麵屋一燈 (English name: Menya Itto) has been listed on Japan's Tabelog's top 10 list for the past few years. Even reaching number one status from time to time. If you go to Tokyo, they have long queues waiting for that precious bowl. Due to this popularity, they have branches in Taiwan and Bangkok and now ... Hong Kong. Like any ramen fan, I had to give this a try. Located in Tsim Sha Tsui's Harbor City in the LCX area is where it is located. It was once the location of the old Moomin Cafe. I arrived weekday at around 3 PM. There was no queue.
Located in Tsim Sha Tsui's Harbor City in the LCX area is where it is located. It was once the location of the old Moomin Cafe. I arrived weekday at around 3 PM. There was no queue.
The interior decoration is beautiful. Upon entering there is a Japanese sand garden.
There are even more trees that separate the waiting area and the dining area. They have both table and chairs at the bar as well as a bar table facing the ocean.
The center is an open kitchen where the ramen action occurs. And just like in Japan, they have baskets under the chairs to place your belongings.
Also, just like Japan, they offer cold water WITH ice!!! Why don't they do this in ramen restaurants here?
Ordering is in the form of a check off piece of paper. It's in Chinese only. They do not have English. For an international branch, I thought that was odd. If I was in Japan, I'd understand. But you are located in a mall in Tsim Sha Tsui which caters to tourists? ANYWAYS....there is no 10% service charge and the staff is helpful in explaining any questions you have about the menu. You also pay on your way out.
They do have a large menu with photos of everything. The staff informed us that we can look at the photos as that is exactly what you will be served. Here I will explain the menu as well ... there is no English.
They have a limited edition Hong Kong exclusive soup base. It's not the signature soup base and not served in Japan. I'd be wary. I can't even remember what it was. We basically bypassed this.
They're most famous item is the tsukemen with a fish based broth.
They also had ramen with shoyu base soup.
And ramen with salt base soup.
Pricing depends on how many slices of meat and egg added. As you can also tell, a bowl of ramen here will cost you over $100. The cheapest bowl costs you $118.. Was it worth the price? I waited anxiously.
Boyfriend ordered the tsukemen with two slices of char siu, two slices of chicken char siu and an egg ($168).
The soup base was thick and very salty yet sweet. It was a seafood base soup and oddly tasted like oyster sauce. You do finish this off at the end with a clear dashi that they provide in a thermos.
Inside the dipping soup was a chicken meatball which were soft and balanced by the crunchy bits of soft bone.
The noodles were thick and upon dipping, the soup clung well.
They have a plate of chili pepper flakes infused with crab shell. You can add it to the soup to spice it up.
I ordered the salt based ramen with two slices of char siu, two slices of chicken char siu and an egg ($148). The soup was fantastic. It had a rich chicken broth taste with a subtle salty taste.
There is a plate of dried scallop paste that you can add to the soup to enhance it. I tried it and felt that it really just made it more saltier. I think it is better left out.
The noodles were the thin kind. Chewy and smooth. These were great.
The slowe cooked chicken char siu was divine. Soft and tender. But not as good as Zagin Soba as that one is just amazing.
The slow cooked char siu was soft and tender as well. Not too fat and sliced very thinly.
The egg was a bit on the salty side. But the yolk was runny and soft.
For over $100 for a bowl of ramen, was it worth it? Obviously more expensive than eating the same bowl in Japan but then I can't always fly there. This was exceptional and I love it But would I be back? The price makes me hesitate. But I'd recommend it to any that want excellent ramen.
Menya Itto 麵屋一燈
Address: Shop 32, LCX, 3/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Service Charge: No
English Menu: No