Tasting the World’s FIRST Michelin-Starred Ramen
By Benny Luo
December 28, 2016
Ever since Tsuta became the world’s first ramen restaurant to get a Michelin Star last year, I’ve been dying to visit Tokyo, Japan to try it for myself.
Unfortunately, the lines were just too insane last year and they ended up closing for the holidays during our stay. We even tried calling them to see whether they’d grant an interview with us because we’re NextShark.com, but we ain’t that big yet and the chef had no idea who we were. They ended up hanging up on us mid sentence. GG OWNED!
Luckily, the stars aligned for us this year during our trip to Japan. Yesterday, we were walking around Sugano Station, which is just a three-minute walk from the restaurant and decided to check out the restaurant around 1:30 pm.
To our surprised, there was no one waiting in line! We excitedly went in and was greeted by a server asking for our tickets.
Apparently, they have a new seating system where they hand out tickets at 8 a.m. and give you a designated appointment time to come back. Once they run out of tickets, no new customers will be accepted until the next day. On it’s more popular days, they’ll run out of tickets before the shop even opens!
However, we got EXTREMELY lucky and got the last two tickets for the day. We had to put down a deposit of 1,000 yen (roughly $8.50) per person and were told to come back at 3 p.m.
After a walk exploring the neighborhood, we came back and were directed to a line around the corner to wait. There was only 1 person in line ahead of us.
We waiting about 5 minutes before we were asked to come inside. Then, we were asked order from these machines.
We opted for their most popular dish, the aji tama shoyu soba, which is their ramen with soy broth. We also ordered a hardboiled egg, dried seaweed, and wontons to go with it.
We were then directed to sit down on a bench across the sitting area after the server took our tickets.
As we were waiting, I looked around and saw a photo of the owner, Chef Yuki Onishi. He learned how to make ramen in 1997 at his father’s ramen shop and opened Tsuta in 2012.
As expected, it was a packed house. However, the place is quite small and only can serve 9 people at a time.
After about 10 minutes, we were finally seated.
The place was relatively quiet as people were enjoying their ramen.
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The presentation was superb.
The noodles are made in-house with 4 types of whole wheat flour and whole grains. The broth is made of three types of Shoyu. One of the shoyu is from the Wakayama Prefecture and brewed to Chef Onishi’s specifications. The soyu is then mixed with a soup stock made with clams, chicken, vegetables and other ingredients which creates Chef Onishi’s unique broth. Black truffle sauce is also added on top of the chashu, which is another unique element to the dish.
Now for the taste test.
The broth was very savory and was complimented beautifully with the black truffle. The chashu was very tender and the other ingredients were very good. However, my personal favorite was the boiled egg, which was cooked to absolute perfection.
The verdict? Overall, the ramen was good, but I don’t know if it lives up to the hype. For a ramen place to get the world’s first Michelin star, I came with extremely high expectations and thought I was going to get the best ramen of my life. But the truth is, I didn’t. It’s not something I feel would be worth waiting hours for and I do feel bad for saying that. However, one important thing to note is that Chef Onish was not present when we ate there, which might’ve made a difference.
Tsuta Ramen is located at 〒170-0002, 1 Chome-14-1 Sugamo, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0002
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