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Ramen Jo tsukemen
Photograph: Courtesy Ramen Jo

Where to find the best tsukemen in Hong Kong

Possibly one of the best ways to enjoy your noodles

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Written by
Jenny Leung
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Hongkongers love noodles: laksa, pho, udon, ramen, and even cup noodles. But if you’re looking to mix things up, try tsukemen, an offshoot of regular ramen that sees soup and noodles served separately. Instead of eating your noodles straight from the bowl, tsukemen requires you to first dip the noodles into a flavourful broth, which is much richer and thicker than your usual ramen soup, before slurping it up one mouthful at a time. Keen to give a try? Here are the best bowls in town.

RECOMMENDED: Drooling for more exquisite Japanese fare? Check out our list of the best tonkatsu in town, or take your pick from some of these fine sushi restaurants in Hong Kong.

Best tsukemen in Hong Kong

  • Restaurants
  • Ramen
  • Mong Kok
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When it comes to tsukemen, Isaba Taifu is the first place that comes to our minds. The restaurant has regular queues outside its doors, and the vibe inside will whisk you away to any local ramen joint in Japan. The menu here is small with only three tsukemen options (which regularly change) to choose from, but the unflagging persistence of quality ramen is astounding. If you're curious to try, head there in the afternoon because tsukemen is served only during lunch hours, while during the evening round, regular ramen is on the menu. With one of the deepest, richest soups in the city, you can really taste the difference here.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • To Kwa Wan

Kane Tsuru Ramen is a standout even within Hong Kong’s fiercely competitive ramen scene. The restaurant specialises in chicken-based broths made from a mixture of vegetables, tuna, and fresh chicken flown in straight from Japan. So yes, we would gladly drown ourselves in it all day long. The noodles are on the softer side, but they cling onto every last bit of sauce it's dipped in, which, to every experienced slurper out there, is one of the most important qualities when it comes to tsukemen.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Causeway Bay

There's a reason why this cosy little joint in Causeway Bay has been recommended in the Michelin Guide for four years in a row, and its tsukemen is definitely a major factor. The broth is insanely good – a brackish, bisque-like concoction that's rich without being overwhelming – so good that you'll end up drinking every last drop. If you're feeling brave, go for the spicy option. It'll have you drooling and sweating for all the right reasons.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Mong Kok
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There are plenty of ramen and tsukemen variations out there, but this one takes the cake. Often drawing hoards of hungry foodies from all around town, this little noodle joint in Mong Kong is famous for its sakura shrimp tsukemen. Every mouthful is packed with flavour, which is only further elevated with the added dried sakura shrimp sprinkled on top (we say sprinkle, but it's basically piled on top). The extra flavour and crunch make the slurping experience even more satisfying. If you're not a fan of seafood, try the pork bone tsukemen, it's another crowd favourite on the menu.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sha Tin

Gamushara offers only two types of tsukemen – curry miso and spicy miso. Both are worth a try but we'll take the curry miso tsukemen any day. Made with a homemade miso paste, the curry dipping sauce is as fragrant as it is delicious. Here's an inside tip: if your dipping broth is running low, ask one of the staff to add a splash of jasmine tea to the broth. The soft and subtle flavours of the tea will elevate your dish to a whole new level.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sham Shui Po

From the man behind one of our favourite ramen joints Butao King, Kakurega's cramped quarters may not be the most comfortable, but it sure does churn out some awesome noodles which are kneaded, shaped, and cut on-site every morning. There are three options available: the Kakurega white, an easy favourite of ours, is made with a pork-fuelled broth, bonito powder, and a dollop of chilli-spiked miso. The Kakurega black is similar but with garlic oil splashed across the surface. As for the Kakurega red, it is the mildest but also sweetest of the three, and has a brightly coloured broth studded with bits of tomato pulp and a gentle touch of chilli oil. To round off your meal, ask the staff to pour some extra broth into whatever’s left of your soup bowl, toss it back, and savour the flavours.  

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