A 10 dollar Michelin Star ramen meal? Yes please! Prior to visiting Toyko we had read all about the famous little 9 seater ramen shop which was awarded a Michelin Star in December 2015, in the process gaining the world’s first Michelin Star for ramen. The allure of delicious ramen and dining at a Michelin Star establishment for less than 10 dollars was too much and we made it our mission to secure a coveted seat at the neighbourhood ramen bar when visiting Tokyo.
Tsuta tip: Read here for all our tips on getting a seat at Tsuta. Tsuta doesn’t accepts reservations and operates a daily ticket system for anyone wanting to eat some seriously tasty ramen.
Where to stay in Tokyo
- Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Station: We opted for the Courtyard Tokyo Station as the hotel is located close to Tokyo’s main train station and is within walking distance of our Tokyo must see sites such as the Tsukiji fish market, Sushi Dai and Ginza. The accommodation was high quality, good value and our room, while compact, was fitted out well. Click here for latest prices!
- Other good options close to Tokyo Station are Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyobashi and Super Hotel Lohas Tokyo Station Yaesu-Chuoguchi .
- Luxury: If you are seeking luxury Tokyo has no shortage of amazing properties: check out the Mandarin Oriental or The Four Seasons.
Arriving at Tsuta
With only around 70 spots available at Tsuta we set our alarms for an 8am arrival at the ramen bar and the rainy Sunday morning played in our favour when we secured a 1pm slot! After a wander through the quirky and chaotic Shibuya we returned at our allocated time ready for some ramen adventures!
Despite the grandeur usually associated with a Michelin Star restaurant, Tsuta is actually a casual ramen bar. The only seats are those occupied by the 9 diners and so we waited outside the adjoining apartment block until we made it to the top of the queue for a seat. The host made regular appearances, emerging periodically from the sliding doors of Tsuta to check on the queue and to usher in new customers as the diners who had finished left.
With only 9 seats in Tsuta the queue moved slowly despite being relatively short. Eventually it was our turn and we were shown into the small shop. We were beyond excited!
Ordering our ramen
Ordering ramen in Tsuta is just like the majority of other ramen shops in Japan. We chose and paid for our meal in advance at a vending-like machine and, after giving our receipt to the chefs to prepare the ramen, we joined a few others waiting for a seat to open up. We ordered the most popular item on the menu, a ¥1,250 soy broth with pork and soba noodles made from 4 different types of wheat and finished off with an egg, truffle oil, spring onion and fermented bamboo shoots.
Tsuta has a simple layout with a bar at which diners face the chefs preparing the food in the kitchen. Nine stools circled the ramen bar, however it wasn’t cramped. Once we’d been seated we were served our noodles. Yesss!!
Tsuta tip: The staff kindly request that no photos are taken of the staff/kitchen.
Michelin Star Ramen!
So now to the main event…the Michelin Star ramen! We don’t claim to be ramen experts but we’ve eaten our fair share of ramen both in Japan and across the world and we found the Tsuta ramen extraordinary. The broth, the dash of truffle, the pork….it was the most delicious we’ve tasted so far!
The meal was a very quiet and reserved affair. The chefs work quietly preparing the bowls of ramen and there is a quite a serious vibe. The chefs are friendly however there is not much chatting or talking and the only sounds are those of the chefs preparing the ramen and eager customers hunched over the bar slurping the delicious ramen.
If ramen is to your taste then eating at Tsuta is a definite Tokyo must experience. A 10 dollar Michelin Star meal is a pretty unique opportunity and one we’d jump at if we had the chance again! The ramen is delicious and the quality of the ingredients is excellent. We had a fab time in Tsuta!
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