Singapore's first dedicated duck ramen at Kamo Soba Keisuke: Take a quack at it

My mind is engrossed with flashbacks from Mighty Duck (yes, I am an 80s kid), the awkward beginnings of the "Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack" at their first game building to a crescendo of triumphant cheer that illustrated true camaraderie. It never gets old. Ducks fly together.

And even more in the not so proverbial combination of Irish duck and ramen. Yes, before you voice your confusion and perhaps disapproval with this very non-Japanese ingredient, hold up. Chef Keisuke has succeeded in many combinations before this masterpiece, Kani King (Crab) and Lobster King leading up to him picking the bird as his new muse. And given his former training in French training, the pieces of the jigsaw begin to make sense.

Located in the West side of Singapore, Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke breathes new air into the dullness and humdrum of Holland Village, albeit from a non-descript second storey establishment overlooking the strip joint, oh sorry, I meant the banality of Lorong Mambong. The concept in search of a restaurant has finally found homegrounds just next door to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and that just means more ramen options in the village!

Offering up 5 ramen choices; including two variations of duck ramen (clear and rich), spicy miso (why would you?), tsukemen (dipping noodles) and mazesoba (dry ramen) - there's something to tickle everyone's fancy.

There's mastery of flavours in the Hybrid Duck Clear Broth Ramen ($14.90/ $16.90 with flavoured egg). The kelp and Irish hybrid duck soup is painstakingly simmered over low heat for five hours to encourage gentle extraction while preserving that light and refreshing taste. It's brimming full of flavor without weighing the palate down too heavily.

The Hybrid Duck Broth Ramen in Rich Soup ($14.90/ $16.90with flavoured egg) threw me a curve ball. Here, duck bones and herbs form the spiritual and practical backbone of the stock, resulting in a robust, rich and intense broth that lends to the formation of collagen films when left untouched for too long. Order the special version ($19.90) for the extra perks of duck meatballs rolled with yuzu peel and extra slices of Grilled duck  - the meatballs have a touch of familiarity laced with gaminess which is easily negotiated with the tang of yuzu, while the duck slices bedazzle with its arduous shoyu-based marination boosting the umami levels. Just make sure to fish those out earlier to prevent them from overcooking in the piping hot broth.

In a departure from the usual soup version, the Hybrid Duck Tsukemen ($14.90; $16.90 with flavoured egg and $19.90 for special) allows diners to dip each bite of dry ramen into an accompanying bowl of rich duck soup, enhanced with extra bonito flavors for a real whopper of flavours. This were my absolute favourite. The heady and restorative broth, reduced down from duck bones is distinctively too salty to slurp down on its own, but after a quick swish, the dry ramen is quick to absorb the outstanding flavors, leaving nothing but a delicious oil slick on your lips. Things can get a little messy here so don't venture near this dish with a white shirt.

For the stragglers, there's the Hybrid Duck Maze Soba (Dry Noodles) - $14.90 and the Kamo Ju ($12.90) - In the former, thin springy noodles take centre stage in the steamed duck slices and bamboo shoots combination. Bound together by an eruption of savoury yellow liquid from the seaweed wrapped deep fried egg, the end concoction is brilliant

But for a true taste of the house special 65 degrees steamed shoyu marinated duck, the Kamo Ju ($29.90) is your best bet. Lavish in 10 generous slices of duck served in a rice bento with Japanese pickles and miso soup sidekicks. The rice comes seasoned with a gentle hum of wasabi and bonito flakes, elevating this somewhat standard offering.

Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke as compared to its other predecessing crustacean renditions have made a firm impression, and I will definitely return for a ramen fix if I'm in the vicinity.

Ginza Kamo Soba Kydudaime Keisuke
16A Lor Mambong
Level 2
t: +65 6463 4344

Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri: 11 30am -  2 30pm; 5 - 10pm
Sat - Sun: 11 30am - 10pm

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