Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Butao Ramen (豚王)

After several visits, I finally tried all the different ramens Butao has to offer (except the off-menu flavors).  So I thought I would write a post to summarize the different flavors I have tried.  Overall, the quality is good and very consistent but the queue is intimidating.  On average, the wait time is approximately 45 minutes.

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Butao Ramen (Central)
This is the only location I have visited.
There are 3 locations in total, Central, Causeway Bay, and Tsim Sha Tsui.
I have heard the Central location is the best (taste-wise) among the three shops.

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Wait time is approximately 45 minutes from here.
It's easier to get a seat if you go alone.
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Graffiti on the wall, spotted while waiting.  Pretty cool!
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There are also two known off-menu options, the Genki King (元氣王) and the Prawn King (海老王).

I am not sure if it's the same thing as the Limited King (限定王), which was the Japanese Pepper King (山椒王) on the day I went.
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The menu - I love how you can customize every aspect of your ramen.

I have yet to try the braised pork (角煮), which has been 'sold out' every time I came.

I can't really tell the difference between thin noodles (細麵) and thick noodles (太麵).
As long as they are not too soft, I enjoyed them both.
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I love the kimchi bean sprouts (middle)!  I can eat half of that container myself.
The raw garlic (right) is awesome when added to the noodles too, especially in the Green King.
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The miso used in the noodles.
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Japanese soft boil eggs, a must try.
We also love the wood ear and ordered additional as side.
Butao (豚王)

the original flavor - rich and creamy tonkatsu
all the other flavors is a variation to this original soup base
recommended for any first-timer
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Black King (黑王)

It's so BLACK! At first glance, it is not appealing but it is a very unique flavor.
(one of the ingredients is squid ink! who would have guess squid ink would go well in ramen?)
The soup is thicker and creamier than Butao.  You can add a little of the fruit vinegar to cut down the greasiness.
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Spicy King (赤王)

As ths name suggest, it's spicy!  Reminds me of the Korean Shin Ramen (辛辣面).
Compared to the other flavors, this is the least of my favorite.
Perhaps there are too many places that offer a similar version of this flavor.
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Green King (翠王)

A surprise favorite!  I didn't thought I would enjoy this one so much
Olive oil + Parmesan cheese + basil in ramen, anyone!?!?!?
If I am surprised by Black King, I am wow-ed by Green King.
My favorite among the 5 different flavor I have tried.
I strongly recommend adding a smashed garlic to this one, it elevates the flavor to another level.
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Japanese Pepper King (山椒王)

It looks like the Black King but this is spicier.
It is a different kind of spicy compared to the Spicy King.
It's different and I quite like it.

Overall, it is a very good ramen restaurant.  If you are in the area, I would recommend to try it at least once.  Is it worth 45 minutes in queue?  I will leave that to you to be the judge.

Butao @ Central
G/F, Wo On Building, 8-13 On Lane Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central
Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:00-21:00; Closed during Chinese New Year

Butao @ Causeway Bay
G/F, 40 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
Hours: Tues-Sat: 11:00 - 23:00; Closed during Chinese New Year

Butao @ Tsim Sha Tsui
G/F, Kam Wing Commercial Building, 28 Minden Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui
Hours: Tues-Sat: 11:00 - 23:00; Closed during Chinese New Year

Butao also introduced their own special brand of ramen noodles at HKD$7 each.  The Spicy King is 70% close compared to the real thing, which is pretty awesome.  (Pork and condiments not included though.)

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Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated and I paid for my own food.

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