Ramen Ramen Blog Best Ramen The World’s Only Michelin-Starred Ramen Eatery, Tsuta, Has A New US Outpost

Ramen Ramen Blog Best Ramen

Ramen  Ramen Blog  Best Ramen A bowl of soba noodles.

A bowl of soba noodles.


Tsuta

Where in the world have you had the best ramen? Chances are you’d say somewhere in Japan, maybe at a hole in the wall, or a mom and pop shop. If you’re scratching your head wondering if there are any widely recognized “best ramen spots” with accolades such as the coveted Michelin Star, you wouldn’t be alone. In fact, there’s only one ramen restaurant in the world that currently holds a Michelin Star and it is indeed location in Japan.

Tsuta, a ramen eatery whose name references Chef and owner Yuki Onishi’s family crest which means “ivy,” is located in Tokyo and originated from Chef Yuki’s notion that “ramen is a noodle dish that Japan is proud of.” After opening in 2012, Tsuta was quick to receive accolades including the Michelin Star in 2015 prompting Chef Yuki to open up more shops throughout Asia in places that include Singapore and Taiwan.

His newest and first US outpost had its grand opening this past fall and has since garnered a daily line out the door of hungry ramen-lovers hoping to snag one of the 300 bowls of soba noodles Tsuta offers each day. Located in San Francisco’s Metreon, Tsuta is a modern Japanese restaurant with an open kitchen and about 50 seats for slurping diners.

While many may be skeptical as to whether this US outpost will maintain the same high standards as the original Tokyo location, it will be using the same signature soy sauce and high quality of ingredients. Not to mention Chef Yuki flew in specifically to serve the first few bowls of ramen and undoubtedly ensure the launch’s success. On that note, Chef Yuki is constantly experimenting and refining his dishes, as he believes there is no one perfect bowl of ramen.

The restaurant will be serving the same soba noodle dishes as the original location which includes: Shoyu soba, Shio soba and Miso soba. The signature Shoyu Soba features a piquant black truffle sauce (more on that later); Shio Soba is made of a chicken-seafood blend featuring Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt, Asari clams, fragrant white truffle oil and a crisp touch of spearmint; and Miso Soba is created from the same soup base as the Shoyu soba, but made with a stronger Mame miso from the Tokushima Prefecture, offering a savory, rich and buttery flavor complemented with thicker noodles.

Each bowl of ramen is topped with slices of succulent chashu, as well as garnishes like Mitsuba (Japanese parsley), hosaki menma, leeks, green olives, red onions, corn, bean sprouts and more.

We chatted with the Tsuta team on Chef Yuki’s ramen expertise, what makes this ramen so special and more. Here’s what they had to say.

Tsuta is hailed as being the world’s first Michelin-Starred ramen eatery. Why is it that no other ramen eatery has been given this accolade?

Ramen has long been regarded as convenient and tasty fast food, with customers ranging from the slurping salary men to broke students. However, Tsuta’s unexpected Michelin star confirmed what ramen lovers have always known: it has the potential to be a dish of complex culinary artistry as well as a wonderful satisfying meal at good value.

What makes this ramen stand out?

Chef Yuki prides quality over variety. Tsuta highlights two main signature dishes, Shoyu and Shio ramen, in hopes that customers can taste the most traditional ramen through the simplest of dishes. Shoyu ramen has the longest history in Japan. Based on this, Chef Yuki was one of the first to created a fusion of layered and never-before feast of Japanese traditional ramen using new Western ingredients, truffle and truffle oil. Noodles are made of various types of buckwheat delivering rich aroma and hand-made daily, presenting a unique ramen flavor. 

The soy base is created from a special blend of shoyu that includes Chef Yuki’s shoyu which is formulated in-house in Japan, as well as 2 custom-brewed shoyu made in Wakayama Prefecture from whole soybeans that have been matured for two years. This unique blend of shoyu perfectly complements Chef Onishi’s dashi (soup stock) recipe, made with whole chickens, vegetables, clams, and other seafood ingredients. The dashi is simmered under carefully controlled temperatures to bring out the umami flavors of the ingredients. This unique dashi- shoyu forms the base of Tsuta’s ramen broth, imparting natural and umami flavors.

What does Tsuta mean? Talk a little bit about the original restaurant’s legacy. How did it become so popular? Why is it the best of the best?

The name of the shop originates from Onishi’s dream of nurturing ramen into a noodle dish that Japan will boast about.

Tsuta was founded in Sugamo, Tokyo by Chef Yuki in 2012. Born in a ramen family, Chef Yuki who was in the fashion industry returned to Japan in a chain of cause and effect and started his ramen career. With his sense in fashion and ramen influence from youth, using insight of traditional Japanese and adding new Western culinary skills, Chef Yuki created the perfect combination of traditional Japanese ramen with Western truffle, presenting a never-before, groundbreaking Japanese ramen style.

How did Chef Yuki get his start? What brought his to opening his own ramen spot? 

Yuki Onishi’s ramen journey began 14 years ago when he swapped a successful career in fashion for the world of noodles. It was during regular business trips to the United States, from where he was importing foreign labels to Japan, that he noticed a distinct lack of ramen eateries despite the prominent presence of sushi and tempura restaurants.

Such musings eventually prompted him to give up his job and move back to his hometown in Kanagawa prefecture, where his family ran a ramen restaurant, in order to master the art of ramen cooking from scratch. He was afraid of making such a big change initially, since things were going well with his career. However, he was determined to open his own ramen restaurant.

Chef Yuki spent three years of hard work at his family’s restaurant, where he had helped out when he was about 18 years old. Learning to make good ramen was also challenging. He truly believed that the noodles have to be “alive” and that was the biggest challenge. He tasked himself to control the texture of the noodles; they either become too wet or absorb too much water, depending on the time of the year.

It was in 2012 that his ramen dream was fulfilled when he opened Tsuta. 

What is the inspiration behind Tsuta?

To quote Chef Yuki: “I wanted to create an ‘Only One’ taste that no one else could create. I preserve the splendor of traditional ramen. Although I use Western ingredient, I didn’t westernize the look of the ramen. The tastes are blended together.”

“>

Ramen  Ramen Blog  Best Ramen A bowl of soba noodles.

A bowl of soba noodles.

Tsuta

Where in the world have you had the best ramen? Chances are you’d say somewhere in Japan, maybe at a hole in the wall, or a mom and pop shop. If you’re scratching your head wondering if there are any widely recognized “best ramen spots” with accolades such as the coveted Michelin Star, you wouldn’t be alone. In fact, there’s only one ramen restaurant in the world that currently holds a Michelin Star and it is indeed location in Japan.

Tsuta, a ramen eatery whose name references Chef and owner Yuki Onishi’s family crest which means “ivy,” is located in Tokyo and originated from Chef Yuki’s notion that “ramen is a noodle dish that Japan is proud of.” After opening in 2012, Tsuta was quick to receive accolades including the Michelin Star in 2015 prompting Chef Yuki to open up more shops throughout Asia in places that include Singapore and Taiwan.

His newest and first US outpost had its grand opening this past fall and has since garnered a daily line out the door of hungry ramen-lovers hoping to snag one of the 300 bowls of soba noodles Tsuta offers each day. Located in San Francisco’s Metreon, Tsuta is a modern Japanese restaurant with an open kitchen and about 50 seats for slurping diners.

While many may be skeptical as to whether this US outpost will maintain the same high standards as the original Tokyo location, it will be using the same signature soy sauce and high quality of ingredients. Not to mention Chef Yuki flew in specifically to serve the first few bowls of ramen and undoubtedly ensure the launch’s success. On that note, Chef Yuki is constantly experimenting and refining his dishes, as he believes there is no one perfect bowl of ramen.

Ramen  Ramen Blog  Best Ramen Chef Yuki

Chef Yuki

Tsuta

The restaurant will be serving the same soba noodle dishes as the original location which includes: Shoyu soba, Shio soba and Miso soba. The signature Shoyu Soba features a piquant black truffle sauce (more on that later); Shio Soba is made of a chicken-seafood blend featuring Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt, Asari clams, fragrant white truffle oil and a crisp touch of spearmint; and Miso Soba is created from the same soup base as the Shoyu soba, but made with a stronger Mame miso from the Tokushima Prefecture, offering a savory, rich and buttery flavor complemented with thicker noodles.

Each bowl of ramen is topped with slices of succulent chashu, as well as garnishes like Mitsuba (Japanese parsley), hosaki menma, leeks, green olives, red onions, corn, bean sprouts and more.

We chatted with the Tsuta team on Chef Yuki’s ramen expertise, what makes this ramen so special and more. Here’s what they had to say.

Tsuta is hailed as being the world’s first Michelin-Starred ramen eatery. Why is it that no other ramen eatery has been given this accolade?

Ramen has long been regarded as convenient and tasty fast food, with customers ranging from the slurping salary men to broke students. However, Tsuta’s unexpected Michelin star confirmed what ramen lovers have always known: it has the potential to be a dish of complex culinary artistry as well as a wonderful satisfying meal at good value.

What makes this ramen stand out?

Chef Yuki prides quality over variety. Tsuta highlights two main signature dishes, Shoyu and Shio ramen, in hopes that customers can taste the most traditional ramen through the simplest of dishes. Shoyu ramen has the longest history in Japan. Based on this, Chef Yuki was one of the first to created a fusion of layered and never-before feast of Japanese traditional ramen using new Western ingredients, truffle and truffle oil. Noodles are made of various types of buckwheat delivering rich aroma and hand-made daily, presenting a unique ramen flavor. 

Ramen  Ramen Blog  Best Ramen A bowl of ramen topped with chashu.

A bowl of ramen topped with chashu.

Tsuta

The soy base is created from a special blend of shoyu that includes Chef Yuki’s shoyu which is formulated in-house in Japan, as well as 2 custom-brewed shoyu made in Wakayama Prefecture from whole soybeans that have been matured for two years. This unique blend of shoyu perfectly complements Chef Onishi’s dashi (soup stock) recipe, made with whole chickens, vegetables, clams, and other seafood ingredients. The dashi is simmered under carefully controlled temperatures to bring out the umami flavors of the ingredients. This unique dashi- shoyu forms the base of Tsuta’s ramen broth, imparting natural and umami flavors.

What does Tsuta mean? Talk a little bit about the original restaurant’s legacy. How did it become so popular? Why is it the best of the best?

The name of the shop originates from Onishi’s dream of nurturing ramen into a noodle dish that Japan will boast about.

Tsuta was founded in Sugamo, Tokyo by Chef Yuki in 2012. Born in a ramen family, Chef Yuki who was in the fashion industry returned to Japan in a chain of cause and effect and started his ramen career. With his sense in fashion and ramen influence from youth, using insight of traditional Japanese and adding new Western culinary skills, Chef Yuki created the perfect combination of traditional Japanese ramen with Western truffle, presenting a never-before, groundbreaking Japanese ramen style.

How did Chef Yuki get his start? What brought his to opening his own ramen spot? 

Yuki Onishi’s ramen journey began 14 years ago when he swapped a successful career in fashion for the world of noodles. It was during regular business trips to the United States, from where he was importing foreign labels to Japan, that he noticed a distinct lack of ramen eateries despite the prominent presence of sushi and tempura restaurants.

Such musings eventually prompted him to give up his job and move back to his hometown in Kanagawa prefecture, where his family ran a ramen restaurant, in order to master the art of ramen cooking from scratch. He was afraid of making such a big change initially, since things were going well with his career. However, he was determined to open his own ramen restaurant.

Chef Yuki spent three years of hard work at his family’s restaurant, where he had helped out when he was about 18 years old. Learning to make good ramen was also challenging. He truly believed that the noodles have to be “alive” and that was the biggest challenge. He tasked himself to control the texture of the noodles; they either become too wet or absorb too much water, depending on the time of the year.

It was in 2012 that his ramen dream was fulfilled when he opened Tsuta. 

What is the inspiration behind Tsuta?

To quote Chef Yuki: “I wanted to create an ‘Only One’ taste that no one else could create. I preserve the splendor of traditional ramen. Although I use Western ingredient, I didn’t westernize the look of the ramen. The tastes are blended together.”

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