Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Bowl of Ramen and a Michelin-Star Dining Experience at Tsuta

When the world's first Michelin-starred ramen house opens in Manila, it's definitely news.

Foodee Global Concepts, the culinary group behind Tim Ho Wan, Todd English Food Hall, Pound by Todd English, Hook by Todd English, Mesa Filipino Moderne, FOO'D by Davide Oldani, Llaollao, and Sunnies Cafe, brings another much-acclaimed brand to the country adding to its growing portfolio of prestigious dining concepts. Tsuta has the enviable distinction as the world's first Michelin-starred ramen house, and it's now open at Bonifacio High Street.

Tsuta Philippines is the latest entry in the competitive ramen market in the country, but it brings with it the distinction of being the first-ever ramen house awarded with the much-coveted Michellin Star. And that's no small feat. Foodee Global Concepts' COO Eric Dee and Tsuta founder Chef Onishi Yuki welcomed guests at the opening... the staff prepared fresh batches of noodles for the day's preview with selected guests.  Inside, space is maximized with the efficient dining, bar and open kitchen configuration typical of ramen houses in Japan. Dining by the bar provides guests with a view of the open kitchen for the best ramen experience.

The staff, trained by founder Chef Onishi Yuki, delicately prepares each bowl with precision using the finest ingredients. The name of the ramen house is inspired by Chef Onishi's dream of nurturing ramen into a noodle dish that Japan will boast about, and each bowl is served with that sense of pride. The Michelin star is validation.

A bowl of ramen brings together a variety of components, each one meticulously prepared for that comforting noodle dish. For founder Chef Onishi Yuki, it starts with the soup base created from the freshest ingredients like asari clams for one broth, imported Japanese fish like katakuchi, mackerel, and anchovy for another stock, and whole chickens for another. And absolutely no MSG. The noodles are prepared in-house with selected whole wheat and whole grain flour, combined until the desired texture is achieved to pair perfectly with the ramen soup base. The bowl is then crowned with succulent slices of pork char siu and other vegetables. There's a whole lot of work, artistry and passion that goes behind each bowl of ramen, and Chef Onishi Yuki ensures that each step in the process is up to his exacting standards. At Tsuta, diners can choose from Chef Onishi Yuki's award-winning ramen creations, including the Shoyu Soba with its soy-based sauce, the Shio Soba with its blend of Okinawa Sea Salt and Mongolian Rock Salt-based stock, and the Miso Soba with Hatcho Miso-flavored broth.

Among the three signature ramen dishes, the Miso Soba (P 410) with char siu, Early red onion, corn, beansprouts, hot sauce, Porcini mushroom oil and fresh watercress delivers bold and upfront flavors with the sharp notes of the miso and hot sauce lining your palate with every sip, perfectly balanced by the nutty hints of the mushroom oil and the savory fork-tender slices of char siu. The soup base is also noticeably thicker than the other variants with a distinct richness. You can customize your bowl of Miso Soba with more toppings like the Ajitama Miso Soba (P 450) with flavored egg, Char Siu Miso Soba (P 580) with four slices of tender char siu, and the Char Siu Ajitama Miso Soba (P 670) with four slices of char siu and flavored egg.

The Shio Soba (P 390) with char siu, bamboo shoot, leeks, red onions, and green olives pureed in rich truffle oil had light and refreshing minty notes with just a whisper of salty hints from the Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt. The red onions, leeks and fresh mint add clean and refreshing notes pairing well with the salt-based broth. The broth is also noticeably lighter, yet each sip delivers a burst of vibrant flavors with the green olives and truffle oil blend adding depth for delicately balanced flavors. Clean, minty and refreshing, it's one of the most unique ramen variations I've tried so far, and you can only find it here at Tsuta. The Shio Soba is also available with options for toppings, with the Ajitama Shio Soba (P 440) with flavored egg, the Char Siu Shio Soba (P 570) with four slices of char siu, and Char Siu Ajitama Shio Soba (P 620) with four slices of char siu and flavored egg.

But it's Tsuta's Shoyu Soba (P 390) with char siu, bamboo shoot, and leek and truffle pureed in truffle oil that's been their most popular ramen variant back in Japan and their branches in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The clear lightness of the broth brings hints of rich soy flavors lining your palate followed by the distinct nutty notes of leeks and truffle oil for that perfect finish. Just like the leeks and green olives pureed in truffle oil in the Shio Soba, the leeks and truffle pureed in truffle oil infuses a layer of richness in the Shoyu Soba for rounded flavors that linger. It's the layering of flavors that makes this noodle dish different, with seemingly contrasting notes coming together in a seamless blend. The soft yet firm soba noodles and savory char siu complete the dish. It's also one of the many reasons why Tsuta received the coveted Michelin Star for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 editions of the Michelin Guide. That's three years in a row, and they're definitely doing something right.

Tsuta also offers a variety of tasty sides along with their signature ramen. Pair your ramen with Tsuta's signature side dishes, like the Ro-Su Char Siu (P 100) with thin slices of delicately roasted pork drizzled with a rich and creamy butter sauce and topped with fresh leeks and watercress...

...and the Aburi Niku (P 130), with tender charred pork cubes draped with onion sauce and garnished with fresh leeks and watercress. Both side dishes feature the delicate notes of pork layered with fresh flavors from the other ingredients without overpowering the succulent pork. Other sides include the Yuzu Wonton Soup (P 150) and rice dishes like the Ro-Su Meshi (P 170) and Niku Meshi (P 200) for even more tasty options, perfect when washed down with an ice-cold bottle of Kirin (P 150). Tsuta also offers the Soup Chazuke (P 180), a bowl with rice garnished with bonito flakes and Japanese seaweed where you pour your remaining ramen broth to end your meal.

Tsuta's signature Shoya Soba, Ro-Su Char Siu and Aburi Niku is the ideal set to get acquainted with the Michelin-starred ramen house with its masterfully layered flavors. You'll find the broth of the ramen at Tsuta on the lighter side as compared to the other ramen houses, but the flavors are vibrant and rich. It's different, and it also widens one's overall appreciation of the different styles and variations of ramen.

As Tsuta formally opens today, December 16, 2017, diners get an even cooler treat. The first 10 customers will enjoy a year's supply of Tsuta ramen, served as one hot bowl of their choice per week. The next batch of diners from 11 to 30 will enjoy six months worth of ramen, while the next batch of 31 to 50 customers can enjoy three months of ramen happiness. The remaining first fifty customers will receive a voucher for a complimentary bowl of ramen. Now that's a cool way to get to know Tsuta with its very first branch in the metro. 

But even if you missed out lining up at Tsuta on opening day, it's definitely worth a visit. Tsuta's signature ramen offers yet another flavorful expression of the iconic Japanese noodle dish. And this one's got a Michelin Star behind it.   

Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles is located at the UG/F, C3, Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. You can also visit their FB Page at for more updates.

Dude for Food is now on Facebook and Instagram, check out the FB Page and IG Feed for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to share? I'd love to hear from you...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...