Shoyu ramen may not always be at the top of ramen enthusiasts’ list. Its soya-based broth is very light on the palate; a flyweight when compared with tonkotsu (pork bone-based) and miso ramen styles, which offer a heady, piquant punch of umami. But that doesn’t mean shoyu ramen can’t have depth of flavour. Tsuta, a one Michelin-starred ramen eatery from Tokyo which opened in Pacific Plaza last October, proves that it can.
For his signature shoyu soba broth, chef Yuki Onishi takes two-year-old matured soya beans, turns them into soya sauce at a brewery in Wakayama Prefecture, and combines it with a stock simmered with chicken, asari clams and vegetables.
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An addition of truffle oil rounds off the blend, resulting in a broth that is still light in texture but with a depth of flavour as well as rich aromas. Onishi gives equal attention to the noodles, making them in-house from a mix of different types of wheat flours.
Tsuta also offers shio (salt) soba, using a broth made from a seafood stock enriched with Okinawan sea salt and Mongolian rock salt. Both the shoyu and shio choices come with char shu, and we recommend picking the larger Ajitama option for extra pork slices and a flavoured soft-boiled egg.
The shop plans to introduce a miso-flavoured ramen by March. Up to 450 bowls of ramen will be served daily. You can expect queues as Tsuta seats only 18 diners, which makes us luckier than our friends in Japan — Tokyo’s Tsuta is a nine-seater, and lines form as early as 6am for its lunchtime entry.
#01-01 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road. Tel: 6734-4886