Tsuta – Michelin-starred Ramen Hits Singapore

What do you do when the widely anticipated Michelin-starred ramen joint opens its first overseas branch in Singapore? You join the crazy craze of course. So this is what the friend and I did on an early Saturday morning when it first opened. I know, we are not in the right  mind to queue for 3.5 hours or thereabout before we were finally ushered inside. As some of you might have already known, its original establishment in Japan is a 9-seat eatery and serves only 150 bowls each day. So the 150 tickets were highly sought after each day, just like the golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Here, it is a little better. The Singapore outpost has 18 seats and serves a limit of 250 bowls per day, and who knows you might even bump into Chef Onishi himself who has committed to drop by Singapore about 4 times per year to do some quality check

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Once you are inside, you input your order into the machine which will dispense you a ticket and then you pass it over to the service staff. Very Japan-like. And then, you wait, before you are ushered to your seats

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It was pretty stressful eating with everyone standing behind you watching, but then again luckily we were sitting on the other end. The interior was a mix of traditional and modernized architecture which reflected what Tsuta has incorporated into its ramen

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Chef prepping the ramen!

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Wheat Tea $1.80

The wheat tea was specially chosen by Chef Onishi who felt that this particular blend complemented his ramen the most. Well, I thought that the tea is indeed fragrant with a roasted lingering aroma. But I can’t tell if it really complements the ramen

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Char Siu Ajitama Shoyu Soba $22.80

I was deciding between the one and four slices of char siu and eventually went with the latter since I have waited so long. Must as well make the full use of it. The shoyu, is definitely richer in flavour. So when you try the Sio next, it makes latter pretty insignificant

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Char Siu Ajitama Sio Soba $22.80

The first aroma that hits you will be the smell of truffle. The sio was lighter in flavour but you can still taste the sweetness of the stock which was concocted from chicken, vegetables and seafood. On first sip, you can really taste the truffle but it eventually dissipated towards the end, overwhelmed by the taste of the stock

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The noodles here are made in-house with flour imported from Japan so chef Onishi is able to recreate and allow Singaporeans to have the exact taste. The noodles were firm and has a nice chewy texture. It is termed soba as it meant noodles in Japanese, so it doesn’t necessarily mean the usual soba you see

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The char siu, unfortunately, was a little underwhelming

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And my egg could be better. Still, I love the overall flavour, the softness and the melt in the mouth kind of texture

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There is definitely some standard to this bowl of ramen. First, the flavour is unique. It is not something which you actually find in Singapore often so it is good to have a change of flavours at times. I thought it was nice, but it does not necessarily mean it is one of the best ramen I have ever eaten. Perhaps the long wait might have contributed to the expectation. And is it worth the 3.5 hours wait? Personally, I don’t think so

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Currently there are only two choices of ramen available but they also include a selection of rich dishes and ochazuke if you prefer something else. My advice for those who are waiting to try this, go when the hype dies down. It might be better to appreciate the ramen by then

Tsuta

Pacific Plaza

#01-01, 9 Scotts Road, S(228210)

*This restaurant has been awarded The 2017 Michelin Bib Gourmand Award