Monday, March 28, 2011

秀ちゃんラーメン (Hide-Chan in Hong Kong)


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Walking through the Lan Kwai Fong district of Hong Kong, I saw a recognizable sight. Ramen.

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But the newest branch of internationally famous Hide-Chan was yet to open. And my return to Japan was uncertain. Noticing that the opening date could possibly be after my flight, I asked the staff, busy with preparations, for some info. After some formal trading of business cards, I was invited to a VIP tasting event later that night. Always carry official looking business cards, and always be ready for an adventure.

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Later in the day, I found the shop's rookie staff in a nearby park, waiting for the boss to call them back in. Cool kids, good luck with you're Japanese studies!

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Once again, you get a questionnaire style order sheet. Once again, I had to ask for the Japanese version. A lot of options here. I'm guessing a lot of the slurpers will be intoxicated people finishing up their drinking session in nearby LKF. Go ahead and check off garlic, it's healthy for a hangover.

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On the menu: White, Black, Red.

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The red comes with a healthy dose of hot. Hong Kong people have a bit more of a tolerance for spice, as evident here. Be careful!

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The black adds a little mayu to the mix.

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As for the ramen, it could use some work. I think they took it down a bit to cater to the Hong Kong palette. Not so rich and creamy, and a bit heavy on the spice. I think back to the limited Hide-Chan I had a few months ago, and am surprised at how different the taste is.

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The shop, on the other hand, is gorgeous. A massive wooden counter, where every step of the ramen making process is viewable to the customers, both in the shop and on the street. Jet black walls, highlighted by a lone red lamp in the entrance. Loud music. Even though the food wasn't as good as it could be, this shop has all the makings of a trend setter.

If you give it a try, let me know what you think. I'd love to hear what some Hong Kong natives think. I would especially like to hear people's comparisons of Hide-Chan and Butao. Both with roots in Kyushu tonkatsu, but taking very different steps in the foreign market.

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On April 1st, all proceeds will go to the Red Cross to support Japan.