|How beautiful is this onsen egg?|
Now the bad:
|Queue queue queue|
This ramen place is part-owned by Meter Chen, a native HKer and Nipponophile who spent most of his formative years (and more) in Japan and is now the local media's go-to guy for all things Japanese.
And the not so great:
Okay, back to this bowl. The basil just nuked my tongue and nose. I couldn't taste anything else. Plus it was pretty oily. Now, I love oil. I even ask for a slice of butter in my Hokkaido-style ramen, but oil is there to make things tasty, not weigh the dish down and rob it of all complexity. After this, I felt like someone had tried to drown me in an oil barrel full of pesto. (Maybe I've been watching too much Dexter...) Not a good feeling.
There was also chashu (roast pork) which is supposedly slow-cooked in red wine, and was so tender it fell apart at the touch of a chopstick, but as much as I would have liked to taste it, I couldn't. (For the record, the best ramen chashu I've had was at another hole-in-the-wall called Afuri in Tokyo - they meticulously grilled each slice before serving giving it an awesome smokey flavour and some crispy bits on top of the usual marbled porcine goodness).
|Butao King (original miso)|
|Beauty (left) and the Beast (right)|
|Noodle close up|
On a side note, they limit the sales to 200 bowls per day (which Life as a Bon Vivant also mentions). That raises some questions about 1. how they pay the rent, and 2. their plans for expansion. All this media frenzy is bringing much more demand than supply, and it seems to me that it would only make business sense to use the "limit" as part of the marketing plan (since it doesn't or barely pays the rent). Riding on the hype, they could easily open a branch to scoop up the excess demand. I wonder if that's part of the plan. There's also a rumour that the Japanese chef will only be here for a while to train local staff, after which he'll leave - let's hope that's not the case. If anything, they need more help from Japan to make this truly work.
11-12 Wo On Lane (off D'aguilar St., Lan Kwai Fong)
Mon-Sat, from 11am till sold out
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