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. $