FOOD REVIEW: Niku King is Keisuke's latest offering for meat lovers

Stephanie Zheng
·Lifestyle Editor
·4-min read

Does a dish exist if there are no online reviews? At Yummy! Reviews, we aim to be honest and transparent about the food we cover. As much as possible, we paid for the food. Where meals are offered for free, don’t assume for a moment we will disguise our delight or displeasure. What is guaranteed, however, are honest opinions (though we recognise taste is subjective) and relevant deets, to help you make a decision about a visit.

The Keisuke brand is a F&B powerhouse. With over 20 outlets in Singapore serving different concept ramens, omurice and gyoza, it’s common even now to see queues outside of its various outlets. Fancy a lobster-bisque broth ramen? A traditional Tonkotsu broth, perhaps? Maybe a hearty chicken broth ramen with a massive serving of roasted chicken thigh? Keisuke has it all, and then some.

Keisuke Tekada, the mastermind and chef behind the concept outlets behemoth, opens his 12th ramen concept at Paya Lebar Square today. Niku King, simply translated, means Meat King. The premise is obvious: this ramen outlet promises a mountain of meat for the obligate carnivore amongst us.

First Impressions

Two different types of ramen from Niku King
Two different types of ramen from Niku King (PHOTO: Stephanie Zheng/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

The air is thick with the aroma of the Tonkotsu broth, and you can already tell when you’re in the restaurant that the ramen is going to be a truly hearty meal. Instead of classic pork loins, the soup base in this outlet is boiled for hours with Tontoro, which is made of the fattier cuts of pork such as the cheeks, shoulder or neck. That gives the soup its omnipresent umami-ness and thick texture. True to what’s promised, every bowl of ramen comes with not just thick cuts of meat, but also numerous amount of thinner Chasyu. No signs of noodle in the ramen bowl yet.

Taste Test

Thick slice of Pork Chasyu
Up close of a thick slice of Pork Chasyu (PHOTO: Bruce Lim/YahooTV)

With such a meat-reliant dish, the freshness of the pork can make or break it. Those who are sensitive to the smell of pork will be happy to learn that the meat does not smell gamey.

The broth was creamy, activating all our tastebuds at first sip. It was like being hit with a ramen truck, and then finding ourselves swimming with pigs in the Bahamas. I guess what I’m trying to say is, it was not unpleasant and very fulfilling, for sure.

The ramen noodles are thicker compared to the standard thin noodles in most Hakata ramen, which makes it a perfect conduit for the savoury soup.

All Niku King Ramen Spicy Tonkotsu, $20.90
All Niku King Ramen Spicy Tonkotsu, $20.90 (PHOTO: Stephanie Zheng/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

I had the Spicy Tonkotsu, because chilli is life. Bad news for spicy-lovers, there is none of the burn you’d expect from such a fierce-looking dollop of chilli. Good news for everyone else, there is no sign of burn, but the addition of the chilli elevated the already rich broth to another level. This bowl is intense.

Fluffy Egg on Rice
Keisuke Egg Rice, $3.90 (PHOTO: Stephanie Zheng/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

For sides, we shared the signature Keisuke Egg Rice, featuring imported Hokkaido rice topped with pork Chasyu drizzled in Keisuke Special Sauce and a fluffy egg blanket. Before the time of writing, I did not know that Keisuke already had an Omurice concept. But after trying this dish, I’m a sold customer. It’s that good.

Salmon Rare Katsu, $8.90
Salmon Rare Katsu, $8.90 (PHOTO: Stephanie Zheng/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

We weren’t fans of the Salmon Rare Katsu initially, with its sashimi grade salmon and perfectly deep fried crust, even though we had high expectations from how photogenic it looked.

However, after going through the ramen, the dish provided a nice palate cleanser between slurps of heavy broth. Skip the sauces on the side, and just dip the the slices very gently into light soy sauce. We promise you that the experience will be much better.

Verdict

The meaty ramen is a go-big-or-go-home kind of dish, and it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. Go when you’re really, really hungry.

Niku King

60 Paya Lebar Road, #01-02/03/04, Paya Lebar Square

Mon-Sat & PH: 11.30am -10.30pm

Sun: 11.30am-10pm

*Note that opening hours will be updated after Phase 2.

Tel: +65 6214 3345