Fire Ramen by Menbaka returns with a spectacular Triple Fire Experience featuring kushiyaki skewers, smoky shoyu pork ramen & more

by Christabel Tan

Asking our friends out for fire ramen wasn’t a thing…until Menbaka Fire Ramen arrived on our shores back in 2020 at Cineleisure Orchard.

fire ramen by menbaka
Photo: Menbaka

If you didn’t already know, that outlet has since closed down, and reopened as Fire Ramen by Menbaka at The Centerpoint, just a stone’s throw away from its former location.

Photo: Menbaka

Prepared to be dazzled by the popular Kyoto ramen joint’s theatrical displays yet again, alongside a brand new izakaya dining concept featuring charcoal-grilled yakitori, sushi, sashimi, and a spectacular “Triple Fire Experience”.

fire ramen by menbaka
Photo by Confirm Good

You can expect appetisers, such as the Refreshing Watermelon with Umami Kawaebi Sprinkles (S$5.90), and an impressive selection of savoury sides that make Fire Ramen by Menbaka so much more than your typical ramen restaurant.

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It’s always fun to commemorate good meals with a toast — not just with alcohol, but with the Ahirureba Onsen Kanpai (S$5.90), a silky concoction of foie gras, ikura, and a runny-yolked onsen egg served in cocktail glasses.

fire ramen by menbaka
Photo by Confirm Good

You may also be tempted to choose from a variety of fresh sushi and sashimi, like the Hanamaki (S$3.90), salmon sushi shaped like flowers, and the Sakura Ebi (S$9.90), an ebi maki roll coated with sweet sakura powder, but I’d rather you go straight for the ramen and kushiyaki.

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After all, the iconic fire experience is what most come here for, and it comes in the form of three acts.

Photo: Menbaka

First and foremost, order any bowl of ramen and be seated at the counter (according to the instructions of the staff), where you’ll get to watch the chefs ignite green onion (negi) oil, creating tall, dramatic flames (a sight to behold!), before pouring it over the restaurant’s signature broth, yielding a rich, smoky, and imitable taste.

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Ramen purists can look no further than the Ultimate Fire Ramen (from S$17.90), which comprises tender aburi pork belly, chashu, corn, negi, black fungus, seaweed, and a ramen egg bathed in Menbaka’s new and improved 228-year-old shoyu pork broth.

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The ramen served here is packed with flavour, without being overly greasy or cloying, and boasts a smoky fragrance that lingers in the mouth — it just might be the most “wok hei” ramen I’ve had in a long time.

Photo: Menbaka

Next, move on to a selection of meat and seafood skewers (kushiyaki) prepared atop a Japanese binchotan charcoal grill (sumiyaki).

fire ramen by menbaka
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Meat skewers (Pork Belly, Bacon with Enoki, Bacon with Shiitake, Pork with Leek) are available individually from S$2.90, while seafood skewers (Ebi, Maguro, Salmon, Shishamo, Unagi) are each priced from S$3.90.

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If you’re dining in a larger group (or feeling extra peckish), you can also order a set of seven or 10 skewers for S$22 and S$33 respectively.

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Last but not least, the star of the izakaya, the Salmon Batayaki (S$58.90), features 700g of freshly cut salmon wrapped around a bamboo pole, basted with flaming oil to create spectacular (and less dramatic) flames — a sight for both sore eyes and the camera.

fire ramen by menbaka
Photo by Confirm Good

The salmon is then braised with a blended sauce comprising sake, kirin, and shoyu before being topped with bonito flakes and a slice of lemon. The end result? Flaky, beautifully charred meat served with a sweet soy-based dipping sauce — a guaranteed hit for seafood lovers.

My only gripe is that some parts of the salmon were a tad overcooked.

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End your visit on a sweet note with desserts like Menbaka Cakes (S$6.90), assorted ice cream (S$6.90), and the Seasonal Hana Mochi (from S$1.60 per piece), adorable sakura-shaped mochi filled with red bean paste.

Drinks-wise, the Frozen Beer (S$15), with its unique snowy texture, and the one-of-a-kind Kyoto Matcha Beer (S$12.90), will pair nicely with the aforementioned medley of dishes.

fire ramen by menbaka
Photo by Confirm Good

Fire Ramen by Menbaka is back, bigger and better than ever, so why not round up your friends, family, and loved ones for a fun night out in Somerset?

Fire Ramen by Menbaka
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???? 176 Orchard Rd, The Centerpoint Food Street #01-53 to 56, Singapore 238843
???? 12pm–10pm (Mon to Thu), 11.30am–11pm (Fri & Sat), 11.30am–10pm (Sun)

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Photos by Christabel Tan

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