Hailing from the Hakata region of Japan, tonkotsu ramen is famed for its rich, cloudy broth made by boiling down pork bones for a significant amount of time. Fukuoka-born Buta Soba Tsukiya, however, is serving a peculiar twist on this classic ramen. Better yet, it has a Tokyo branch, which recently moved from its tiny corner in Hiroo’s Eat Play Works food hall to a more spacious, elegant set-up in Ginza Six.
Dubbed buta soba (pork noodles), the usually creamy tonkotsu pork broth is replaced with a light and refreshing soup that doesn’t compromise on flavour. To achieve this, the ramen specialist slowly simmers the pork bones rather than boiling them, and continuously skims the broth. The painstakingly long process results in an unusually clear broth that’s clean-tasting but still packed with the natural sweetness of pork.
The thin noodles are made with Fukuoka-grown flour and topped with thin slices of chashu pork. Green onions, myoga (Japanese ginger) and a kabosu (Japanese citrus similar to a lime) wedge are served alongside each bowl, but you should try the broth as-is before adding in these toppings. As for the citrus, the restaurant suggests squeezing it with the rind side down towards the bowl so that the flavourful oils get released into the soup along with the tangy juices.
A bowl of buta soba goes for ¥1,320 and the menu also includes Fukuoka’s famous cod roe rice (¥2,090), craft beer, sake and natural wine by the glass.