Tsuta, the first Ramen restaurant to gain a Michelin star is set to open its first US site in San Francisco in the Metreon in mid-September.
San Francisco, the home of America’s best Asian cuisine is to get another notable addition when Tsuta will bring its shoyu ramen to the city next month. While there are already a whole host of options for upscale ramen in the Bay Area, including Ippudo, Tsuta will offer something different as it will offer a lighter broth as opposed to the city’s other tonkotsu ramen outlets. Tonkotsu ramen is a soup with a rich, milky broth made from boiling pork bones for hours.
Chef-owner Yuki Onishi opened the first Tsuta in Tokyo in 2012, a tiny shop with just nine covers. Four years later, the restaurant became the first ramen shop to gain a Michelin star. There are now nine branches across Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Onishi comes from a family of chefs and while initially he departed from the script and wanted to travel, living abroad and working in fashion, he eventually felt the draw to return to Tokyo and take up an apprenticeship with his father.
It was the Dashi element of Japanese culinary tradition that interested him most and the first Tsuta concentrated on Dashi broth – a combination of chicken, clam and fish broths. That Dashi still goes into his shoyu signature broth along with house-made shoyu, white shoyu and a truffle sauce (black truffle pureed with truffle oil).
In the San Francisco restaurant, Onishi plans to serve his shoyu ramen as well as miso and shio versions with fresh whole-grain noodles. Instead of a black truffle sauce, the shio will be served with a puree of green olives and truffle oil while the miso will be finished with porcini mushroom oil. Onishi will work on a specific San Francisco ramen once he fully gets to grips with the season ingredients on offer in the city.