Friday, January 2, 2015

Butao Ramen HK, we finally meet!

I've been wanting to try Butao Ramen's famous Black King or Squid Ink Ramen even before they opened Ramen Nagi in the Philippines, but because our HK itinerary was always busy, I never really got a chance to try it.

When they opened in the Philippines, I again attempted to try it, but I don't really go to SM Aura a lot, and during one of the few times I was there, Ramen Nagi's line was so long, I just said forget it. I didn't want to try it enough to line up for it.

So like the Ramen that got away, every time I go to Hong Kong, I still put it on my To Eat wish list, hoping I'd finally have time to go. Finally, last December, when we decided to make a Hong Kong side trip from Macau- which you can read about here, one of the places I put on my Must Eat List was Butao Ramen.

I was very glad to see that Butao Ramen now has a branch in Causeway Bay - which opens at 11:00am, so to make sure that we don't miss it this time, we planned to have Ramen for brunch - so it was our first stop of the day. 

Causeway Bay is conveniently just a 10-15 minute walk away from Auntie Stell's flat, so getting to the restaurant was easy, finding it was just a bit more tricky because it's located in one of the small side streets near Times Square but you need to pass an alley in between buildings to get there. 

We were a bit pressured to get there on time because we wanted to try one of the limited edition Ramen (and I think we read somewhere that they only serve 30 bowls of that - which was a myth!).

We got to the restaurant just a few minutes past 11am.
I had to keep looking because aside from the lantern that says Ramen,
it didn't really say Butao in a language I could understand anywhere.
Then we saw this server, so we knew we were in the
right place.
Arriving at 11:00am is early enough to secure a table.
But the place soon filled up.
We were also one of the first customers, so we could
order the limited edition Ramen - but since it was ginger,
only Auntie Stella was game to try. And for info, the limited
flavor changes monthly and they serve 100 bowls per day.
Like most Ramen places in Japan, you choose what you want,
except for the limited king - where you only get what they serve you.
Ady and I ordered the Black King and the Green King to share with one egg
The Squid Ink makes the Ramen taste even richer than it normally does.
Now I understand what all the fuzz is about because it's different,
it's decadent and it tastes really good.
The Pesto Cheese Ramen was also good, in a weird sort of way.
The thing I like about Butao Ramen is that they give you a choice of Spring Onions or Cabbage in your ramen. I'm not really a fan of Spring Onions but we wanted to try the Black King in it's original form, so we only ordered cabbage for the Green King.

Auntie Stella's Ginger King. I took a sip from the broth and I just found it too
gingery for me. Not my cup of tea!

The Black King Experience
In addition to the choice of pork cut, the black king also comes with a
scoop of minced squid in some squid ink paste form.
When we were ordering, we immediately went for the Pork Belly Cut,
which may have been a mistake, if you don't feel like eating more fat than meat.
I started with a small bowl of the Black King since Ady and I were sharing.
I find that they serve the egg at Butao a bit more watery than other ramen
Share a coke with #selfie and the black king!

The Green King Experience
They Green King grows on you if you like Pesto and Cheese, but I don't think
it's something I'll ever crave for. Though it's a good idea to order it for
sharing since I find the Black King too rich to finish all by myself.

Choosing the Pork
When we were asked what meat we prefer, we immediately chose Pork Belly
over what I thought was Pork Butt. It was only after we finished that our server
told us that the Shoulder Butt was the leaner cut. Hahaha.
We also recommended ordering extra Kakuni for next time which
I think is also pork, but stewed and cut in chunks. *but I may be wrong again!*
The price of the Butao Ramen includes the meat,
but you can always order extra. We just ordered the extra egg.
Happy Photo Opp after a Great Brunch. and there's a small Butao! on the
sign naman pala.

Additional Tourist Tip, the Butao Ramen in Causeway Bay is on the same street where you can catch the bus that goes directly to Stanley Market.

Just jump on the Number 40 Mini Bus.

I'm glad I finally got to try the Butao Ramen Black King. I'm still not sure though if it's something I am willing to line up for, or if it's a place that will make it to my Hong Kong Must Eat list again. just saying.

Butao Ramen Causeway Bay
40 Tang Lung Street 
Hong Kong 

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