Restaurant review: Bari-Uma, Causeway Bay - ho-hum Japanese
Ramen noodles and broth don't stand out from those served by similar restaurants in the area
There are more than 10 Japanese restaurants to choose from in Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay. Half of them serve ramen, which invites comparison. Opened in July, Bari-Uma, which means “super tasty” in the Hiroshima dialect, offers a big choice of ramen, rice and side dishes.
One of my friends is a vegetarian, so we asked the waiter if they served any meat-free dishes. The waiter confidently told us they do, and pointed out a ramen dish – tori-yasai (HK$78). When the dish was served, we realised that it was soaked in chicken broth. We then asked a waitress if there was any broth that did not contain meat. She gave us a blank look and asked if pork broth was suitable. In the end my friend was only able to eat the half-boiled egg from our noodle dish and ordered a side dish of bamboo shoots (HK$10). The bean sprouts on the ramen were quite tasteless.
We also tried the noritama-uma (HK$98), as it was the restaurant’s signature ramen. The pork soup broth was rich and thick. The ramen noodles also had a very strong broth taste, which we liked, and the half-boiled egg also did not disappoint as it was cooked just right – hard on the outside, soft and runny inside.
For side dishes, the spicy gyoza (HK$38) was, to quote my guest, “a mixture of confused flavours”, and the chilli did not complement the flavour of the dumplings. It is probably a better idea to order the original gyoza (HK$35), as the dumpling itself was quite tasty. The karaage (HK$35), a chicken dish, was too crisp but the meat was surprisingly quite succulent. The texture of the pork in the chashu-mayo rice (HK$35) was quite grainy but the taste was still fine.
Overall, the ramen noodles and their signature broth did not stand out from the competition along the street.
Bari-Uma, Circle Tower, 28 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2180 9172. Open: 11am-11pm