[Tokyo] 1* Tsuta 蔦 - Avoid the Queues by Going at Night!

Rating: ❤❤❤1/2 (3.5/5)

As the first ramen shop to ever receive a Michelin star, Tsuta has always been on my list of restaurant to try but due to its convoluted reservation system during the day, I've avoided trying it until now after I realized that they do servings at night now and there's no ticketing system then as you just queue on the side of the shop. I arrived at 6:30pm on a week night and only had to wait around 15 mins before I was allowed in - much more painless than the process during the day where people will go as early as 7am to get a ticket and go back to eat at a designated time slot. If your schedule allows it, definitely go to Tsuta at night instead of during the day. 

For the people who are still interested in going during the day, here are the rules for the ticketing system at Tsuta. 

You can choose from 3 types of soup base for ramen at Tsuta - shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt) and niboshi (dried sardines) with various toppings like wonton, char siu and ajitama (seasoned egg). Tsukemen, where noodles are dipped into the broth to eat, is offered as well.

The way you order is similar to many ramen shops in Japan where you select your choice on a vending machine. The machine is all in Japanese so if you can't read it, you can ask the staff for help (they seemed to be used to it). Once you pay for your ramen, you will get a ticket/receipt which you will then hand over to the staff and be seated.

I ordered the signature Shoyu Soba (¥1100) with black truffle oil and ajitama which arrived soon after I sat down at the counter. I took a sip of the broth first which was flavorful and I found that the truffle flavor was subtle enough to balance with the shoyu. Towards the end I did feel that the broth was getting saltier though and I felt quite thirsty afterwards.

Two different cuts of char siu were included in my bowl of ramen but the pork here just lacked flavors for me - I thought the ones at Afuri were so much more flavorful. 

On the whole, Tsuta delivered a good bowl of ramen but at the same time I wouldn't queue hours for this either.

Japanese Soba Tsuta  蔦
1-14-1 Sugamo Toshima Tokyo 
東京都 豊島区 巣鴨 1-14-1
Tel: +81-3-3943-1007

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