Wednesday, April 04, 2018

‘Ramen Teh’ 《情牵拉面茶》

Had to watch Eric Khoo’s ‘Ramen Teh’《情牵拉面茶》. Not that I’m a giant fan of the director or anything, although he has churned out pretty decent stuff. There’s a storyline, but it’s patchy. Feel free to watch this as a cooking show rather than a love story, search for cultural identity or anything else. The food shots are beautifully framed. The songs in the film are composed and arranged by Kevin Mathews and Christine Sham. The OST is pretty catchy.

It’s quite a surprise seeing Mark Lee in a role where he actually acts. I haven’t seen him in films doing other stuff beyond stereotyped characters. Maybe that’s because I don’t notice Chinese productions much. I forgave all nonsense scenes with loopholes because I watched it for Takumi Saito (斎藤 工), and mostly for Seiko Matsuda (松田 聖子). My teenaged self totally idolized her. 😍🤩 She’s a really good actress, and even in this role as a food blogger and single mother, Miki, she shone. The final scene was really annoying though. Arrrrgh. Watch it and tell me if you find it vague too. I hate ambiguous endings. Rather, everything else is nicely and lovingly spelt out, except for Seiko Matsuda’s Miki and her future.

Chef Keisuke Takeda made a guest appearance in the film, as himself. 🙄 He also provided his Suntec restaurant as venue for one of press conferences, and served the imagined dish ‘ramen teh’ for guests to sample. I’m neither a fan of bak kut teh (done in light pepper or dark herbal style) nor ramen in too rich and oily tonkotsu broth. Cha shu or giant ribs done this way ain’t what the tastebuds like. I prefer ramen as tsukemen or at the very least, in the Kagoshima style. I like the instant cups well enough though. Hurhurhur. I’d rather make my own version with seafood or vegetables, using the barest pork bones to flavor the soup.

BUT, I went to Keisuke Tokyo at Suntec to try its special dish of ‘ramen teh’ (on the menu till 30 April 2018). I went before the film opened on 29 March 2018. What arrived was an interesting mix that I didn’t mind- springy thin noodles and a lighter broth. Loved the garlic in it. Chilli padi and dark soy sauce were provided. That totally made the meal. I skipped most of the pork. Very fatty lah. There were erm, those complimentary eggs provided, of which I ate four. LOL. Same same protein, right? Hehehehe. ‘Ramen teh’ tasted pretty decent!

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