Arriving at the Tsuta outlet at Tai Seng one Friday evening, we were rather surprised by the long queue outside the ramen bar. Who would have expected to see such a crowd at this ‘ulu’ (remote) place? Turns out, we were the ones under the radar all along — as there are quite a few Michelin-starred eateries at Tai Seng, including Tsuta, Tim Ho Wan and Hawker Chan Restaurant (soya sauce chicken).
Other than the Michelin-starred outlets, Tai Seng is also home to a number of cool cafes like Jumpin, Supermilk and the delightful Carol Mel Café.
Back to Tstua, we noticed that most of the patrons queuing outside the 18-seater restaruant were there to try the newly launched Miso Soba ($16-$23.80). Outside of Japan, the Miso Soba can only be found at the Tai Seng outlet. It features a miso broth, flavoured by chicken, clams, vegetables, miso and porcini mushrooms. The first thing that hit our taste buds was the punchy flavour of the miso soup, followed by a more subtle earthy flavour of the porchini mushroom oil, and ending with a milky finish. The chef uses red miso for the soup, which is miso that has been fermented for a longer time compared to white or shiro miso, to give it a deeper umani flavour. But that also meant that the heavier, more pungent flavour of the soup might not sit well with some diners –like us – who found the broth to be too strong for our liking. For the noodles, the chef used a thicker noodle to complement the broth. The char siew made from Canadian pork collar was definitely worth a mention. Cut 3mm in thickness just before serving, it had just the right amount of lean and fatty meat to yield an excellent texture. Pan-fried corn, beansprouts and watercress were also added to the noodles to give the dish some crunch.
We also tried Tsuta’s signature ramen, Shoyu Soba, which is also available at Tsuta Singapore’s first outlet located at the ground floor of Pacific Plaza. It came topped with the same delicious char siew, bamboo shoot, ajitama (flavoured egg) and a small heap of of truffle puree. No wonder the fragrance of the truffle was so strong! Despite the clear and light broth, the soup was well balanced and packed a lot of flavour. The Shoyu Soba ranges from $15-$22.80. The higher price comes with four slices of char siew and one egg.
Tsuta is the world’s first Michelin-starred ramen eatery founded by chef Yuki Onishi, who opened his first outlet in Sugamo, Japan.
18 Tai Seng outlet
Address: 18 Tai Seng Street #01-01 Singapore 539775
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm, Last Order 8:30pm
Pacific Plaza outlet
Address: #01-01, 9 Scotts Road Singapore
Phone: +65 6734 4886
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm, Last Order 9:30pm