Is it really that good? Why is there always a long line outside this place? In the end, I just had to try this place out for myself. They only serve 200 bowls of noodles a day, so decided to go early. Picked a day with typhoon signal no.3 and looking like it might rain, and I arrived with my friend outside this place at around 10:10am (it opens at 11am). We were 2nd and 3rd in line. Luckily the staff had already lined up stools for about 10-15 people to sit on as we waited in line for the place to open. So we watched and waited as the staff set up to open the restaurant.
Throughout the wait, the staff was excellent and courteous. We were offered fans to keep cool. Then when the sun came out for a brief moment, we were offered umbrellas to stay in the shade. We were also offered a glass of cold water as we waited. A few minutes before opening, we were handed menus and a checkbox order form to fill in. On this form you could choose the soup base, how strong you want the soup to taste, amount of oil, amount of garlic, whether you want roast pork or green onions, and how hard (raw) or soft you want your noodles. You can also add additional ingredients such as extra noodles, seaweed, pork or green onions. And remember to order the specials of the free smile and Japanese lessons!
Since it was my first time eating here. I went with the Butao King soup base with everything else normal other than having hard (raw) noodles and adding extra green onions.
Finally, the restaurant opened, and we were able to sit at the bar table right in front of the chefs preparing the ramen. The restaurant itself seemed to sit about only 16 and is pretty cramped. Free condiments and water lined the tables. As we had already ordered earlier, all we had to do was wait for the food.
The food finally arrived and smelt great. The soup was nice and thick, and the roast pork was tender and absolutely tasty. The noodles came out really nice and it wasn’t hard to finish all the soup. So, yes, the ramen here is absolutely tasty and excellent. But having said that, it is just ramen and I don’t think that I can really wait more than 30 minutes for a bowl of ramen no matter how good it is!
Also, having tried it for the first time now, I can tweak the choices a bit to my satisfaction. This includes adding less oil, more garlic and also ordering super hard (raw) noodles next time. Also, I would like to try the Green King which is basically a basil and parmesan soup base.
Overall, yes the ramen here is good and I would recommend people to eat here but only if you don’t have to wait more than 30 minutes. The other thing is that there are a few other ramen places I would like to try first so that I can compare. I know I labeled this economical. It is under $100 per person. But note that this $100 is just for a bowl of ramen, so perhaps a bit misleading? But I will be back!
- Butao King
Butao Ramen (豚王)
G/F, 8-13 Wo On Lane, Central, Hong Kong