Five hours under the scorching summer sun or freezing winter cold to get a bowl of ramen? That is the average time needed to get a bowl of this coveted ramen (it was the first ever Ramen eatery to receive a Michelin star) from Tsuta in Sugamo, Tokyo. Come this Sunday however, lucky Singaporeans will be able to sample Tsuta’s ramen at their first overseas venture, aptly named “Tsuta Singapore” in Pacific Plaza.
While most ramen outlets in Singapore offer Kotteri (thick broth), Tsuta’s Asari (thin broth) injects a refreshing breath to the existing ramen genre. The only other Asari I could think of is Sanpoutei’s Shoyu ramen which is incidentally a few blocks down the road.
Asari places emphasis on the clear thin Dashi, and in Chef Yuki Onishi’s case, one that is made with chicken, clams, seafood and an assortment of vegetables.
From this basic stock, patrons can indicate their preference for shoyu, shio or miso soup. While keeping as close to the original version, the ramen here would not be an exact replica. For one, only about 80% of ingredients are sourced from Japan while the rest are from other parts of the world like the Canadian pork collar for the Char Siu, local eggs and Italian truffle.
I was delighted to hear that Tsuta’s noodles are freshly made in the Scotts Road shop premise and that the Shoyu he used is specially custom-brewed in an artisanal Shoyu factory in Wakayama. It is little wonder that his Shoyu Soba which came with a dollop of Italian black truffle sauce is also the house signature.
In slightly less than two minutes, my noodles were cooked while the Dashi is simmered under carefully calculated temperature to extract the optimum flavours from the stock. As the bowls are assembled under our watchful eyes, I was impressed by the orchestrated moves displayed by the entire ramen team.
Primo Sapor with my Renge on the luxe Char Sky Ajitama Shoyu Soba ($22.80) which came with Char Siu, bamboo shoots, leek, Ajitama and truffle puréed in truffle oil, the flavours of the stock were threading between Yin & Yang. It was somewhat discrete and discreet at the same time that I would draw comparison to drinking green tea, which becomes more pronounced only after subsequent sips. The generous toppings also lent a few interesting texture to the bowl.
It was a good composition, but nonetheless had failed adequately in delivering the consistency I was expecting of the most superior bowl of ramen. The noodles were decent. Beyond this some mouthfuls were bland while others were overtly salted although I do believe Chef Yuki Onishi will iron this out in no time.
To make some local adaptation, the ramen master will also be creating monthly Special menus on a regular basis, with the Miso ramen making its debut in this coming December.
Also, unlike in Tsuta Tokyo where they serve only a limited 150 bowls of ramen a day, we see no such restrictions placed here in Tsuta Singapore. The payment system is also made easy with the self-service kiosk with options of cash, nets and credit card.
Meanwhile till Sunday’s opening, fingers crossed. Lets just hope that we don’t need to wait another five hours for just a bowl of Tsuta ramen.
The above article is written by co-editor @ramenking2016. You can find him on instagram where he shares his love for food and travel.
9 Scotts Road, #01-01/02/03, Pacific Plaza Singapore 228210
Operating Hours: 6-11 November 11am to 6pm (last order 5.30pm)
12 November onwards 11am to 10pm (last order 9.30pm)
Payment Mode: Self Service Payment Kiosk