December 20, 2017

Tsuta Philippines- Michelin-Starred Truffle Soba Noodles Finally Comes to Manila!

Another Michelin-starred restaurant comes to Manila, as Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles opens its first Philippine branch in Bonifaio High Street, BGC in Taguig last December 16.

Tsuta Philippines is brought to us by the FOODEE Global Concepts, the same group behind some of the top restaurants in the country like Mesa, Sunnies Cafe, Tim Ho Wan, Foo'd by Davide Oldani, LlaoLlao, Pound, Hook, Todd English Food Hall, and soon, another Michelin-starred restaurant from Singapore Hawker Chan. 

Last week, I was privileged to join an exclusive tasting of Tsuta's best-selling Japanese soba noodles and other specialties with Chef Onishi Yuki himself as the guest of honor.

He talked about his early life in the fashion industry, his training and experiences at his father's ramen shop, to opening his own ramen shop Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta and slowly building it to what it is now: The First Michelin-starred Ramen Shop in the World. 

So what makes Tsuta different and special?

Tsuta ramen boasts of a deliciously flavored soup base created from fresh ingredients and a blend of three different broths: one from the stock of asari clams, another from imported Japanese fish katakuchimackerel, and anchovy, and another from the stock of whole chickens.

The noodles are also freshly made on-site from specially selected whole wheat and whole grain flours combined until the perfect texture is achieved, so it marries well with the ramen soup base.

Tsuta is not your ordinary ramen. Chef Yuki likes adding unusual flavors like truffle puree to make the soup of his signature dishes: Shoyu Ramen (soy-based), Shio Ramen (salt-based), and Miso Ramen.

When asked what Chef Onishi Yuki's favorite is, his straight off answer was: All.

Naturally, we had to try everything out for ourselves to see if Tsuta lives up to its hype. 

Shoyu Soba (P390) 
signature bowl of charsiu (1 slice), bamboo shoot, leek, truffle pureed in truffle oil

Char Siu Ajitama Shoyu Soba (P620) is a leveled up version of the classic shoyu soba with 4 slices of charsiu, and a perfectly cooked ajitama (flavoured egg).

Shio Soba (P390) 
Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt-based sauce ramen, charsiu (1 slice), bamboo shoot, leek & green olives pureed in truffle oil

Char Siu Ajitama Shio Soba (P620) is the complete version with more char siu slices and egg.

You may also opt for an order with egg (Ajitama Shoyu/Shio Soba P440), or one without the egg but with 4 slices charsiu (Char Siu Shoyu/Shio Soba P570).

Miso Soba (P410)
Hatcho Miso-flavored ramen, charsiu (1 slice) early red onion, corn, beansprouts, hot sauce, porcini mushroom oil & watercress

Char Siu Ajitama Miso Soba (P670) is very heart and filling with 4 slices char siu and ajitama, loaded with other flavorful ingredients.

My top picks are Shoyu Soba and the Miso Soba. I get it why Chef Yuki couldn't choose just one favorite item. Each variant has a different taste profile and offers a different ramen experience.

I love the light and refreshing taste of the Shoyu Soba with subtle notes of the black truffle sauce. The soba noodles were also spot on al dente with a firm bite. The Miso Soba offers a not-your-usual miso flavor with hint of spiciness remindful of tantanmen. The Shio Soba somehow fell short of the wow factor, perhaps due to the overpowering taste of the raw red onions or the lackluster flavor of truffle oil used on the dish.

Other than ramen, Tsuta also offers a limited selection of side dishes and rice dishes.

Ro-su Char Siu (P100)
Roasted Pork Char Siu with butter sauce , garnished with leek and watercress

Aburi Niku (P130)
Charred Pork Cubes with Onion Sauce, garnished with leek and watercress

The Yuzu Wanton Soup (P150) sadly was not available during our visit.

Between the two side dishes, I liked the Aburi Niku more.

Niku Meshi (P200)
Diced Roasted Pork on rice served with onion sauce

Ro-su Meshi (P170)
Sliced Roasted Pork Shoulder on rice topped with a fragrant butter sauce

The rice dishes were basically Tsuta's side dishes on top of Japanese steamed rice.

Tsuta also has Soup Chazuke (P180) where you can add your remaining soup to this rice garnished with bonito flakes and Japanese seaweed.

I will definitely go back for Tsuta's Shoyo Soba and Miso Soba. They currently have a limited menu for now, but Chef Onishi Yuki promises to come up with unique ramen flavors exclusive to the Philippine market soon.

Congratulations to FOODEE Global Concepts on opening Tsuta's first branch in Manila!

Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles
UG/F C3 Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Ave. cor. 30th St, BGC Taguig
Tsuta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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