Noodle paradise: Japanese ramen restaurant Tsuta proves a popular choice in Hong Kong
See the chefs prepare their famous house-made noodles in this outlet of the Michelin star ramen restaurant in Tokyo
It takes years of devotion to become a skilled ramen chef, and many more years thereafter to become a recognised master. So when Tsuta - the world’s first Michelin star ramen restaurant in Tokyo - made its debut in Hong Kong, there was a great deal of excitement about it.
But any excitement should be tempered by the fact that Tsuta is a franchise outlet of the original, with staff trained in Singapore, not Tokyo. Queues since its opening are insane, with some patrons waiting up to three hours at peak times. Going there early will reduce your waiting time significantly - we went at around 5.30pm on a Wednesday and waited for about 10 minutes before being seated.
True to tradition in a Japanese ramen eatery, you place your order at a machine, with help (if needed) from one of the staff, who will take your payment upfront.
Once seated at the long bar table, you get to see the chefs skilfully prepare their house-made noodles.
We ordered the ajitama char siu shoyu soba with clear broth (HK$149) and the ajitama shio soba with salted broth (HK$113), which came with slices of char siu, flavoured eggs, bamboo shoots, leek and truffle pureed in truffle oil. Wheat tea is also on offer cold or hot.
The noodles were freshly made, soft and sleek with a taste of wheat. Both broths were clear and light, unlike the traditional Japanese tongotsu (pork bone) soup base which is thick with a sticky texture.
The overall look of the dishes resembled fusion or modern Japanese cuisine, rather than traditional Japanese ramen. Perhaps a more adventurous approach in the use of ingredients could be taken. The topping of mint leaves works better on the shoyu than shio soba.
It is always hard to top the original, especially when chefs in Japan get to work with the best ingredients. However, if a light-hearted ramen dish is what you are looking for, Tsuta is worth a try.
Shop 2, G/F, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 3188 2639