Tag Archives: noodles

The fat Japanese ramen chef is back on Tai Wong East Street

The ramen shop that we used to frequent on Amoy Street changed hands about a year and a half ago. The fat japanese chef with the cheerful smile was replaced by three not so fat local chefs who barely acknowledged any of the customers behind those thick vapour clouds of steaming broth. We went back once after a long while, the food was decent but the service unremarkable.

On my walk along Tai Wong East Street last week, I was noting all the new coffee shops that have sprouted up.. the hipster lifestyle choices are now increasing after the launch of BakeHouse (fantastic breads but the pretzel is best in HK). I suddenly see a new lantern hanging and saw that it was a ramen shop. Curious, I stopped to check out the menu.

Hello, long time no see” (said in Cantonese), it was the waitress I knew in the previous ramen shop. She still wore her glasses but not as heavily rimmed.

She said that their previous shop had been sold and now they opened this one on their own. I told her I’d come back to try it and that’s exactly what we did last Sunday.

We ordered two of the kamitora ramen and one black garlic oil ramen. SW commented that the black garlic oil ramen used to come with black coloured noodles as well… I suppose some things have changed.

Now, there’s no longer the order chit where you get to customise your noodle thickness or toppings. But you still help yourself to iced lemon water and the condiments like chilli powder at the table. The chilli beansprouts are now a side serving that you’ll have to order.

The bowls are tall and narrow based, I thought that the portions were a bit smaller than before but this didn’t really bother us. The slice of pork was decent sized and tender. Two pork meatballs replace the other slice of pork. I wasn’t a huge fan of the meatballs… a little small and gristly for me. Just help yourself to ice lemon water in jugs on the table (how very japanese) or order a soda from the fridge.

The wordings on the wet wipes are the most hilarious… see what I mean.

There’s ample space in the restaurant (open kitchen), but it’s mostly 2 person or bar seating. There’s only one area where they can 6 people as a group so this isn’t really a big group out sorta place. We brought our stroller and it was fine. Plenty of space for it during non-rush hour.

Overall it’s not bad and as I quite dislike having to queue for anything, this place is worth checking out. Look out for the red lantern as you cruise down Tai Wong East Street.

This blackboard with opening hours was placed indoors (yes, facing IN) when I went to eat there. I suggested to the chef that he place it outside so that clients could see when they are open or shut.

Maureen’s Noodle Shop

In a presently more secluded and less commercial part of Wan Chai, some noisy and active renovation is taking place. The Blue House is surrounded by construction boards, stacks of steel re-bar and cement trucks. It should look good once the developers are done with it.

Across this temporary but rather messy environment, a purple canopy is extended Monday to Saturday between 10am to 9pm. Chef and owner Maureen Loh can often be found working behind the bar like kitchen counter in her matching purple chef’s shirt, checking her timers or temperature settings on her various sous vide machines. Her two excellent chef assistants and waitress start early, weighing noodle portions and setting up the kitchen for the day. 

Maureen’s specialty is noodle sets with an array of accompaniments, all evenly cooked through a process of heated water 60 degree Celsius permeating its heat through a bag containing the meat. 

The “Perfect” soft boiled egg with a won ton skin cracker

The proteins are uniformly teased into a palatable form and absorb the flavours of the accompanying herbs and sauces. 

Delicious broth, served steaming hot

Almost everyone will find a meat that will work for them. Chicken, beef, lamb, duck, pork and salmon are the mains, while accompaniments are abalone in the pricier sets, the cheaper sets include an egg and simple salads.

Lunch sets range start from about 100HKD and upwards. It includes soup, salad and the noodles.

I’ve tried almost all the sets and all are good but it does depend on what sort of taste you’re after. I ordered the chicken set with the tangy lemon sauce. Unfortunately I ate it all before I could take a photo… But you can get an idea here.

I’m a huge fan of Maureen’s and am there at least once a fortnight. You can almost always get a seat before twelve noon but lunchtime 12-2pm can bring in the crowds and you may struggle to get a seat. 

Maureen has a daughter of her own who occasionally comes by the restaurant. She takes care that the food is wholesome and healthy. The restaurant isn’t designed for children, there are no high chairs or kids cutlery but the staff are very friendly towards children and will do their best to accommodate them. There’s only space for one pram in the restaurant so it’s best if you can bring your kids without one.

You can now also order her noodles through Food Panda for takeaway.