Tsuta – World’s First & Only Michelin-starred Ramen Shop opens in Singapore
Tsuta made global headlines after being awarded a Michelin star in 2015, becoming the first and only Japanese ramen eatery to receive the prestigious accolade. Ever since soaring to fame, hundreds of hopeful diners in Japan began queuing at 6am for a ticket to dine at the nine-seater establishment, which only serves 150 bowls of ramen daily. From 6 November onwards, Singaporeans will be able to have Tsuta ramen right here at Pacific Plaza!
Founded by Chef Yuki Onishi, the name, “Tsuta” is birthed from his conviction that ramen is a noodle dish that Japan is proud of. Chef Onishi learnt the art of making ramen in 1997 at his father’s ramen shop, “Nanae no Aji no mise, Mejiro” after graduating from high school. He opened Tsuta in 2012 and is renowned for his experimentations with unique flavours and careful selection of natural quality ingredients. Noodles at Tsuta are handmade, as it is Chef Onishi’s motto to prepare ingredients by hand, thus ensuring that the final products are safe for consumption. Chef Onishi has also specially curated 4 types of whole wheat flour and whole grains to create the noodles. He ensures that the flavours marry well with that of the ramen soup bases. Therefore, in Tsuta Singapore, flour for making the ramen is imported from Japan and made in-house.
The base of the soy broth is made with three types of shoyu. One of the shoyu is formulated in-house. Chef Onishi has personally visited a shoyu brewer in Wakayama Prefecture and requested for it to brew the other two soy sauce to his specifications. This shoyu is made with whole soy beans that are matured for two years. The special sauce is then blended with the two shoyu and mixed with dashi (soup stock). The dashi is made with whole chickens, vegetables, clams and other seafood ingredients and boiled over controlled heat to bring out the umami flavours of the ingredients. Unique to Tsuta, this dashi-shoyu forms the base of the ramen broth, imparting natural and umami flavours.
Dining at Tsuta Singapore is very convenient as you simply order and make payment via the kiosk at the entrance of the restaurant before the server will show you to your seats. You can pick either Shoyu Soba ($15) or Shio Soba ($15). Don’t be mistaken, the ramen is named “soba” as in Japanese, soba basically means noodles so Chef Onishi wants to keep Tsuta as traditional as possible to the Japanese culture. After choosing your soup base, you have a choice to add on char siu and flavoured egg. Big eaters can also order side dishes such as Ro-su Meshi ($6), Niku Meshi ($6) or Soup Chazuke ($2).
We had the Char Siu Ajiama Shoyu Soba ($22.80) which consists of 4 slices of pork collar char siu, bamboo shoot, leek, flavoured egg and truffle pureed in truffle oil. Pork collar is used instead of the usual pork belly as it is lower in fats yet retains the same texture and tasty flavour. Each bowl contains 100grams of ramen, a relatively hearty portion. Shoyu-based broth tastes earthy and is very flavoursome, with a distinct flavour of truffle.
Char Siu Ajiama Shio Soba ($22.80), on the other hand, is created by adding a careful balance of Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt. The ingredients are similar to Char Siu Ajiama Shoyu Soba and the only difference is the green olives pureed in truffle oil. Hence, for this broth, it’s lighter on the palate and not as strongly flavoured as the Shoyu broth, yet still savoury and delicious. We couldn’t resist sipping till the last drop!
Among the Shoyu and Shio Soba broth, I prefer the former as my tastebuds love stronger flavours. Tsuta Singapore only serves wheat tea as Chef Onishi went around trying tea at many places and specially selected wheat tea as he feels that this tea complements his ramen most. Tsuta is a small restaurant with only 18 seats so you will be served on a first-come-first-serve basis. Be there earlier or risk being disappointed when the ramen is sold out. Chef Onishi supervises the Singapore kitchen strictly so rest assured that the same high standards as the flagship outlet in Japan is maintained. If you’re looking for authentic Japanese ramen amidst a cozy setting, Tsuta is the place for you! Although it’s located along the bustling streets of Orchard Road, dining here makes us feel at home.