Affordable omakase, bara chirashi don, yakitori, live eel via Michelin Bib Gourmand award-winning Man Man Unagi, and now — ramen. Affable Fukuoka-born chef Teppei Yamashita, 37, has morphed from humble cook at his eponymous restaurant in Tras Link (the man still cooks there when he isn’t on business trips), to formidable towkay of an F&B empire with 15 outlets in Singapore and three overseas. His latest venture, Men-Men Tei, which simply means “noodle shop” in Japanese, will open mid February, “before Chinese New Year”, at new CBD retail complex, Marina One, The Heart.

The no-frills 15-seater will offer "Tokyo tonkotsu ramen". According to Teppei-san, the rich pork bone soup here spiked with bonito is Tokyo-style because it’s heavier on shoyu (soy sauce). The thick, curly noodles are procured from a ramen factory in Singapore.

There will be 13 types of ramen available, with a basic bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen without egg starting from just $8.80. The priciest dish is the Lobster Ramen ($29.80), with your choice of pork bone or a chicken-based shoyu soup heaving with 300g worth of rock lobster. According to Teppei, the crustaceans are pan-fried upon order with salt and pepper. There is also a prawn-oil infused Ebi Shoyu Ramen (from $8.80 without egg) and a dry version of the noodles called Mazesoba ($8.80). Yep, it seems Teppei is playing safe by covering all the bases on his noodle menu.

While the boss himself will help out occasionally in the kitchen during the restaurant’s opening stages, Men Men will be permanently helmed by Japanese chef Yoshihiko Watanabe, who has worked at ramen-ya Menya Musashi in Tokyo.

But why ramen — and why only now? “My regular customers kept asking me to open a ramen shop in their office area. Since I want to offer good ramen in Singapore, I decided to partner chef Watanabe to set up something here!” chirps Teppei-san.

But that’s not all the tireless dude has up his sleeve — he’ll be opening a third Man Man Unagi outlet at Tai Seng in March, along with a grilled seafood and sashimi joint called Tora Tora in the same building. He’ll also be launching other brand new concepts later this year. Check back for more updates.

Men-Men Tei will open later this month at #B2-28 Marina One, The Heart, 5 Straits View, S018935. Tel: 6282-7280.

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