Convenience stores in Japan really do have everything, including a meal from the world’s only Michelin-starred ramen restaurant.
Since it was awarded a Michelin star last December, Tokyo’s Tsuta ramen restaurant has become one of the hottest destinations for foodies, particularly of the noodle-loving variety. If you’re not able to stop by the restaurant at 8 a.m., to pick up a ticket for a seat at a later time block during the day, there’s another destination that can satisfy your culinary cravings: the local Circle K or Sunkus convenience store.
As promised earlier this month, on May 24 the convenience store chains released a ready-made version of Tsuta’s popular Chilled Soy Sauce Ramen for just Y498, which is an absolute bargain for a meal created by such a highly regarded establishment. Having never had a chance to visit Tsuta in person, we picked up a pack of the new pre-made ramen to see if the quality was really up to scratch.
▼ Upon opening the pack, we found three main components to the meal: sauce, toppings, and a nice serving of noodles.
Tsuta has overseen the entire production of dish, and the high quality is immediately evident just by looking at the noodles, which are made in-house using whole-wheat flour, giving the dough an attractive speckling of small brown grains.
After adding the sauce, we topped off the dish with the included ingredients: bamboo shoots, spring onions, shredded leek, roasted pork, and half a soy-and-mirin marinated soft-boiled egg.
The toppings taste fresh and the textures are excellent, especially for the crisp, shredded leeks. The refreshing, cold noodles are perfect for the upcoming summer season.
The chewy texture of the noodles is pleasant, but what’s really impressive is the soy broth, which is a blend of chicken and seafood stock, bringing out a wonderfully sharp flavour. The addition of truffle oil rounds out the flavours beautifully without being overpowering.
Although cold, the flavoursome broth tasted fantastic. The high quality ingredients and attention to detail in replicating the dish for the convenience store market is truly impressive, and if you’re after a tasty, refreshing meal to grab-and-go, this is definitely one of the best choices you can make at the convenience store.