Saturday, January 02, 2016

Uma Uma Opens New Izakaya-Ramenya Concept at Millenia Walk

Fans of Uma Uma Ramen at The Forum now have a new destination in town with the opening of Uma Uma at Millenia Walk. Besides its signature Hakata-styled ramen, the new eatery also offers Yakitori, Kushikatsu, and drinks and cocktails by sister company, Horse's Mouth. 

From the Yakitori section, I found the Butabara ($2), grilled pieces of pork belly, unfortunately tough and lacking in flavour. Thankfully the Chicken Skin ($2) was crispy and moreish. Sin on a stick. Moohehe. 
The Chicken Thigh ($2) were succulent nuggets of chicken thigh but it was anaemic and bland. I wished there was moore of that grilled, smoky flavour and the benefit of having been in a tasty marinate or perhaps sprinkled with moore salt. 
Mooving on to the Kushikatsu segment, there was a small variety of meat, seafood and vegetables dipped into a batter before being coated with panko and deep fried. We tried the Pork Loin ($4), Prawn ($2), Scallops ($5). While the meat and seafood were tender, I didn't quite enjoy their stodgy fried outer coat.    

There are also some small bites to ease hunger pangs and accompany a drink or two. The Eihire ($10), a dish of stingray fins, was delightfully chewy with a savoury-sweet, smoky allure. No sambal here lah but dab a little Kewpie mayo dusted with shichimi togarashi for a creamy, mildly spicy touch.

Not many vegetable dishes require them to be fried. So other than Ampang Yong Tau Foo and Tempura, check out these Mecabbage ($10). Mini globes of Brussels sprouts deep fried and doused with a tasty sesame sauce. The frying made some of the leaves crisp while other parts remained crunchy, giving this dish texture. Someone should serve these alongside roast turkey for Christmas! Moohehe. 

Onto ramen! The Uma Uma Ramen ($14) is a Hataka-style one with thin egg noodles in a pork bone broth. The chasiu would please those who like them a little on the fatty (and tasty) side.

For moore punch, I recommend going for the Bushi Tonkotsu Ramen ($16). This soup has the umami blast from bonito and a good soy sauce, and was thicker and moore intense. Pickled ginger and a slice of lime helped to cut through the richness nicely. 

For something different, try the Mazesoba ($14; additional $2 for chasiu bits). This dry-style ramen comes doused with a creamy sesame sauce, runny egg yolk, bamboo shoots, spring onions and leek. Each mouthful was a refreshing combination of flavours and textures. The additional chasiu bits added a nice smoky dimension. This Mazesoba was specially created for Uma Uma Singapore but was so well received that it is also made available at Uma Uma Japan!

I like the idea of this small-ish bowl of Chasiu Don ($5) as an anchor after a bowl of ramen as erm... I need my rice lah. Moohehe. The runny golden hues of the egg yolk combined with the smoky, savoury charsiu bits for the perfect topping over rice. 

Perfect with the nibble-friendly Yakitori and Kushikatsu sticks or after a satisfying bowl of ramen are drinks! With the folks from the Horse's Mouth behind the cocktails here, this eatery is no plain ramen joint. Order up the Negroni ($18; $14 during Happy Hour), a classic concoction of gin, vermouth and Campari, that offers complex flavours and nuances which both stimulate the appetite and work as a digestif. Or for something lighter, go for the Ume no Yado Yuzu ($16; $14 during Happy Hour). This tall cocktail made with yuzu-infused sake is refreshing, aromatic and mildly sweet.   
Do note that Yakitori, Kushikatsu and cocktails are only available from 5.30pm. Cocktails are unavailable on Sundays.
Thank you, Uma Uma and Zairyo PR for hosting moo.

Millenia Walk
Tel: 6837 0827
Opens: Monday to Saturday (11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to midnight)
            Sunday (11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm) 
Chew On This: Happy Hour runs daily from 5.30pm to 8pm. Enjoy $8 Asahi pint and $14 cocktails!  

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