Michelin-starred Tsuta duck ramen vs. newcomer Ginza Kamo Soba – who will win?

Westies rejoice, for Singapore’s ramen king Keisuke Takeda has opened up a long-awaited outlet in the West, at the happening neighbourhood Holland Village. The best part – it’s dedicated to duck.

Stepping into the 32-seater Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke, we were hit by the tantalising smell of duck. Not a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine – but a welcome one nonetheless, as we watched chef Keisuke and the other chefs meticulously cut thick slices of Irish Hybrid Duck, which has a higher fat content compared to other breeds.

So how does it fare against Tokyo’s Tsuta Ramen, a Michelin-starred ramen eatery, which has two outlets in Singapore and also boasts a popular duck ramen?

Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke – Hybrid Duck Broth Ramen Special ($19)

We absolutely loved the Hybrid Duck Broth Ramen Special (Clear Soup: $14 for original, $16 with a flavoured egg, $19 for the Special)) which was fragrant, with juicy pieces of Irish Duck atop the generous portion of ramen, duck meatballs, nori, naruto (fishcake) and chopped vegetables.

Thoe shoyu based soup had that perfect umami flavour, and went well with the yuzu paste that diners can mix in at your own leisure. The springy duck meatballs are made using both thigh and breast meat, and are mixed with egg (to bind it together), leeks and fresh yuzu peel. Filling without being overwhelming, this is a perfect duck ramen for Singapore’s humid weather and we guarantee you’ll be slurping up the broth.

Tsuta Ramen – Kamo Paitan Soba Soup ($11)

Slow-cooked for five hours, the broth is made from shoyu and duck oil. Along with the slices of onion, vegetables, chopped roasted cashew nuts and poached duck breast, there are two delicious, delicate minced duck wanton that accompanies the ramen.

The soup was a little salty, and the duck breast not as fat and tender as we would have liked.

The Verdict:

Ginza Kamo Soba wins by a long run. The pieces of Irish Hybrid Duck melted in the mouth and the duck meatballs were addictive. The addition of the yuzu paste took the shoyu broth to a whole new level that makes us want to go back for more.