Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hong Kong - Sapporo Ramen Miso No.1 札幌拉麵

One of the things I've re-discovered is catching up on reading at lunch.  So why not join the ranks of Japanese salarymen who eat with their Mangas over lunch!  These folks usually know where to get a bowl of decent noodles over lunch to continue their Manga hero adventures before they hit reality and go back to their daily grind.

I've been to Miso No. 1 twice in 2 months, and while it's not going to be the best bowl you get in Hong Kong, it is a comforting experience especially with the extended cold spells we have had to endure this winter.  And if it's Sapporo style, you would think they know a thing or 2 about insulating their customers from the chills.

House Specialty - Butter Ramen
The house specialty is really a bowl of miso ramen, with a dollop of butter over the top.  Who knows who stole from who, but this is akin to the French trying to make the sauces more velvety with butter and flour (sauce veloute).  No side of flour is served here but the butter does have the effect of creating a richer soup that's surprisingly not too greasy, although my healthy angel usually says I should only go with half a dollop.

While a tad salty, but then which ramen soup base isn't, the soup is extremely tasty and can be addictive and even more so on a cold day.  It also does a good job of cutting through the alkali in the noodles, which are adequately springy although the eggy fragrance is somewhat missing.  I generally like a thinner ramen from the South.  The Char Siu has been a combination of lean to lean with fatty bits.  So there will always be a couple of slices that are succulent and juicy, with effortless bite-through, but a couple of slices that are overly leathery for my liking.  Generous corn kernels, leeks and Wakame (kelp) add fibre and crunch ,adding to the overall experience.

Pumpkin Croquette
It's not a Tonkatsu place but what is surprisingly good is the pumpkin croquette.  Well deep-fried to a clean grease-free crisp on the outside, the mashed pumpkin encased within is creamy and slightly sweet.  Interspersed with a few crunchy vegetable bits on the inside, this is a great accompaniment to the ramen, and the good news is that it is one of the lunch combos available.

Gzoyas or Japanese Dumplings
Some people like to order the pan fried Gyozas here.  I'm ambivalent about them.  They're decent enough but I'm not a huge fan.  The fillings are tasty but I found the skins a little too chewy.  Perhaps I left them a little too long since I had to take a call on the occasion I ordered them.  If I could share them, I might order them again, but if I am with eating with my "Manga" only, then no.

Good enough place to visit if you work or live in the area, but it's not a place to rave and travel out of the way for.  There have been other ramen raves in the territory which I have yet to hit.  But then again, who wants to queue 2 hours just for a bowl of noodles.

G/F, 22 Granville Circuit
Granville Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852-2369 1978

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