I know, I know. It’s been 2 weeks since we stepped into 2013 so please excuse me for posting the NYE special this late. My childhood friend Becca (Yes you got a new name now) and I were two loners on NYE who JUST COULD NOT decide where to go for countdown. Despite the fact that Hong Kong has various spots for countdown, we are pretty much crowd-phobic when it comes to big days like this. So Becca and I decided that there was nothing better to do than restaurant hopping on the very last day of 2012.
First destination: Ramen Kureha at Tai Hang
We were craving for some good ramen and Ramen Kureha is one of the popular choices in the Tai Hang area. As expected, there was a huge line up in front of the restaurant by the time we arrived at around 7:30pm. We didn’t mind waiting since lining up is a must-do for any popular restaurant in Hong Kong. During the wait, we were given order sheets and the staff explained the menu really well.
Ramen at Ramen Kureha is categorized as (金) Venus, (木) Jupiter, (水) Mercury, (火) Mars, (土) Saturn.
(金) Venus: Extra-rich pork bone soup
(木) Jupiter: White truffle pork bone soup
(水) Mercury: Collagen chicken soup
(火) Mars: Extra spicy pork bone soup
(土) Saturn: Limited Edition soup (2 different options each day)
All you have to do is to tick the boxes for the choice of ramen you would like to have, the chewiness of ramen (hard, medium, soft), whether you want to opt in/out for some garlic/flavored oil/green onions. There are add ons for extra ingredients such as half-boiled Japanese egg (which I recommend), spicy paste and barbecued pork. Another best-seller is A Cup of the Soul (魂之一杯) which is the ultimate version of pork bone soup ramen. It’s only available on Saturday and Sunday for a limited amount – they only make 30 bowls each time!
After waiting for an hour (totally proves how badly we wanted the ramen), we were seated at the bar stool where we could see the cooks making ramen. All the ramen are made from scratch in house.
(土) Saturn: Dried Sakura shrimp ramen with miso soup base
The soup base is very rich with miso and matched with the dried sakura shrimp perfectly. The shrimps add a sweet tone to the soup base so it’s not too salty, unlike other ramen stores that I’ve been to. The ramen is pretty sturdy and chewy, though not as much as I prefer.
(金) Venus: Extra-rich pork bone soup
The ramen comes with barbecued pork, seaweed and auricula-judae. The auricula-judae is crispy and has a good crunchiness to it.
We had a half-boiled Japanese egg for add on and it’s by far the best one we’ve ever had. It’s half-boiled perfectly so the smooth egg yolk flows out after a bite!
Retro Japanese. Lots of 60s, 70s posters and toys hanging on the wall!
Ramen Kureha is a small restaurant so don’t expect to bring a party of 10 here! It’s ideal for 2-3 people dining together.
The good part is that the staff helps you hang your winter coats and gives very clear explanation of everything on the menu. However, if you don’t have the patience to wait, then it might not be a right place for you since it tends to get crowded on weekends and public holidays.
All in all, both of us enjoyed our experience in Ramen Kureha. The soup base are rich and delicious, while the ramen is not particularly outstanding. The highlights are definitely the half-boiled Japanese egg and the dried sakura shrimp with miso ramen. We would love to come back to try other flavors (I’m dying to try A Cup of the Soul) if there are not as many people waiting outside.
Second Destination: Ming Sheng Ice Cafe Part of the Hong Kong culture is to dine at an open area full of tables and chairs (Dai Pai Dong style). Ming Sheng Ice Cafe is known for this casual, everyday life dining style. It’s located just a few steps away from Ramen Kureha.
Let’s see. Becca and I had just finished 2 bowls of ramen together and we still wanted more. And now we wanted to have steamed egg (we’re always very, very specific with what we want). Ming Sheng is the perfect choice as it caters chinese comfort food.
This dish is a bit different from the traditional steamed egg. Embedded with the crab, the egg is steamed along with the aroma of crab. It’s steamed for the right amount of time so it’s quite smooth. The generous splash of sweet soy sauce makes it more flavorful and the egg goes perfect with a bowl of rice. To be honest though, I still prefer the traditional steamed egg more. If you ask me whether I would come back just for this, I would say it is worth trying once. Next time, I would rather try other dishes such as the famous little mountain of minced pork with preserved salty egg and saliva chicken (don’t worry it’s just literally translated, they don’t make the chicken with saliva).
Decor and Seating:
Don’t expect anything fancy since it’s Dai Pai Dong style. However, it feels like home if you’re a Hong Konger.
Very fast. We only waited for around 5-10 minutes for our order.
Becca and I were most satisfied by the end of night with how much we ate and got our ramen and steamed egg craving satisfied.
Ramen Kureha (拉麵來)Shop B, G/F, 20-22 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang
Ming Sheng Ice Cafe (民聲冰室)
G/F, 16 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang