Running for about 4.5 years in Sugamo, Tsuta, the world first Japanese Ramen to receive a Michelin star is finally now in Singapore. Tsuta Singapore is the first-ever overseas branch out of Japan.
We all have heard that the queue in Japan starts as early as 6am where people queue up just to collect the ticket and return back to queue again at 11am onward where the 9 seater restaurant starts its operation which only serves 150 bowls of soba (ramen) daily. The term ‘Soba’ is mainly used to describe a higher quality of ramen.
Previously in the fashion industry, Chef Yuki Onishi quited his promising fashion career in 2008 and moved back to Japan to apprentice with his father who runs a ramen shop in their hometown in Kanagawa prefecture.
According to an interview conducted by Telegraph News for the reason, Chef Onishi noticed a distinct lack of ramen eateries despite the prominent presence of sushi and tempura restaurants during his regular business trips to the United States.
It took him 3 years of hard work and he was only about 18 at when his father first opened the restaurant. Chef Onishi’s aim was to showcase the aspects of japanese cuisine in the arena of using dashi (soup stock) and umami flavours. The philosophy is never to use any artificial flavours, just like what his father believes in.
‘A good dashi relies on the synergy between different layers of umami, and its glutamate, inosine and guanosine compounds. Combining all of these leads to an exponential increase in the flavours produced.’ said Chef Onishi.
In Singapore, 80% of the ingredients are imported from japan while 20% of which can’t be imported are carefully picked by chef himself using the best he can get. The ramen (noodle) comprise a blend of 4 types of whole wheat and whole grains flours which gives a perfect texture and marry well with the ramen soup base. Fresh marinated pork shoulder air-flown weekly to Singapore from Canada are used for a meaty tender texture instead of the traditional pork belly that melts in your mouth due to the amount of fats surrounding the meat.
The soy base soup is created from a special blend of shoyu that includes Chef Onishi’s in-house formulated shoyu as well as two other custom-brewed accord to Chef’s Onishi’s specification shoyu made in Wakayama Prefecture using matured whole soybeans of 2 years. This unique blend of shoyu perfectly complements Chef Onishi’s dashi recipe, made with whole chickens, vegetables, asari clams and other seafood ingredients which simmered under carefully controlled temperatures to bring out their umami flavours.
Shoyu Soba | Char Siu, Bamboo Shoot, Leek, Ajitama Egg & Truffle Pureed in Truffle Oil
More Depth in flavours for the Shoyu soup base
On the other hand, the shio base soup is made up of chicken-seafood blend with a careful balance of Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt.
Char Siu Shio Soba | Char Siu, Bamboo Shoot, Leek & Green Olives Pureed in Truffle Oil
Key difference lies within the texture upon enjoying the soup with the crunchy fresh onions and fragrance of the fried garlic bits. Should you prefer something even lighter, pick this.
Niku Meshi | Diced Char Siew served with Japanese Rice with Roasted Onion Sauce
Scope some of your ramen ‘leftover’ soup onto the rice to enjoy this side dish.
Good news for everyone as there are 18 seats for Tsuta Singapore, therefore the queue will will be faster.
Brian Chua, CEO of Tsuta Global & VP Corp Dvp Hersing Corp | Yuki Onishi, Owner-Chef of Tsuta
Overall, Michelin-worthy or not it depends on individual preference especially for those of us who are used to Tonkatsu, Miso based or spicy based. Some of us may feel that it is salty in its after-taste however Tsuta ramen is definitely good in relation of its uniqueness of Japanese-Asian with hint of the West and the ‘lightness’ filled with umami flavours in its soup base without making one feel very thirsty.
9 Scotts Road, #01-01, Pacific Plaza, Singapore 228210
Tel: 6734 4886
Monday – Sunday
11am to 6pm till 11 November 2016
11am to 10pm from 12 November 2016