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Food Fridays: ‘Ramen Burgers’ Roll Out in Singapore |

Food Fridays: ‘Ramen Burgers’ Roll Out in Singapore

The Travelling C.O.W.
Travelling C.O.W. claims to be the first food truck in Singapore.

SINGAPORE — Ramen burgers — with cooked noodles playing the traditional role of the bun — are a craze in the U.S. But the burger twist is surprisingly new to Singapore, the heart of the noodle-eating universe.

The Travelling C.O.W.
C.O.W.’s Ramen Burgers.

Burgers in most of Asia follow the old school notion of a burger — meat patties, usually beef, served inside a bun. That’s been true as well in Singapore.

Enter the “Travelling C.O.W.,” which stands for “Chef on Wheels” because the ramen burgers are sold from a food truck.

Founder-owner Karen Cheng believes the Travelling C.O.W. may be the first place to sell ramen burgers in Singapore. The idea of a restaurant on wheels is also unusual here.

The burgers first.

They are perfect for the people who love their burgers only if they promise to be shirt spoilers. Juices start oozing and dripping right at the first bite. Halfway through my bulgogi –a Korean dish of grilled, marinated beef – burger, I had a puddle of liquid in the wrapping paper. I ate the last morsels with soup spoons and chopsticks.

The filling options in the ramen burgers include other Asian flavors, such as teriyaki chicken and crab salad. The ramen noodles are boiled, shaped into buns and frozen before being fried so they have a nice and crispy texture.

The Travelling C.O.W.
C.O.W.’s Corn Crab Chowder Soup.

The Travelling C.O.W. came into being as a fusion experiment in food. Ms. Cheng says she was bored marketing clothes, accessories and perfumes at a French luxury firm. She decided to put her self-described ability to be a discerning foodie to test with her own venture.

“I can make out ingredients quite well, and I can tell what’s missing in a dish. But I’m not great at cooking myself,” says Ms. Cheng. She got help from chef Low Yuin Ling, tapping the chef’s knowledge of local flavors to put the Travelling C.O.W. together.

Ms. Cheng says her food is prepared in a central kitchen and then put together on the truck.

Ms. Cheng owns one truck, but plans to get more. The truck travels to locations across Singapore, and customers can follow it on a weekly schedule on its Facebook page. Last week, the truck was at a service center for a day, and no, it was not serving folks at the auto garage.

Through January, Ms. Cheng’s ramen burgers are among culinary showcases featured by the U Factory, a contemporary art experiments forum at the Gillman Barracks in southern Singapore.

The Travelling C.O.W. food truck also has other offerings, such as bolognese pasta and aglio olio on its menu. The menu changes every week and is announced through the Facebook page, as is the location of the Travelling C.O.W.

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