Singapore, March 2017 – The opening of the world’s only Michelin star ramen restaurant – Tsuta Ramen – in Singapore created a big hype with over 200 people queuing for a taste or a slurp of Chef Yuki Onishi’s famed ramen. Despite my heightened curiosity, I have an aversion to long queues; therefore, I delayed my visit till recently. On a weekday at about 1:30pm, I stepped into Tsuta – a simple eatery with a long L-shape counter. Lucky me, no long queue!
Shoyu Ramen – served with 1 slice of char siu pork, bamboo shoots, leeks, truffle puree and truffle oil (S$15) is the most popular dish. The waitress alerted me that there offer a less salty version of ramen, but I decided to try their signature ramen.
Since I wanted to try the ajitama egg, I ordered an elevated version of the Shoyu Ramen with the flavored egg and also added an extra slice of char siu. If one is really hungry, it is probably better to opt for the deluxe version (S$22.80) – which includes 4 slices of char siu pork plus all the other ingredients. As far as beverages go, I personally prefer tea with ramen. Tsuta serves wheat tea, which is especially selected to compliment their ramen.
Behind the 18-seater counter, the chefs were working away – boiling the broth, preparing the ramen, slicing pork and garnishing each bowl – before they presented it to anxiously waiting patrons. Aroma of truffles filled the air.
The ramen noodles were firm and thin, which I prefer over the thicker softer noodles or udons. One word of caution, it is best to eat the ramen with the soup (so use your spoon), instead of picking up the ramen with your chopsticks and directly into your mouth. The soup base with chopped truffles and truffle oil is the star. I didn’t find the soup too salty or oily, but thought it was seasoned just right. I also liked the fresh bamboo shoots, not like the canned ones found in other ramen eateries. The soft boiled ramen egg was delicious and soft in the center as it should be. The char siu pork was on the lean side, so that may explain the slightly less tender texture.
After slurping down all the ramen and soup, I enjoyed my cup of wheat tea – strong and bitter – that really balanced out the saltiness of the broth. The Tsuta ramen experience was more interesting than others, mainly due to their unique use of Western ingredients – black truffles – in this aromatic bowl of shoyu ramen.
Tsuta Ramen – #01-01 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road, Singapore
All photos were taken by Mrs. King.