[Review] Tsuta Ramen @ Pacific Plaza: Does It Really Deserve its Michelin Star?

November 29, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

Tsuta recently opened to much fanfare and hype earlier this month, and it was reported that almost 200 people were already waiting in line when it first opened its doors. It is after all the world's first and only Michelin-starred ramen, and the outlet at Pacific Plaza is its first overseas outlet.

Long queues notwithstanding, and undeterred by the immensely long wait, the hedgehog decided to give this new 18-seater ramen establishment a try. 

The million dollar question on everyone's mind is: Does Tsuta deserve its Michelin star? Is the ramen as impeccable as the media paints it out to be? Well, the hedgehog will attempt to answer those questions.

The Ramen
While the hedgehog must qualify that he is no ramen connoisseur, he can certainly differentiate a good one from an abysmal one.

He had the pleasure of trying the Shoyu ramen. Being greedy by nature, he chose the Cha Siu Ajitama Shoyu Soba Ramen (S$22.80 nett) which has 4 slices of Char Siu and a nice runny egg. A cheaper option would have been the basic $15 ramen which offers only 1 slice of Char Siu and no egg.

Made from a blend of stock of asari clams, chicken and 2-year fully-matured soybeans, the Shoyu broth, served warm, was outstanding. It was distinctively light, but the clear taste of the broth brought immense flavours to the ramen. It was a cut above the likes of Ramen Champion (which is horribad) and Ajisen (which is by no means good either). This broth was flavourful without an MSG-laden aftertaste, unlike some other ramen (Santouka, I'm looking at you).
The addition of truffle was a nice touch, but there was too little of it to make much impact on the flavours. Perhaps the truffle flavour was meant to be integrated into the soup for a concomitant effect. But the hedgehog can't help but wonder if the truffle was there merely as a marketing gimmick.

Truffles aside, the noodles, made from the mixture of several kinds of wheat flour and whole wheat flour, were said to be freshly made at the restaurant. He found the ramen well made and chewy and everything in the bowl was delicious and delectable, down to the last strand of noodle.

The meat was nice and tender. The egg was also one of the highlights and should not be missed, arguably the most perfectly executed ramen egg the hedgehog has had the luxury of tasting.
The Queue
The hedgehog was rather annoyed by the fact that when he started queuing, there were like 20 people in front of him. But as time went on, it seemed like some impatient diners cut the queue as they claimed to be already in the queue as their friend or family member was queuing in line on their behalf. 

So the hedgehog would like to warn all his readers that glancing at the queue can be deceptive and you may end up queuing longer than you would expect. The long queue certainly mars the experience as it builds up hype and expectation. Perhaps the management might want to intervene. The only good thing is that Tsuta does not disappoint as far as the quality of its ramens go.
Tsuta is definitely worth trying and is a nice addition to our culinary landscape. The ramen is certainly unique and of high culinary standards, unlike what you would come across in a regular ramen shop. It is arguably one of the best ramen you can find in Singapore. But an astute individual would wait for the hype to die down, and then try it.

But queues aside, is it the best? Well, it depends on what you are looking for in a bowl of ramen. Do try some of the less hyped ramen establishments like Muratama, Uma Uma and Ippudo, then form your own opinion. The hedgehog can't help but wonder if the addition of truffle is merely there as a marketing gimmick, possibly as a means of product differentiation and to position itself at a higher pricing tier.

In the hedgehog's humble opinion, it is simply not worth queuing for. If there are more than 20 people in front, why not just try something else? There is always an opportunity cost and this is no different. There are decent alternatives for sure, such as Uma Uma Ramen or Ippudo, and they will leave you equally satisfied, although the connoisseurs will be quick to point out the subtle differences. 

In any case, it is about the entire dining experience, which includes the queuing, the service and the ambience.

 If you have dined at Tsuta too, tell us your views in the Comments below!

Enjoyed reading our review? Click here for more and follow us :)
Instagram: @TheHedgehogKnows