Restaurant Review

CLOSED - Food review: Tetsu in Causeway Bay serves up flavourful ramen

Japanese noodle chain’s first Hong Kong outlet well worth a visit

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 December, 2015, 2:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 02 October, 2017, 1:16pm

Causeway Bay is never short of ramen shops. Be it the out-of-the-way Tamashii Japanese Noodle on Sharp Street West, global chain Ippudo on Russell Street, or the army ofplaces turning Tang Lung Street into a ramen battlefield, there are plenty of choices for the style you prefer.

Last month, tsukemen (dipped ramen) specialist Tetsu joined the fierce competition. Founded by Kazunori Komiya in 2005, Tetsu has 24 stores in Japan and this Hong Kong outlet is the first foray overseas. And after our visit, it is a contender if the food quality remains consistent.

We visited on a weekday afternoon and after a short wait on the narrow pavement next to a snaking bus queue, we were seated at the counter next to the open kitchen. The menu is simple and features three ramen options: tsukemen (HK$89), tonkotsu ramen (HK$79), and Sendagi ramen (HK$84 for regular, HK$94 for large).

We sampled all three and loved the fact that each uses different noodles. Tsukemen, which also comes with a spicy variation, has curly and chewy noodles which hold on to the flavourful fish- and pork-based soup. And although the tonkotsu ramen tastes rather one-dimensional, the thin, silky noodles and the creamy pork bone broth are a perfect match.

The Sendagi ramen is a pleasant surprise. Created especially for Hong Kong, with only 30 bowls served each day, the rich broth made with plenty of fish powder initially tasted too fishy. But soon, we started to enjoy the salty sweetness and the strong fragrance resembling dried bonito flakes. And the bouncy noodles helped the overall dish.

Remember to order the soft-boiled egg (HK$9), which is nicely seasoned with a subtle sweetness and cooked so it has a runny yolk.

Boiled dumplings (HK$29) are tasty but not memorable. If you’re a slow eater, be sure to ask for a yaki-ishi – a sizzling black stone that you can drop into your bowl to keep the soup hot during your meal.

Tetsu 23 Canal Road West, Causeway Bay, tel: 2172 6433. Open: 11am-11.30pm