The amazing Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen will always have a place in my heart ❤ With great service, affordable prices (already inclusive of GST + no service charge) AND top-notch Japanese cuisine, this is definitely a place that fills your heart and belly with warmth (without creating a hole in your wallet).
Entering the restaurant, I was welcomed by jolly service staff, and also met the one and only — Chef Tan-San. The place was filled with customers, and as I tucked into my first meal, I soon began to understand why…
Tori Karaage (S$5.50nett)
Bite into these crispy chicken chunks, which are a specially selected part of chicken thigh meat dipped overnight into a special sauce concoction. The Tori Karaage is filled with flavour, and even includes a hint of lemon flavour for a zesty finish (definitely not like those you find in NTUC). Fried only upon order, the highlight will be the tenderness of this flavourful crispy chicken chunks.
Potato Korokke (S$4.50nett)
The Potato Korokke is breaded mashed potato mixed with Japanese pork bits (seasoned and cooked separately) and vegetables. It is only breaded and fried upon order, and reveals a fragrant taste of lemon with every bite. Don’t belittle its appearance as this snack is a top favourite amongst all ages!
1. Premium Pork Loin (S$21.90nett)
The star of the show, and a personal favourite, the Premium Pork Loin is truly a meal that would keep me happy for a lifetime (no exaggeration mates). Extremely value for money, the meal includes the Japanese Air Flown Sangenton pork loin, Niigata rice, fresh lettuce, Tonjiru Soup and watermelon.
The main attraction has to be the pork loin. Specially chosen for its juiciness and tenderness, each piece of loin is generously tenderised and breaded upon each customer’s order. It is also not marinated or pre-seasoned to bring out the freshness and quality of pork. What’s more surprising is the lack of an oily, greasy taste as Chef Tan-san drains off all oil before serving up this specialty.
The Tonjiru Soup is prepared using Tonkotsu Broth (simmered for 12 hours), with Japanese Pork, carrots, radish, burdock roots, konnyaku (japanese yam jelly) and a hint of Yuzu. After a long day at work, this Tonjiru Soup will warm your belly and make you feel right at home again. Shiok ah!
Topped off with crunchy cabbage and juicy watermelon to balance out the meal, it is no surprise that the Premium Pork Loin is a top choice in Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen.
(Free Flow Rice & Cabbage)
2. Nagoya Miso Fillet (S$19.50 nett)
Infused with red wine and Tonkotsu broth, the Nagoya Miso Fillet will lift you to Cloud 9, literally. This fillet is not just another salty and earthy fried pork fillet. Specially catered to the Singaporean palate, it is less salty, and the hint of umami makes the dish lighter on the taste buds.
The Nagoya Miso Fillet comes with Rice, Soup, pickles, water melon & roasted sesame with Goma bowl.
(Free Flow Rice & Cabbage)
1. Ebi-Fry Ramen (S$16.90 nett)
Dubbed the restaurant’s very own baby, the Ebi-Fry Ramen is a precious creation by Chef Tan-San and is not included in the menu. Instead, it is specially featured around the restaurant, if you’re lucky enough to realise that!
After many long hours of trial and experimentation, the Ebi-fry Ramen presents a perfect combination of Tonkostsu base broth, specially simmered in-house for 12 hours with a secret Sakura Ebi Paste. Relish in delight, as there is no added MSG, and is 100% natural goodness!
My favourite part was the Loin Rib Chashu, which I absolutely absolutely loved. It is amazingly sweet, soft and nicely complements the Sakura Ebi broth. The ramen is completed with menma (Bamboo shoots) imported from Japan, moyashi (bean Sprout), greens, dash of Japanese La-Yu (chilli oil) and a generous sprinkle of crispy Sakura Ebi.
1. Katsu Don (S$13.90nett)
After trying the Katsu Don here, I don’t think I can stomach a bad Katsu don anymore… An all-time favourite comfort food, this dish features runny eggs dripped over Niigata rice, nori (seaweed) and caramelised onions.
A nice twist to the dish is that the Pork Fillet Katsu is laid over the rice, instead of being cooked with sauce and egg. This keeps the crunchiness of the katsu throughout the meal, and lets you enjoy the best of both worlds.
The Set is served with Tonjiru Soup, home-made pickles & watermelon.
As you can see, you’ll be spoilt for choice when eating at the Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen. Whether ramen or tonkatsu, you’re sure to leave smacking your lips and coming back for more! I’ll be up for any jios to revisit Hajime 😉
Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen
MyVillage @ Serangoon Garden, 1 Maju Avenue
#02-07/8/9 Singapore 556679
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:00pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
A huge thank you to Kenneth @5meanders, Sheena (@fungisan) and Soon Hui for hosting!