If it’s too warm for a steaming hot bowl of ramen, and you’re not up for an unsubstantial cold noodle option, then perhaps a bowl of Mazesoba is what you’re looking for.
Mazesoba, or mixed noodles in English, is said to have originated in Nagoya, Japan in the 1950s and is inspired by Taiwanese noodles. Other sources however, have claimed that the dish originated from the owner of Menya Hanabi in 2008. According to that story, it was born out of an attempt to save the minced pork that didn’t turn out quite right, and the rest they say, is history.
Occasionally referred to as Japanese Bak Chor Mee here, the most common toppings in a classic Mazesoba includes minced meat, a handful of spring onions, an egg and of course, a bed of chewy, springy noodles.
There are of course, renditions by Mazesoba specialists in Singapore such as Kajiken and Menya Kokoro that come with a variety of other ingredients. Menya Kokoro, for instance, even has a bowl of Tom Yum Mazesoba (mixed with tomato, cucumber, lime leaf, lemon grass and Kokoro’s signature minced meat sauce) that caters to local palates. Cheese lovers can also indulge in a Triple Cheese Mazesoba, a fusion option that’s best shared amongst friends.
Read to find out where you can slurp on the best bowls of Mazesoba in Singapore.
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We love heading to Kajiken for a straightforward, no-frills bowl of Mazesoba. The dry noodles-only joint hails from Nagoya, so it’s obvious that the recommended bowl of choice here is the Mazesoba Nagoya Style, crafted from chewy noodles, spicy minced pork, soft boiled egg, seaweed and chopped spring onions. Need more meat? You can opt for additional karaage or char siew slices to mix your noodles with. Besides the centrally located Tanjong Pagar outlet, Kajiken also has joints in Paya Lebar and Novena as well.
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Menya Kokoro, also known as Japan’s most popular and largest restaurant Mazesoba chain, find itself at three Singaporean outlets: Suntec City, Plaza Singapura and 100am. The Mazesoba specialists have put together a menu that celebrates classics like the Original Mazesoba, as well as innovative creations like the Triple Cheese Mazesoba and the Tomyum Mazesoba.
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Have you ever had a bowl of noodles crafted from 62 ingredients? If the answer is no, you can pop by Kanda Soba for a taste. The Original Maze Soba may stem from a myriad of components, but the most important one of them all is the noodles. Think a firm and chewy texture that’s elevated with with spring onions, chives, seaweed, ground pepper, raw egg and meat sauce. Spice lovers can also try their hand at the Spicy Mazesoba, served in varying heat levels, while we recommend the Potato Cream Mazesoba for those who enjoy Carbonara.
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The most reliable place for a good bowl of ramen? Ippudo, of course. While most reach for a hearty bowl of ramen or tsukemen at this establishment, mazesoba is a stellar dish the Japanese ramen chain also offers. Available only at the Star Vista outlet, the mazesoba here comes with minced meat miso paste, springy dry noodles and toppings like diced chashu, spring onions, bamboo shoots, seaweed, an onsen egg and fried noodle bits for additional texture.
Takagi Ramen is one the few spots in Singapore where you’ll find quality noodles at affordable prices. Here, the Mazemen is served with dry Hakata-style firm ramen noodles that’s thinner than the other mazesoba noodles we’re used to, crowned with a generous portion of sweet corn, green scallions and hand-pulled pork sautéed with sweet soy sauce. Takagi Ramen currently has eight locations around the island.
The sister restaurant to Kajiken, Ramen Matsuri is the place to be if you want options for both quality mazesoba and ramen at the same time. Soup-loving diners can feast on the clean-tasting Torikoku Ramen — the restaurant’s signature chicken broth ramen — while the mazesoba menu ranges from bowls of Original Mazesoba to Mentai Mayo Mazesoba and Mapo Mazesoba. The dry noodle options all come with complimentary soup on the side.
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