Other than the typical handover cures, i.e. English Breakfast and a "counter-beer", I find spicy food helps a lot too. It was quite a while ago since I visited Yukitei. I decided to try out Yukitei and it's interesting noodles again.
Contrary to the popular book "Why Men can't listen and Women can't read maps", I can't read maps. This time it took me quite a while to find the place. It's located in one of the smaller alleys along Queens Road, between Pacific Place 3 and Hopewell center (those are the only landmarks I am able to use for orientation ).
It took me 30 minutes walk around the vicinity - twice - to find it. I didn't mind the walk too much as it was a good walk. I saw a strange looking structure along the way. I initially attributed that to my hangover. I was so intrigued by that structure that I stood in the middle of Queens Road, zoomed in with my phone and took a photo of it:
I finally found the place and got a seat outside without queuing. They had a number of electric fans installed so the temperature was fine. The seats were reasonably spaced apart so it was comfortable.
This time, I figure I'll try their collagen-laden original pork bone soup. But after a second look at the rather extensive menu (they had original, shoyu, miso, curry and gigoku (hell), all of those are pork bone based and further split into two more options: Char Siu or Kakuni), I figure I"ll try their pork bone soup with shoyu. This was because I had been trying different ramens with shoyu as their soup base, like "Hinsho Yokohama Ramen", "Ryo Tei" and "Shugetsu" and I'd like to do a bit of comparison.
So I placed my order and asked for Shoyu Ramen with Kakuni (grilled pork belly). I noticed that this time, there wasn't a ramen application form to fill in like they used to have. ...... Actually I think it's a relief. I'm here for a relax lunch, not for another multiple choice test. Just trust the chef and let the chef do his/her thing.
I was told that they ran out of Kakuni, which was a real pity as those were delicious. Those were cut and roasted. It reminded me of Chinese style roast pork. I'd say it's even better than those provided at "Menya Musashi" in Kwun Tong, which were pretty good too.
This was how it looked like:
After a short wait, my shoyu tonkotsu ramen arrived:
The size was pretty substantial, definitely bigger than Hachiban nearby. The tonkotsu (pork bone) broth was thick as always. It was quite filling.
It had a lot of collagen in the broth, which is supposed to be very good for skin - no wonder most of the regulars were all ladies! The texture of the broth was thicker than "Ippudo" or "David Ramen". But the taste was not as condensed as Ippudo or "Kureha" (that's almost like drinking condensed pork essence directly ) The most similar comparison I could think of is "Daruma".
Nevertheless, the pork bone taste was not as pronounced as Daruma's. All in all, more satisfying for your skin than for your taste buds
Though the pork bone taste was not very pronounced, they boosted the taste with some thick shoyu. I think the taste was remotely similar to dark soy sauce used in Chinese cuisine with a fairly strong sake aftertaste.
I have to say, I didn't know what to expect from this combination. With hindsight, I'd probably just order the original pork bone ramen instead of the shoyu version. The texture of the broth was already fairly heavy. Mixing in more thick soy sauce made the whole combination even more heavy.
I prefer the shoyu ramen at "Ryo Tei" at Sheung Wan or "Hin Shou" at Jordan a lot more. They use a less overpowering but aromatic shoyu and combined it with a light broth - chicken broth in Ryo Tei and light Tonkotsu broth in Hin Shou.
I placed some konbu vinegar halfway through my noodle to text the combination. Interestingly, the vinegar really diluted the collagen quite significantly! However, this is not recommended for the shoyu borth as you could imagine how soy sauce and vinegar would taste like when mixed together. Haining said that, I note from another ramen shop (the tsukemen shop at Sham Shui Po) that adding konbu vinegar to tonkotsu is a standard way to bring out more taste in the broth. It would be nice for the spicy broth (which I might have used) and I suspect the original tonkotsu broth as well.
This time I was plesantly surprised by the noodles! The noodles were significantly "improved". They used to have a fairly chewy, slippery type of egg noodle with extra protein added to it. Somewhat similar to a "Kurumi久留米" ramen from Kyushu. The only ramen shop which still provides this type of ramen seemed to be "Fukuoka Noodle" at Sai Wan Ho.
This was how the noodles used to look like:
The point is that these ramen, while not the best in town, was definitely acceptable. It's quite crisp (as opposed to chewy) and had quite a distinct egg taste to it too. Fans of the harder type of Kyushu ramen might like this a lot. No complaints.
The egg was quite good. It was well marinated and the center was still a bit runny. Above average.
Adding sesame and spring onions to the thick broth is a very good idea. I believe the seasme might have been fried beforehand, thus bringing out the aroma.
The three pieces of char siu were quite good. Not as good at the Kakuni but it had a nice meat taste to it. Those weren't too fat but were tender still. Above average as well. No complaints.
The nori (sea weed) was fine too. Good quality nori don't get soggy as fast as the normal one and should be grilled first. This was not bad. The big piece of grilled nori at "Tamashii" is still the best. The shredded nori at "Hachiban" nearby were also a bit better for being more flavourful.
The good service is definitely worth highlighting. The staff were very attentive and constantly adds water, politely and with a smile. Very Friendly and made all my dining experiences here pleasant.
General F. Igjam says:
The pork bone soup definitely has a lot of collagen and should be good for skin.
Taste-wise, the pork taste isn't as pronounced as Buta O or even Daruma. But I'd still recommend the Spicy Ramen with Kakuni. The original tonkotsu ramen might be better than the shoyu version. I believe to enhance the complexity of the broth, the shop might consider adding some chicken carcass when making the broth. However, it's still better than those provided by "Mutekiya" (yakitori is better) and "Hachiban" (Wan Chai branch - Yasai Ramen is better).
You will receive a 10% discount if you sit outside during lunch time. Pretty good value.
That comes down to HK$54 for a substantial bowl of thick collagen tonkotsu ramen with decent char siu and nice egg.
No queue. Good service.
All in all, not a bad option for skin care and to quell your urge for sticky tonkotsu ramen!
Worth a try
Supplementary Information:(1) I noticed that they now provide "tsuke men" as well, which is a good idea for the hot weather. 現在亦有沾麵供應．
A lady next to me seemed to be one of the regulars. She was having tsukemen. The chef asked her what she thought of the sauce. She said it was good but she didn't mind a stronger taste as well. The chef appeared receptive of comments.
The staff were also asking two other customers, who also seemed to be regulars ( ), what they thought about the noodles and generally asked for comments on how they could improve. That's a great attitude!
(2) 1st comment of "Yukitei": 25th March 2012
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: May 31, 2012
Spending per head: Approximately HKD54(Lunch)
Value for Money4
Keep it up!