Come 6 November, Singaporean diners hankering for a taste of Tsuta's famed ramen will finally get their fix without having to fly out to Japan. The Tokyo-based ramen stall shot to fame after receiving a Michelin star, an honour that no other ramen stall in the world can lay claim to. Singapore plays host to Tsuta's first overseas outlet by way of an 18-seater restaurant located at Pacific Plaza.
With just 18 counter seats laid out in an L-shaped format around the open kitchen, the dining experience here begins with diners placing their orders and making payment for it via a touch-screen kiosk.
Chef Yuki Onishi's famed ramen bowls come in two signature flavours — shio and shoyu. The shio soba features a chicken-seafood broth enhanced with a combination of Okinawan sea salt and Mongolian rock salt while the shoyu soba features a soup base made with beef, Asari clams, and vegetables. Lending a richer, umami-laced dimension to the shoyu soup base is a blend of soya sauce procured from the Wakayama prefecture and chef Yuki Onishi's very own custom blend.
While most Japanese chefs prefer to adhere to time-honoured traditions, chef Onishi isn't afraid to introduce unorthodox ingredients to the mix. Here, he incorporates white truffle oil into his shio ramen by combining it with a dollop of green olive purée. He also infuses black truffle oil into the shoyu ramen, a dish which comes topped with a black truffle purée.
With a focus on creating a bowl of ramen that's void of any artificial flavours, each ingredient in the bowl has to pull its weight. Think slices of pork collar char siew made from Canadian pork (chilled, not frozen), and soba noodles—cooked till al dente—crafted from a blend of whole wheat and grain flours.
A strong-bodied homemade wheat tea by chef Onishi helps to cleanse the palate between satisfying slurps of slippery noodles and a flavourful broth.
Tsuta Singapore. Opens on 6 November 2016. #01-01 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road.