Tag Archives: ramen

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.

Back to the “One Tiger” 一虎拉面 Japanese Ichitora Ramen Shop

It’s been at least a year since I went to Ichitora Ramen. The last time we were there, we suffered some gastrointestinal discomfort and thus haven’t dared to venture back for an extended period of time. 

Today the small person asked to eat noodles and egg. Maureen is shut on Sundays so I had to come up with another restaurant suggestion. Ramen it was.

You’ll know that the restaurant is open if the long red lantern is hanging out by the door. If it isn’t, they are definitely shut. 

At 12 noon the place was full but as turnover is pretty quick, we waited for about five minutes and got our two seats. The friendly waitress with spectacles recognised us and cheerfully directed us in. I noticed that the chefs were different and they had new wait staff too. 

Ichitora Ramen menu

So firstly take a look at the menu and decide what sort of soup base and toppings are preferred. 

Placing your order

Then place your order using the red marker pen provided, circling the options you want.

A bit of self service

Help yourself to chopsticks and condiments when the food arrives… Cups and jugs of ice water is available at the table too.

Enjoy the food when it comes! 

I found the ramen bowls and servings to be smaller than I remembered. The gyoza was a little mushy on the inside although very crispy on the outside. Small one wasn’t into it as she complained they were too spicy for her. She was happy with the egg and noodles though.

Iced water freely available

The restaurant is mostly counter style seats with two tables towards the back. Be prepared to share or just get seated wherever there is a space.

Bill wise, it was usual Wan Chai pricing, but I think it’s better value and service than the other ramen shop Tai Wong East Street.

Find it here.

Come early on weekdays or be prepared to queue. 

An unsatisfactory ramen experience on Tai Wong East Street

On a rainy Sunday, we decided to have a late lunch at the ramen joint on Tai Wong East Street

The ramen menu
Gyoza, rice bowls all considered house specials

We ordered the gyoza for the small person and a dry ramen with a side of wagyu beef teriyaki. 

The gyoza was unfortunately quite unremarkable, it tasted like it was undercooked despite the juices running clear. 

The noodles were equally unremarkable and the accompaniments were mediocre. The chilli improved the taste a lot. 

The wagyu beef teriyaki turned out to be a bad choice, it was over condimented and the texture unworthy of its price and description. 

The only thing I enjoyed was chili bean sprouts which was supplied in a clay pot with the sauces on the table. I ate it all.

Overall an experience not to be repeated.