Tsuta, best known for being the world’s first Michelin-starred ramen eatery, has introduced a slew of new items in its biggest Singapore menu revamp to date. During this difficult year for F&B, Chef Yuki Onishi has focused on research and honing his craft during this pandemic with outstanding results to show, as revealed in our recent tasting session.
The star of the revised Tsuta menu is its first crab soba with a robust umami-rich broth. Other items include a mazesoba and new sides even as its signature items like Shoyu Soba and Shio Soba with improved recipes.
The Crab Soba with Premium Char Siu & Crab Shell (S$23.80) is the option with the whole works, featuring a rich broth that has been boiled with fresh mud crabs over several hours. I have always been on the hunt for a seafood ramen that gives me a clear taste of the ocean. However, the ones I’ve tried so far in Singapore are overwhelmed by pork broth mixed within. Tsuta’s star offering is delightful for the purist, especially when served with a crab carapace filled with Japanese snow crab meat, meaty Iberico pork belly and Kurobuta pork loin.
The seafood broth is garnished with tomato paste, leek, sour cream and dried oregano, so you can mix it all in for a mellower taste if you’re not one for a full-on crab flavoured soup or have it half-half. I liked it both ways. You can also go easier on your wallet with other variations like Crab Soba with Char Siu (S$16.80) or Crab Soba with Premium Char Siu (S$19.80) that comes with a slice of Iberico pork belly and Kurobuta pork loin, which comes without the crab shell but still features that robust broth.
The R.H.C.P Mazesoba (S$11.80) is a deconstructed spin of the Japanese hamburg and a tribute to Chef Yuki’s favourite band, Red Hot Chilli Peppers (‘R.H.C.P’). The chewy mazesoba, comprising a noodle that is thicker than the soba in the soup ramen options, is drenched with house-made tomato sauce and served with minced beef and topped with a drizzle of house-made cheese sauce. The noodles are made in-house from a blend of four types of specially selected wheat and whole grain flours to achieve the ideal texture and thickness to hold the sauce. This was a delicious comfort food for me, and will be a fave with pasta lovers and kids for the artsy presentation. It’s not often that one finds beef in ramen.
While most of Tsuta’s revamped menu is made up of new items, some signature favourites that were brought to Singapore remain, albeit with improved recipes. The Shoyu Soba with the restaurant’s signature seafood and chicken dashi is enhanced with a balsamic black truffle sauce and is one for the truffle lovers. There is also the Shio Soba with Char Siu (S$16) and the chicken-based Teriyaki Tori Paitan Soba (S$11.80). Diners can top up S$2.80 to upgrade their pork to Iberico pork belly and Kurobuta pork loin.
We got to try one of its new sides, the Teriyaki Chicken Bao (S$2.80 per piece and S$6.80 for 3 pieces), an adaptation of the Chinese kong bak pau. The well-seasoned and juicy chicken thigh was topped with house-made mayonnaise and a teriyaki sauce blend. There are also original ‘sushi sandwiches’ wrapped with Japanese seaweed like the Char Siu Onigirazu (S$4.80) and the Luncheon Meat Onigirazu (S4.80), nori packets that make for a hassle-free and convenient pick-me-up on busy days.
Another Japanese take on a Chinese dish is the Soboro Meshi (S$6), a generous helping of mala minced pork on Japanese rice, garnished with crushed peanuts, with more mala dressing at the side if you wish to add more. Top up S$0.80 for an onsen egg and mix it all up!
The new menu thoughtfully includes several suggested pairings of several mains with complementing sides and thirst-quenchers to combat the heat with three new cold brew teas at S$5.80, the Mandarin Orange Black Tea, Jasmine Lychee Green Tea and Sakura Peach White Tea, a smooth floral cold brew tea infused with the soft, sweet fragrance of white peach, garnished with orchid flowers.
When Tsuta first arrived on Singapore shores, I had thought the menu was rather limited and would find it difficult to gain a mass appeal beyond the shoyu ramen fans who go for purist dashi broths. However, Tsuta’s gradual menu evolutions have shown clearly the restaurant is innovative and adaptable, while adhering to its principles of zero MSG and no artificial flavourings. The latest menu is so wide-ranging that it offers something for everybody, including fun sides that will appeal to the kids. I would pop by for when I’m hungry for a tea break. With this menu, Tsuta has truly arrived.
Tsuta outlets can be found at Funan Mall, VivoCity and Jewel Changi Airport.