The Tsuta Brand of Ramen
Tsuta is the first ever Japanese Michelin-starred ramen eatery, and they would soon be adding bowls of heavenly ramen goodness to our local food scene from tomorrow (6 Nov), 11am onwards!
Chef Yuki Onishi, who heads the Tsuta flagship restaurant in Japan, spent days on end in the cosy 9-seater restaurant’s kitchen before he could perfect his repertoire of shoyu, shio and miso soup base options that would eventually accompany the springy ramen noodles. The suave chef must have done something right since tickets to have a taste of a bowl of ramen from his kitchen in Japan are usually snapped up by 8 am, which is a good three hours before their day begins at 11 am.
With only an 18-seater space at Tsuta’s Singapore outlet, I’m sure the queue on Sunday would be present throughout the day so you would want to head down to Pacific Plaza before its doors open at 11 am to secure a chance to try the ramen.
I recommend ordering the Char Siu Ajitama Shoyu Soba ($22.80) which comprise four evenly-sliced char siu, flavoured egg, bamboo shoot, leak and truffle puréed in truffle oil. It takes more effort to work through the char siu as they are sliced from the pork shoulders instead of the usual melt-in-your-mouth version that are from the pork belly. A crucial point to note is that the shoyu broth would gradually taste saltier if the food is left to cool for more than 10 minutes (read: you only have 10 minutes to snap pictures for boosting rights on social media).
If you’re in the mood for something lighter, rest assured that Tsuta’s Char Siu Ajitama Sio Soba ($22.80) is also one of the signature dishes that played a part in securing their Michelin star last year. Don’t forget to pair your bowl of ramen with a refreshing cup of wheat tea that is made from ingredients handpicked by Chef Onishi. The wheat tea may be stronger than what we’re used to in existing ramen joints but it does wonders to ease off the oiliness that typically lingers after devouring a bowl of ramen.
Chef Onishi has visited Singapore previously to understand the local food scene and what would suit Singaporeans’ palate, while also preparing for the official launch of Tsuta’s Singapore outlet. I hear that he has tasted local delights such as laksa and black pepper crab too, which may inspire future additions to Tsuta’s Singapore menu. I can’t decide whether incorporating local flavours into a traditional dish like ramen is a good thing or not since it could make or break the quality of a precious bowl of ramen. If Chef Onishi is at the helm of any new ramen creation, I’ll gladly queue to taste the fruits of his hard work!