($12). A speciality dish from the Nagoya prefecture, hatcho miso is coupled with crispy breaded pork for a winning dish. I loved how tender the pork was, in contrast to its golden crisp outer layer; the sad soggy mass of cabbage rolled up and under, serving only the purpose of a prop-up tool for the star of the dish. 

Lacking in that slightly charred crisp exterior is their Gyoza ($6.50). These failed to deliver even a 5 on the satisfaction scale. Nothing upsets me more than the lack of patience and the resulting anaemic thick skinned gyoza.

The Ramen continued in the same vein at Daikokuya, merely pedestrian with not much of a soul to reflect upon. 

Out of the 3 bowls we ordered, my favourite was the Chashu Roasted Shoyu ($16.50), the generous spread of chashu, a good testament of culinary skills by the chef. The soup, a muted representation of sweet shoyu broth, the shio level capped to appeal to the fussy taste buds of the locals.

My least favourite of the lot being the Hokkaido Seafood Umadashi Thick and rich shio ($19). I do admit my prejudices are linked to the context of our local weather; and that perhaps if offered this in the dead of winter, I would surely be a happy camper. My first spoonful of soup, left a buttery mouth feel which instantaneously warms the tummy. Peculiar.  Not one, that I would see being popular with the majority of diners.

The Orochon Ramen Spicy Sapporo Miso ($14.50) tickled my taste buds with its fiery advances. However, it failed to capture my attention after a couple of mouthfuls, the spicy notes instigated mainly by the use of chili powder and doesn't have that full bodied robustness. Stick with the classic Shoyu for a better experience. On a side note, ignore the 'One-bowl, two taste' sales pitch, and steer clear of the 'magic powder', unless you appreciate having a bowl of Maggi Curry Mee for $15. 

Daikokuya Ramen Dining
90 Orchard Road
#B1-47 Paragon Shopping Centre
t: 6737 5416

Operating Hours:
Daily: 11am - 10pm

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