Ramen Jo: jolly good ramen for the average Jo

Ramen Jo: jolly good ramen for the average Jo

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The lesser known cousin of ramen, tsukemen!
Photo: Karly Cox/SCMP

Ramen Jo
Shop 1030, 1/F
Elements
Tel: 2196 8208

Grub: As the name suggests, Japanese ramen and side dishes.

Vibe: There’s only so much atmosphere you can expect from a mall restaurant, but Ramen Jo does its best to emulate an authentic side-street eatery, or even izakaya, experience, with a small space featuring stools lined against the counter overlooking the chef, or against the window so you can people watch. There’s a second seating area with tables for groups.

Ramen set. Big and delicious.
Photo: Karly Cox/SCMP

Who to take: Ramen fans and first-time ramen eaters alike will find plenty to tantalise their taste buds. It’s a great place to stop and refuel after a long day of traipsing around shops where you can’t afford to buy anything or, preferably, ice skating, or for pre-movie munching.

What’s hot: The ramen sets are great. Big, steaming hot bowls of soup appear before you, filled with chewy noodles, flavoursome BBQ pork and half a perfectly cooked egg, plus a choice of mini salad, gyoza or fried chicken, all for about HK$100. It’s an incredibly filling, relatively affordable meal in a mall known for toe-curlingly unaffordable brands.

But what’s possibly even more exciting is the less commonly known tsukemen, a bowl of hot soup accompanied by chilled noodles which is more appropriate for the humid Hong Kong summer. The soup is a little saltier than ramen, so the noodles are just dunked briefly, which subtly warms them, then slurped. There’s even a cute cartoon that explains how to approach this new dish! (If you want to drink the soup after, you can add some plain soup afterwards.) It’s an excitingly different experience that makes you feel like you contributed to the cooking.

Hotplate tofu, a sizzling treat worth trying.
Photo: Karly Cox/SCMP

A surprisingly delicious treat is the hotplate tofu. It’s topped with bonito and loads of sizzling garlic, and so intensely flavoured that it will convert even the most ardent tofu hater. The fried chicken is also worth a mention: moist breast pieces in a crisp, flavourful skin. Just don’t burn your tongue as you gobble it down.

What’s not: Very little, other than the fact you’re sitting in a mall that’s not especially easy to get to. There’s no doubt cheaper, “more authentic” ramen in town, but this is great for newbies.

Cost: Ramen and tsukemen are HK$78-HK$110; sets are HK$118-HK$168. Other main dishes start at HK$85; side dishes start at HK$42.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
yum yum

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