Is it possible to achieve perfection? For Tsuta Founder and Executive Chef Onishi Yuki, it is.
Master Chef Onishi Yuki learned the art of making ramen in 1997 at his father’s ramen shop, Nanae no Aji no mise, Mejiro after graduating high school. He then worked in fashion but then left his career to set up his own ramen shop in 2012.
The first Tsuta branch in Tokyo, which only has room for nine guests, was awarded a Michelin Star by the Michelin Guide in 2015. At the time, it was the first ramen house to be awarded the distinction. As a testament to the restaurant’s uncompromising quality, it continued to earn stars for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 editions of the gastronomic bible.
Starting December 16, Filipinos can taste Tsuta’s award-winning soba noodles in Metro Manila’s restaurant and business hub, Bonifacio High Street. It was brought to Philippine shores by FOODEE Global Concepts, the same food empire behind the Manila branches of Tim Ho Wan, as well as FOO’D by David Oldani and Todd English Food Hall.
Tsuta’s first branch in the Philippines can accommodate 48 people. If you’re dining with a group, it’s best to ask for seats in the couch area. Meanwhile, if you’re dining by yourself, you can occupy the bar area, where you can watch the skillful chefs prepare each bowl from the open kitchen.
Tsuta serves three kinds of soba: the Shoyu (soy-based), Shio (Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt-based), and Miso (Hatcho Miso-flavored).
While most ramen houses in the Philippines serve tonkotsu ramen, which makes use of pork bone-based soup, Tsuta uses a blend of three different broths: one from asari clams; another from katakuchi, mackerel, and anchovy; and another from the stock of whole chickens.
The result is a clear but intensely flavored broth which is easy on the palate and effortless to finish, despite the fact that it comes in large servings.
Tsuta Philippines’ menu is identical to the ones in other countries. You can customize the number of toppings that will go on your bowl. Prices vary depending on how many toppings you want.
If it’s your first time at Tsuta, we suggest you try something that includes both the flavored egg and the char siu. The succulent char siu contains thin layers of fat to make it more juicy and flavorful. Meanwhile, the egg is flavored with a hint of soy and contains a beautiful, runny yolk inside.
You can also choose from a number of sides and rice dishes. The house also carries Kirin and Brew Kettle if you’re the type who can’t have ramen without beer.
For those who prefer their ramen light and clean, the Shio Soba is a good choice. Tsuta elevates the simple Shio ramen by adding leeks and green olives pureed in truffle oil.
To taste the best that Tsuta has to offer, go for the Shoyu Soba. From the moment this lands on your table, you can already smell the strong and distinct taste of truffle. We love how it marries flawlessly with the shoyu in order to create profound depths of flavor that you won’t get tired of until the last drop.
Tsuta Philippines uses two-year-old shoyu that’s created specifically for the Tsuta brand, so it’s impossible to find any shoyu ramen that can equal Tsuta’s version.
Our favorite among the three variants is the Miso Soba. Unlike the Shoyu and the Shio, the Miso Soba has a heavy, opaque broth. The porcini mushroom oil and chili paste also add even more body to the rich soup. Don’t worry about the raw onions–they’re slightly sweet and not at all pungent.
To make the most out of your Tsuta experience, mix the broth before taking a slurp. The broth uses zero MSG and draws flavor purely from the stock, plus the unique enhancements, like the truffle. When you taste Tsuta’s ramen, you can easily distinguish every ingredient that went into making your bowl special.
One of the things that makes Tsuta one of a kind is the soba, which is made from whole wheat and whole grain flours. Tsuta has a room specifically dedicated to making the earthy and bouncy noodles.
Tsuta’s ramen is a reflection of Chef Onishi Yuki’s obsessive attention to detail. It’s no question that to make food of this caliber, he must strive for perfection every time. While most of us may be getting over the ramen trend, Tsuta shows us that there are still worlds to discover when it comes to this dish.
Tsuta Philippines is located at UG/F C3 Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Tsuta is open from 11:30 a.m. until late at night, until supplies last.