Ramen joints are popping up faster than the Spanish tapa craze hitting Hong Kong. Butao Ramen 豚王 was/is the King of Ramen when it first opened in 2010…. in a smaller discreet street behind the rowdy, loud and open Lan Kwai Fong. Ramen fever has hit a new high!!!!
Once upon a time, Meter Chen and Chandler Tang started selling ramen at their 12-seater hole-in-the-wall ramen joint, Butao. Every single day hordes of people would line up and anxiously wait for their bowl of ramen. Hours at a time. It became a phenomenon. It branched out. They even opened up a store in Causeway Bay, then in Kowloon and now…they re-located to a bigger, cleaner, opposite another wait-in line restaurant Nha Trang( Nha Trang however doesn’t command the same hour(s) line wait). Two main factors why this place became such a Cinderella story. The product is good. And….the product is limited. The little hole in the wall ramen joint would only sell 2oo bowls a day before they shut their doors. In the new Central location….they sell 400 bowls a day before they close their doors. It’s a small wooden place. The turnover rate was ridiculous. In, order, enjoy and your out. There’s a small counter top where you can face the ramen experts at work, a small communal table and an adjoining smaller table. Get ready for big lines, people!!!!
You have the option of 4 types of ramen! (Simple, limited and to-the point.)
Butao King 豚王: the original! A strong tonkotsu pork bone broth.
Black King 黑王: a tonkatsu black squid ink soup base. YUM.
Red King 赤王: a very dangerously red and spicy miso broth! Who wants it hot?
Green King 翠王: an ‘East meets West’ duo inspired basil, pesto and Parmesan cheese ramen.
This is how you order…you pick what you want!! I turned my order form in before snapping a pic. This is borrowed from amusedbouche!
I finally had the chance to try it yesterday…soooooo is it worth the hype….is Butao really the King of Ramen?
Red King 赤王 $90: Mr. K added an extra egg! I didn’t have any of this one, but word on the street is that its RED HOT! I heard it was alarmingly spicy, in the best way! Look at that red and spicy miso broth…..
Black King 黑王 $90. A, added extra meat and seaweed in his! I had some of the soup broth…and I looooove the fermented black beans- its simply a tonkotsu broth with the added texture of black squid ink! Its fresh, rich, murky, and delicious. Slurped it right up.
Butao King 豚王: I really liked it. The pork bone broth was delicious. I literally slurped, gulped it all in….It has this very strong, flavourful, fragrant milky soup broth. This is a pretty indulgent meal. It’s quite heavy though. What looks like a small bowl packs quite the punch. The meat wasn’t as good as some other ramen joints I’ve been too. ADD ONS: Soft Boiled Eggs, Extra Meat (Pork Slices), Seaweed, Mushrooms, Veggies, etc… I opted for a soft boiled egg!!! You know me…I love my Eggs(post)!
Butao is AMAZE-BALLS! 🙂 I’ll be back. Set you back $100 for a filling, satisfying, and delicious meal. (REMEMBER: its not the healthiest of meal….don’t overdo it!) Also, be warned….try to go on a ‘cooler’ day. The summer heat is NOT good for ramen…And, go early to avoid the line up. We went at around 7:15pm and lucked out. Barely waited a minute!! 😉 The only thing I have to complain about this place…is that my beloved Red Mango (post) is no longer there!!! SIGH…… You will be greatly missed.
Butao Ramen: 69 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong 2530 0600
I came home that night, ready to work…. 🙂 Realized I have so many new ideas and food blog posts I want to conjure up!! 🙂 Burnt the midnight oil drafting this!! Hope you all enjoy!! Have a beautiful and blessed week folks!!
<3 Always, Jess