Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tsuta Ramen 蔦 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

Tang Lung Street has just gotten a little busier this week following the opening of Tsuta Ramen (蔦), the one and only ramen shop in the world currently with a Michelin star. The famed ramen shop from Tokyo has recently opened in Singapore and Taipei so we knew it's just the matter of time before they arrive in Hong Kong. And where else to launch their first Hong Kong branch other than Tang Lung Street which has been home to so many Japanese ramen shops in the city already!

I was hoping I could get a crack at Tsuta's ramen this afternoon before my meeting. But after arriving a little after 12:30PM, I realized that the slow-moving queue of 15 to 20 people are probably not going away soon so I decided to come back a little later.

And come back I did at around 5PM and guess what, there's only one person in the queue. So my strategy worked out perfectly...

Tsuta first opened in Tokyo back in 2012 and became the first ramen shop to receive a Michelin star in 2015. I'm really looking forward to the two elements which have made Tsuta so popular over the years - their special homemade soba noodles and truffled soy-based broth.

Any good ramen shop would have their own noodle making facility in house and looks like Tsuta is well equipped in that department with their own ramen making machine just behind the glass window.

It didn't take long for me to place my order coz Tsuta has a pretty simple menu of just two types of ramen - shoyu which is soy-based and shio which is salt based.

I am normally not a fan of salt-based ramen so I went with their Ajitama shoyu soba instead. 

I really like their clear broth (almost clear) which was made with tons of chicken, fish and clams. While it lacks a bit in volume, it made up for it with the nice depth of flavors. For those who's health conscious, it also tasted a little less oily comparing to most tonkatsu (pork-based) broth.

Apart from the flavorful and slightly sweet broth, I thought the soba noodles were seriously good too. The hardness of the noodles was spot on and it was pretty good in absorbing the flavors of the broth. I could only think of one single blemish here and the guilty party was the truffle oil. There was no question the truffle oil added another dimension to the broth but for most ramen lovers, it would be a bit too overpowering. In fact, I thought it kind of overshadowed the subtle sweetness of the broth which was fine on its own without it. 

For $113, it also came with a thin slice of smoky char siu and a marinated soft-boiled egg. Is it worth the heavy price tag? Well, I think so but for once only. 

Food Rating: 5.5/10
Price: $$$$
Address: Shop 2, G/F V-Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Causeway Bay
Tel: +852 3188-2639

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