Walking through the Lan Kwai Fong district of Hong Kong, I saw a recognizable sight. Ramen.
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.
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!
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.
On the menu: White, Black, Red.
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!
The black adds a little mayu to the mix.
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.
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.
On April 1st, all proceeds will go to the Red Cross to support Japan.