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Starry Ramen

Since the launch of the famous guide, Tokyo has and continues to boast the highest number of Michelin starred restaurants in the world. And now another bright star joined the party.

by Nanban

Since the launch of the dedicated famous guide, in 2007, Tokyo has and continues to boast the highest number of Michelin starred restaurants in the world.

It would not make the news, then, that a new one has ben added to this large number of stars, except that in this case it is a very special star.

Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta is the name of the restaurant that has received it and that, as the name suggests, specializes in ramen, one of the most widespread and popular dish in Japan.

Popular also and above all in the price.

The ingredients are in fact good, simple and cheap: a good hot soup, most often the chef’s secret, noodles (of wheat, preferably hand-made, of course), with thicknesses and textures depending on the location, and other components that unfold in countless variations from south to north of the archipelago.

Elementary at first sight, but achieving perfection is the unspoken goal of every self-respecting Japanese chef, and at Tsuta’s they are no different.
Enough to make a ¥ 1,100 dish - in its most common variant - worthy the coveted star.

In short, the cheapest Michelin-starred in the world, perhaps only on par with the Tim Ho Wan dim sum in Hong Kong.

Matter of details: such as the tare - a concentrate of flavors created with typical Japanese seasonings - made from the union of three different types of soy sauce, coming from far apart locations: Shodoshima, a small island in the Inland Sea Seto, Ibaraki and Wakayama.

And to sample ramen in one of the only nine seats available, competition is fierce: since early hours dozens of patrons stand patiently in line, creating an Indian file that in short goes all around the block, come rain or come shine. But it’s definitely worth it.

And still, if it's not possible to go there and experience Onishi Yuki's creations right now, what's better than exploring the ramen world in a different way, with a great movie classic, at home? Jūzō Itami's Tampopo is the best movie on the matter, and an amazing one.