Taisho-ken Maruichi

HK Magazine - - DINING -

Ra­men. G1018, Sing Fai Ter­race, Taikoo Shing Rd., Quarry Bay, 2562-3200. The first over­seas branch of this Toky­obased ra­men shop may be tucked away in a res­i­den­tial es­tate, but that hasn’t stopped mas­sive queues from form­ing on its doorstep.

HIT We stopped by Taisho-ken to try their fa­mous pork belly BBQ tsuke­men ($82), which we opted to have with the tra­di­tional chilled (room tem­per­a­ture) noo­dles. The two gen­er­ous slabs of pork had a nice bal­ance of fat and lean meat and the noo­dles were prop­erly springy. The broth was fla­vor­ful with­out be­ing salty or overly oily. We added a mar­i­nated egg ($12) that was cooked just right, with an evenly sea­soned sur­face, solid whites, and an ooz­ing sun­set or­ange cen­ter. We also tried their “Spe­cial Ra­men” ($85) with sea­weed, egg and BBQ pork. The sea­weed was rea­son­ably crisp and the pork was thick and lean. Flown straight in from Ja­pan, the broth is a rich, aro­matic con­coc­tion of pork, chicken and fish that won’t leave you down­ing gal­lons of water af­ter. Both bowls came with a gen­er­ous amount of sweet and crunchy bam­boo shoots.

MISS The pan-fried dumplings ($30) were pretty un­re­mark­able, as was the flabby karaage ($38), Ja­panese fried chicken. The salt-cured squid ($25) caught us to­tally off-guard: It was ac­tu­ally ika no sh­iokara— raw squid fer­mented with salt and its own in­nards. The menu gives no in­di­ca­tion that it’s raw squid, so if you’re not the ad­ven­tur­ous type, con­sider this your warn­ing.

BOT­TOM LINE A worth­while wait (ex­pect at least half an hour) for au­then­tic value-for-money ra­men. Open daily 11:30am-11:30pm. $

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