Saturday, 23 April 2016

Ichiran 天然豚骨拉麵專門店一蘭 - Causeway Bay - Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a vibrant city of great shopping and delicious food. It's an amazing place to visit with lots to see and do. We were in Hong Kong for a total of six days and five nights.

I remember going in the month of July back when I was in primary school many years ago, where it was awfully hot and humid. The weather this time around was much cooler as it was the start of Spring but it rained non-stop for three days.

Ichiran is a very popular Japanese ramen restaurant originating from Fukuoka, Japan. They have branches throughout Japan and they opened their first overseas outlet at Causeway Bay, Hong Kong in 2013 and subsequently another branch at Tsim Sha Tsui. The outlet at Causeway Bay follows the individual booth seating layout of its restaurants in Japan whereas the one at Tsim Sha Tsui offers a communal dining experience.

We chose to go to Causeway Bay as we wanted to get as close to the real deal as possible. Most of the ingredients are flown in from its headquarter in Japan. I never had the chance to go to Ichiran when I was in Japan but I've heard many good things about it from fellow friends. However, reviews  on the internet for the Hong Kong branch say otherwise. I was a bit skeptical thinking it would be ordinary tasting and bland as some said.

Arriving a bit after 12:30pm, there was already a long queue at the front of the restaurant. Even after all these years it still remains a favourite amongst both locals and tourists.

We waited for approximately half an hour before reaching the front only to be ushered in to join another internal queue which took another 15 minutes or so. Over 45 minutes wait for a bowl of ramen, it must be really good right?

In Japan you order via a vending machine. Unfortunately, they don't have that available here. 

We were handed a order sheet to customise our selection upon reaching the front. They only sell one type of ramen and that is with the tonkotsu based soup. At HKD 89 a bowl, it not cheap but in the city of Hong Kong it actually is. For any additional toppings you have to pay extra including the half boiled egg at HKD 14. My personalised choice was the medium flavour strength, lighter richness stock, with green onions, sliced meat and an egg. 

After entering our dining space behind the red curtains, we were taken to our individual booths. The purpose of these booths are to block out any distractions so you can concentrate on enjoying your ramen. 

Our neighbours.

A guide on how to order if you're unsure.

The filled out order form is handed to the wait staff behind the bamboo screen.

5 minutes later a piping hot bowl of ramen arrives resembling the photos I've seen on the internet. The waiter lowers the bamboo screen so you can enjoy your ramen to your own discretion with as much slurping as you please. 

A cold whole egg arrives separately in a bowl and I quickly add it to the ramen after cutting it in half. 

It's perfectly cooked inside with the yolk partially runny. Pure goodness.

A sip of the broth and its not too heavy but packed with a whole lot of flavour. It's creamy and consistently smooth with the right amount of thickness without being overpowering. Simply delicious!

I opted for medium noodles as I don't like it being too soft which gives it a nice chew. The two slices of slightly fatty pork just melted in the mouth. I found myself scooping up nearly every drop of the broth as it was that good.

Then you bring the order slip to the cashier at the front to pay. You can even buy a take home version of their noodles. 

A wonderful lunch and one I would have again if given the chance. It's probably rates as one of my top personal favourites. I think it's a great dining concept for individuals or small groups. I do recommend going early or avoiding peak times to avoid any long lines. 

Oh by the way it's open 24/7 so you can go there anytime to get your ramen fix.

Lockhart House Block B,
440-446 Jaffe, 
Causeway Bay 
Hong Kong 

MTR Exit C

Phone no: +85 2 2152 4040

Opening Hours
7 Days a Week
24 Hours


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