Every now and then, Hong Kongers go through an enormous craze for a particular type of food. Shops and restaurants offering these foods spring up in dozens like an infestation and overwhelm the market until the hype finally dies down along with the restaurants. Matcha, frozen yoghurt and bubble tea are examples of phases we’ve been through, and while most of them are rather short-lived, there is one that is still going strong and even gaining momentum…Japanese authentic ramen.
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Photo via hungryhk
Originating from Hakata, Fukuoka, Ichiran has had more than 50 years experience in making Tonkotsu ramen. Its ramen is definitely high quality and the highlight of this particular ramen establishment actually lies in the store’s layout and the unique dining experience.
Diners are seated in booths / cubicles and are mostly isolated from others by dividers on both the left and right. There’s a small window in front with blinds that are only opened when you order or when food is delivered. There’s also a call button in front of you when you require service.
While this place doesn’t serve the best ramen in town, the experience alone is worth visiting it at least once.
Oh and did I tell you pretty much everything that occurs inside the restaurant is written or spoken in Japanese? Great ramen is always a good reason to start learning a new language, right?
Shop F-I, G/F, Lockhart House, Block A, 440 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay
Entrance Hall on G/F & Shop B, Basement Floor, 8 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ramen Jo is one of the few ramen places in town that offers a rich, aromatic miso soup base, which is a nice change from the sometimes greasy and heavy pork bone broth found in most other places. The special dish to try here is the mountain ramen where you get close to double the portion of noodles topped off with so many vegetables that it literally piles up like a mountain. All this for a mere $95 (plus a side dish at lunch hour during weekdays).
G/F, 3 Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay
Shop 1030, Elements Mall, Tsim Sha Tsui
Photo via hungryhk
Kanada-Ya prides itself for its milky, smooth pork broth soup, which takes 15 hours in an arduous process of simmering the pork bones. It is truly scrumptious and it’s paired with tender pork belly and a perfectly-timed soft boil egg. It’s absolutely to die for.
G/F, 34 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
Photo via hungryhk
Butao has long made a name for itself as one of the best noodle places in town. Horrendously long waiting times are a distinctive feature that makes Butao, Butao. But there’s a reason that there are long wait lines and also that people will wait in those long lines at Butao. Apart from the original pork bone broth, Butao also offers three other types of soup base which are all equally good. The exceptionally special one is the Green King, an Italian inspired fusion-style soup base with olive oil, pesto, basil and parmesan cheese. As an absolute lover of pesto sauce, this is nothing less than a bowl of heaven.
G/F, 40 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
89 Wellington Street, Central
G/F, Kam Wing Commercial Building, 28 Minden Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui
Shop 167, 1/F., New Town Plaza, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin
Some might say that Ippudo in the recent years has become overly commercialised. I beg to differ, judging by how they have opened six branches in Hong Kong and they still manage to get them jam-packed during the lunch and dining hours. What Ippudo offers that most other ramen places don’t is an extensive selection of side dishes from takoyaki to kara age (fried chicken) to gyoza (dumplings) and even BBQ buns. While this might seem untraditional to hard-core Japanese fans, I am not one to complain about having more choices of side dishes to complement my scrumptious ramen.
Shop 210, Silvercord Tower, 30 Canton Road,Tsim Sha Tsui
2/F, 8 Russell Street, Causeway Bay
3/F, Century Square, 1-13 D’Aguilar Street,Central
Shop F04-F06, 1/F, LAB Concept, Queensway Plaza, 93 Queensway, Admiralty
Shop G54A1. Phase 1, Telford Plaza, 33 Wai Yip Street, Kowloon Bay
Shop 5, 4/F.,Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street,Mong Kok