Friday, December 4, 2015

How to Get a Bowl of Michelin Starred Ramen at Tsuta

So you want to slurp at Tsuta, the world's first Michelin starred ramen shop. Well, let me break it down. . .



DSCF4547.jpg

On Monday, December 1st, Michelin announced their 2016 Tokyo list of restaurants. The biggest news was that a ramen shop received a star. Over the past few years, the guide has had a bib gourmand section that highlighted less extravagant gourmet food; kind of their own foray into b-kyu gourmet. I will write more (a lot more) about the Michelin guide in the coming weeks. For now, let's get back to Tsuta.

Tsuta is an exceptional shop, and worthy of any positive recognition. You can read a little over at my review of the shop here, or at about a million other news outlets on the net now.

As expected, the reaction was huge. On Thursday, December 4th, the line had to be stopped at noon, and those lucky enough to make it waited a good four hours to get ramen. The shop is in a residential area, so having hundreds of people milling about isn't going to work.

I spoke with the master, Onishi-san, today, and he explained the new system. They will now be giving out tickets from 8am. The above sign explains it all. You'll be given a colored ticket with a time slot. Come back around that time. You could only get one ticket per person, but this system changed. Now you can get as many as you like, with a 1000 yen deposit per ticket.

Expect the system to evolve. People were lining up at 7:00am today, and they were out of tickets by 10:30am this morning.

_DSC9415.jpg

Expect it to only get crazier. But for now, I really hope people will know that showing up in the afternoon means you won't have a chance, and Sugamo is a little out of the way, especially for a tourist on vacation. I went at 3:30pm today, just to say congratulations to chef Onishi-san, and within five minutes I saw a dozen people turned away.

My advice is this: go at seven or eight in the morning, see if you have a chance of getting a ticket, then get on with your day. The ticket system actually means that you'll be waiting less overall, which could be a good thing.

Good luck, and let me know if you make it in.

_DSC9462.jpg
This collaboration between Tsuta and Hototogisu . . .

15 comments:

Bernd Moeller said...

Hi there,
thank you for this little guide. I went there today around 8:30 in the morning and was lucky enough to get a ticket for the time frame around 15:00. No waiting time as this system works well, but showing up in the morning means no spontaneous slurping at Tsuta anymore.

Brian MacDuckston said...

Thanks for the update. If you got a ticket for 15:00, it means you were close to the end (last ticket is for 3:30pm). Today is a weekend, so I hope people will keep that in mind!

Snow Rii said...

Hello! Regarding the line up in the morning - do you know what time they start handing out the tickets? I don't mind waiting at 7am, but if it's a wait from 7am to 11am that's a bit much x.x

Brian MacDuckston said...

I believe they will hand out tickets from 8am.

Bernd Moeller said...

You don't have to wait that long... go there around 8:00. You get a ticket or you don't, easy as that. And then you need to get back for the timeframe depending on what ticket you got. Enjoy the ramen 😉

Hao Zheng said...

my visit indicated a sold out @ 7:30 last Sunday! went to Tsutanoha instead.

Snow Rii said...

Oh wow! D: 7am it is hahaha

Brian MacDuckston said...

Thanks for the updates. I'm guessing weekends are crazy, and weekdays may be better.

Kyle Lee said...

Got here at 6:45am, already about 25 people in line ahead of me. Kazu gave out tickets at 7am. I was good for 12pm eating. Today was just another Thursday.

Good luck ramen seekers!

Kyle Lee said...

Got here at 6:45am, already about 25 people in line ahead of me. Kazu gave out tickets at 7am. I was good for 12pm eating. Today was just another Thursday.

Good luck ramen seekers!

Anthony Levchenko said...

I arrived today (Sunday Jan 24) at 7.45am and got the 1pm slot. I jumped in line at 12.50pm and was slurping by 1.30pm.

Donna said...

Thank you so much for this blog!
Will be going in a few weeks. Is the ticket system still ongoing?

Donna Chiang said...

I went around 9am today. The shop was closed for cleaning until 11am. :(

Dan Lyttleton said...

Thanks for the info, though the opening days are inaccurate as they are now open on Mondays. I just got myself a ticket for later today, it was 7.20 when I arrived and there was no queue. Since I got a ticket for 11am I can only assume that I was the start of the queue and perhaps too early for my liking! Maybe the buzz has died down a bit now that it's a few months since they got the award . if there really is huge queues from 7am on other days then I guess Monday is the day to go!

Dan Lyttleton said...

Okkkk definitely no need to get there for 7am on a Monday I don't think. I've arrived for my 11am ticket slot and there's people still turning up to buy tickets for 2pm so they haven't even sold out yet.