4 Sun Wui Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2881 5006
Open: Monday-Friday noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm, Saturday noon-11pm, Sunday noon-10pm
Cuisine: Ramen (or rahmen, as it's spelled on the menu).
Price: About HK$160 without drinks and before adding the service charge.
Ambience: It's a small restaurant, with a few tables and some counter seating on two sides of the open kitchen. The modern decor contrasts with the traditional menu, which, like many in Japan, is quite limited (which we don't mind). Other than ramen with a choice of five soup bases, there are just two salads and a few appetisers and desserts. The staff-to-customer ratio is quite high so service is attentive.
Pros: The soup bases, pork and boiled egg.
Cons: We all thought our noodles were too soft, which is a serious drawback for a ramen shop. The warm Chiba pork salad (HK$80) was a good idea for a dish because the bitterness of the mixed greens - which include dandelion, radicchio and rocket - tempers the richness of the fatty pork. But it suffered from being overdressed - the excessive amount of grated onion overwhelmed the meat.
Recommended dishes: Sakura wood-smoked Japanese Chiba pork (HK$120) came oddly (but deliciously) topped with smoked mozzarella. The pork - soft, fatty and tender - had a deeply smoky flavour that complemented the sweet meat. We tried four of the five soup bases with ramen - miso (HK$100), ume (sour plum, HK$120), karamiso (HK$110) and soy (HK$100, above). I sipped my guest's soups and thought they were all quite subtly flavoured, with my bowl of ume being the lightest and most delicate. All the ramen servings came topped with fried shallots, sliced negi (Japanese leek) and a large, thin piece of Chiba pork. For HK$10, you can also order 'extras' - barbecue pork, seaweed or boiled egg. The egg was wonderful - the white was firm but tender, while the deep-orange yolk was cooked just to the point where it was no longer runny but still very soft.
What else? Although we didn't find the broths salty as we drank them, we were all thirsty after the meal. There are Mist outlets in Tokyo and Los Angeles.