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Butao Ramen, Central

Butao Ramen, it is claimed to be the ‘hottest hole-in-a-wall’ ramen shop! It has been opened for a while not but the queues are still forever long! I am not a fan of waiting in line, especially when its more than 10 – 15 mins so have avoided this place like a plague. However, it was my second day at work and colleagues wanted to have an early lunch and we decided to queue at 10.45am. Even at that time, there were already half a dozen people waiting to get their fix.

Butao Ramen is located Wo On Lane Central and it is only accommodates 12 people. Three hundred bowls of ramen are made each day and once the ramen is sold out, they close shop.  Reservations are not available and all parties must be present before seated.

As we waited in line, we are given the menu, Butao offers four types of ramen:

  1. Butao king:  the original with tonkatsu pork bone broth
  2. Green King: an Italian inspired pesto, basil and Parmesan cheese ramen
  3. Black King: a tonkatsu squid ink broth
  4. Red king: a spicy miso broth for those who like it hot

You can choose the thickness to taste: light, normal or thick (chose normal)

The oil source: again light, normal or thick (chose less)

Garlic: yes or no (I opt for no, whereas my colleagues wanted more – the more the better!)

Pork: HELL TO THE YES! And I asked for an extra serve

Chinese onion: yes or no (yes of course)

Butao soy sauce (Spicy): light, normal or heavy (chose normal)

Noodle texture: super soft, soft, normal, hard or super hard (chose normal)

And of course there are additions like seaweed, pork, Japanese egg and tree mushrooms – I opt for extra pork, Japanese egg and tree mushrooms.

Now first I must apologise for the terrible photo. It was an impromptu lunch and I didn’t bring my camera and only had my blackberry camera.

I asked for half size, I knew I wasn’t able to finish a whole bowl of ramen! However, you can only order the butao king, which suited me fine.

Verdict: it was DELICIOUS! I can see why everyone raves about it but would I line up for it? Not if its more than 15 mins only cause I don’t like lining up no matter how good the food is!

I would say it is probably the best I have had in Hong Kong, I like the options and the pork was incredibly tender that just melted in your mouth. The egg – OH MY!  You will just have to trust me that it was fantastic!

My colleagues had the black king and the black ink squid broth really gave it that nice black colour! Might have to try that next time!

In saying that, we are going again sometimes this week, let’s hope the queues aren’t long!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Butao Ramen

G/F, Wo On Building,

8-13 On Lane Street, Lan Kwai Fong

Central, Hong Kong

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