During my trip to Japan, it was my mission to try the first Michelin-starred ramen restaurant in Japan called Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles. After having tried it (and my god, it was the best ramen I’ve ever had in my life), I was so bummed I wouldn’t be able to taste it again. Or, at least any time soon! Luckily, a friend told me that there is an instant ramen version of Tsuta (~350 yen/$4 CAD) at all Japanese 7 Elevens!
The chef of the restaurant partnered with 7 Eleven exclusively to recreate his one-of-a-kind truffle/chicken/clam broth ramen for all those who can’t visit his restaurant. Even though it took up a lot of space in my luggage, I knew I had to buy a couple back to taste for myself (and see if it was close to the real thing).
One of the signature traits of Tsuta’s Michelin-starred ramen is their clear broth, which is deliciously light yet full of umami. The broth from this instant Tsuta ramen was very similar, with a layer of lard/oil on top that gave it the same umami broth taste. The truffle flavour was also prominent but obviously not as much as the actual ramen. The only thing I would say was a bit off were the noodles as they continued to get soft as I ate, which didn’t leave me with al dente noodles near the end of my meal.
The instant ramen came with thin dried ramen noodles, a sealed package of bamboo shoots, a gigantic piece of dried pork belly, green onion, and two sauce flavour packets. No powdered flavouring here.
Westernized instant noodles never come with a piece of dried meat this big so I really appreciated how Tsuta tried their best to recreate the actual ramen by putting something like this in the convenient version. Honestly, once the meat reabsorbed the liquid, it actually tasted like a regular piece of meat that I could have just freshly put in.
All in all, I would say they did a very good job and imitating the same quality and flavour profiles as the original Michelin-starred ramen. It’s not to say it can replace the real thing (it’s nowhere near), but if you want a taste of what it could be like, this is somewhat close. And even if I was not comparing this to the real thing, I would say this Tsuta instant ramen is just one of the best instant noodles I’ve ever had in my life. So for that, it’s worth a try.
Up next on the blog, I’ll write a full post on how you can get your hands on a ramen from the World’s first Michelin starred ramen restaurant in Tokyo! The waiting process is quite long winded and unconventional so if you are thinking of trying it while in Tokyo, make sure to read this first so you don’t waste any precious time!! When I was there I saw way too many tourists try to get in and not be able to because they didn’t research first.