The Place If you have been to Tokyo before, chances are you would have heard of Afuri ramen, the famous Yuzu base ramen which hails from Ebisu, Tokyo. The new Funan mall officially opened few days ago, and the famous Japanese import is located at basement 1 of the lifestyle-centric mall. The space of Afuri (ramen + dumpling) is quite open as you can see all the tables at one glance, including the open kitchen. There are 73 seats, which is quite huge for a ramen joint, especially if I were to benchmark to the ones in Japan.
Ordering is self-service from an iPad equivalent, and that reminds me of a stark difference from Tokyo – the missing self-service vending machine and order tickets which are omnipresent in every Japanese ramen shop.
The Food In terms of menu, Afuri Singapore is not exactly identical to Tokyo, which explains the slightly different name in Singapore as well. That said, I was elated to spot the signature Yuzu Ramen and Tsukemen.
I went straight for the Yuzu Shio Ramen (S$15.90) instead of the Yuzu Shoyu Ramen (S$15.90), where the former is the most representative dish of Afuri.
The light broth here is a mix of chicken and seafood stock, served with onsen egg, slice of chashu and seaweed. The ramen texture itself is quite al dente, while the signature broth is nicely represented by the familiar yuzu peel flavour. It is refreshing, yet hearty.
Rants There were quite a number of empty seats, even when the queue was snaking long during my visit on its opening day. I suspect the staff do not want to rush everyone in to their table, with diners end up waiting for a long time for their food. Prices are considerably more expensive than Japan and if I were to use 1000 yen as a benchmark, a basic bowl of Afuri ramen is approximately 40% more expensive.
Will I Return Again? There are a couple of side dishes like dumplings and the equally popular tsukemen is one dish I am keen to try the next time round.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Afuri (ramen + dumpling)
107 North Bridge Road
Tel: +65 6970 1386
Ranted by The Ranter