In my company, I am considered as the senior foodie and people often ask me where to eat and seek for recommendations. Introducing to my local friends is relatively easy, because they know our city--Hong Kong very well, and indeed they know what is the hottest pick recently in town. On the contrary, it takes me extra time to think when it comes to the recommendation to non-local friends and tourists. I always ask what kind of food they want or criteria of food or variety that they are looking for, and very often, their answer is to look for authentic cuisine. Authenticity suggests a high-standard of tasting the kind/type of food that represents a place very well or known as the national cuisine. Among all, ramen place is one of the most frequently asked question. So, I'm happy to share my answer with you here:Friend A: Which ramen restaurant do you think it's the best in town?Me: Depends on what kind of ramen.. Let say soy sauce ramen (Tokyo side) or Tonkatsu ramen (Kyushu)? I'd recommend the ramen shop Butao for Tonkastsu ramen!.Friend A: Sure, tell me more.Then, this is where I told them to try and in this regard, I write this review also for showing them the environment, menu and speciality here.Butao, found in Hong Kong in year 2010 by the Japanese ramen chef at Central, has been considered one of the top graded and authentic ramen shops in town. Famous for its tonkatsu soup, the chef was actually trained before at the top Japanese ramen shop Ichiran before. So, we can tell there's some similarities in the taste and preparation techniques of the broth. It used to be a very small shop at Central and took me years to line up with my friends, until recently, they open new branches at Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Sha Tin and Taikoo, so you might visit the nearest one depending your location. Yet, to be frank, I find the quality is more stable, comparing the Causeway Bay and Sha Tin shop; I used to have dinner at the Sha Tin shop a lot after school. The above is the front of the shop, which renders the very Japanese-ramen-shop kind of design. Big square tables are offered here for sharing and normally it won't cause you much time to wait. As you walk in and have a sit, you'll immediately feel the cozy atmosphere, similar to a Izakaya (Japanese bistro for wine)With the open kitchen design, diners could see how chefs prepare the ramen, as in traditional Yatai (屋台; outdoor street stalls) and ramen houses in Kyushu. Be seated, it's time to take a close look at the restaurant menu. Unlike many ramen shops, Butao has been quite focused in providing four regular ramen items and one limited serving ramen (changes monthly; the shop is offering Yuzu ramen this month). The regular items remain the same since the opening of the shop. To be specific, the options include Tonkatsu ramen (豚王-$88), Black King (黑王-$95), Red King (赤王-$95) and Green King (翠王-$95).[Tonkatsu ramen (豚王-$88), Black King (黑王-$95), Red King (赤王-$95)](Green King and Limited Monthly Pick)Interestingly, each ramen carries different characteristics and distinctive tastes. Before introducing them, it is wworth explaining what is tonkatsu ramen per se. Indeed, tonkatsu (豚骨) is the literal translation of the two words 'Pork Bone' in English, symbolizing the broth for ramen is prepared mainly with the bone of pork. This is a kind of ramen originated from Kyushu, the western part of Japan. The key feature of this type of ramen is boiling pork bone and fat for very very long time (in high heat!!) in order to extract the collagen and flavour from the bones. Therefore, the clarity of the soup is rather milky, as differing from the Tokyo kind of soy sauce ramen with clear broth. Personally, I always enjoy this kind of classic tonkatsu ramen both in Kyushu and this shop, because of its rich, flavoursome taste that one's hardly possible to prepare at home. And you'd also amazed by the thickness of the broth thanks to the collagen that gives you a nice body on your tongue. However, not many shops would offer such as a rich taste, as Butao does, so I'd highly recommend you to come and you'll understand more. In addition, based on the classical tonkatsu broth, the restaurant adds chili paste, pesto and parmesan cheese, squid ink to make the three regular ramens, all of which have different character.You might also add extra sides, like cabbage, char siu Japanese-style, black fungi, noodles upon your need. But I'd draw your attention to the soft-boiled eggs, which is a special item in ramen shops! After you've made up your mind, you might fill in the following sheet to order or ask the waiter/waitress to help! Attention should be paid to the tailor-making of your desired ramen, including (1, 2) thickness & softness of noodles, (3, 4) scallion or cabbage / pork belly char siu or pork loin char siu, (5, 6, 7) portion of chili paste/soy sauce/garlic paste. Usually, I would choose medium for (5-7) and cabbage for a healthier option, but the choice of noodles is really up to the mood of the day. Flat noodle (太麵) is normally used for tonkatsu ramen, which is more al dente and there're more air holes for absorbing the pork broth, so I would recommend this one to my friends!About ten minutes, my Ramen Green King ($98) + Soft-boiled egg ($17) were served!Look more closely, you'll notice the details of how this ramen is made! There're grated parmesan cheese right in the middle, on top of the boiled cabbages and the pork loin char siu. On side, there're chili paste and black fungi. A very big bowl of flavoursome ramen, and you'll also smell the garlic and pesto flavour steaming up to the ceiling!To taste the ramen authentically, one should first taste the broth, then the noodles and the mix of the rest ingredients! The rich taste of tonkatsu was very visible and intense here, but there's also the acidity, aromatic garlic and sweet pesto flavouring dancing on the tongue. As I mixed the cheese with the broth, I also felt the illusion of eating noodles with pesto, which I suspected it's Butao's intention! There're layers of flavours penetrating into the mouth; really tasty! And the chili paste is also quite interesting that it did taste spicy, but give touch of sweetness, too. Probably, fried garlic and miso paste were mixed together! The flat noodles, as always, were quite al dente and absorbs the broth very well! Not to mention, the two large, round pork loin char siu tasted nice with touch of sweetness of the pork itself and cooking sake. It seemed that the loin was slowly and beautiful cooked, therefore the fact that it's thin cut of the pork won't affect the way it melts into your mouth. One could also adjust the taste of the ramen by adding touch of apple vinegar (available on the table) to balance the savory taste!And the soft-boiled egg was cooked beautifully, too. The yolk was running out from the egg after a bite, which was a sign of a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg. Also, you'd see any yellow part of the egg was cooked and retained around the white, which is a token of perfect cooking time of the egg. With both savour and sweet note on the outside, as well as natural sweetness of the egg itself, this is definitely one of the best side dishes accompanying the ramen!Overall. the food here was beyond standard in my visit to Butao (Shatin Shop). I enjoyed their tonkatsu ramen very much for its authentic rich, flavoursome broth! The service was nice, too! Even though it's about the closing time, no one would push you to finish quickly. If you have a friend who's looking for authentic tonkatsu ramen, I would highly recommend this shop to them!