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MIST (ramen) – high end ramen with high end service (1*)

So my last review was of Otto e Mezzo, a supposedly 2* Michelin restaurant where the staff wouldn’t know the difference between burrata and a mozzarella or even the contents of their own menu. Where it is acceptable to have a 40 minute wait between courses and an atmosphere of poor training bustles around the dining room.

This review is about a “humble” ramen place where the service is a shining beacon of joy. What strange contortions Hong Kong brings to usual way of the world. So let me tell you three little stories about our meal at MIST:

First, I casually asked what beers they had and the waiter  knew, off the top of his head. Better than that he knew enough to tell me where they were brewed (specially for MIST) and the different flavours (pale ale and larger) and recommended one based on the type of ramen I was ordering. He was even relaxed and confident enough to joke with me about the fact that the cover of one of the bottles seems to be of the Scottish flag.

Second, when you sit down at MIST you aren’t sure where all the utensils until the waiters show you a drawer set into the table. In this are spoons and chopsticks and two sheets of paper. These tell you the story of MIST (a touch pretentious but still…) and more importantly, the provenance of every single ingredient you are eating. It is also date stamped so you know it was updated in the last one or two days. And, if you want to speak to the waiters about it, they can.

Third, if you sit at the counter you get to look into the nice calm kitchen where the chefs are methodically working away on the dishes with an aura of calm professionalism. Having seen us enjoying the nice avocodo based salad starter the chef who we had watched preparing it turned to us, completely self effacingly and un intrusively, and humbly asked if we enjoyed it.

And the food, truly excellent ramen. Egg properly soft boiled. Miso and salt flavoured ramen both singing. Bouncy tasty ramen. Pork some of the best I have ever had. I just wish they did a tonkotsu base broth. The only annoying thing about this is that I don’t think I can eat (or suffer) ramen elsewhere in Hong Kong. I now have to travel to Causeway Bay every time I am hungry.

Finally, this is pricey, it cost us 700hkd for alcohol and 2-3 courses for 3 people. But its worth it. And whilst you might be able to get a bowl of ramen for pocket change in Japan, quite frankly I’ld pay a lot more for proper ramen when outside of Japan. Oh and it is 1 Michelin stared. But it deserves it.

  • Price 250hkd a head
  • G/F, 4 Sun Wui Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (2881 5006)

10 Comments

  1. This looks fantastic, and whilst it isn’t cheap, I don’t think HK$700 is too outrageous for a meal for three people even if one of the courses is a bowl of humble noodles.

    Shame they don’t do tonkotsu broth, pork bones are my fave too. That said, it’s better that they do one or two stocks well rather than try to overstretch themselves.

    • As you know (and I have increasingly learnt) there is no such thing as a humble bowl of noodles. Noodles can be the be all and end all of a meal. To pay that much for a good bowl strikes me as a very fair deal for the quality!

      Apparently they do, I just missed it :(

  2. Never mind Hong Kong, that’s service to stand out anywhere. And when it’s backed up by food of that quality, there are many good reasons to head back, no matter what the distance.

    And it has to be said, you wouldn’t get any Michelin starred food over here for that price. It seems a pretty good deal. A quick question, is the egg in the picture preserved in any way, or just coloured by the broth (which looks excellent)?

    • Nope it was a flavoured Japanese style egg. Jen is actually trying to hunt down a recipe. It was damn tasty. I guess they cook it and then put it in a cold water to infuse?

  3. Hi Tom,

    Speaking of the Tonkotsu pork-bone ramen, they do have one lately and supposedly will last until march!? I had it on the 2nd day they had it on offer (11th Jan), well actually I went on the 10th as well lol but they already ran out, as its only 15 bowls @ lunch and 15 bowls @ dinner. I needed to book!!

    Its only ok though. I still love their miso ramen the best !

    • Argh. I can’t believe I missed it. I might have to go there early one day or try to bribe them. My favourite broth and one which I speculate they will do pretty damn well. I should have asked specifically. Thanks for the tip.

  4. Charmaine

    I still dream about their ume shio ramen.

    • I have to say I was impressed just generally. As good as stuff I remember from Japan. Though, if I get a secondment eventually to Japan I hope to find better :)

  5. laydeejol

    the first time I went to Mist, I remember watching the sous-chef accidentally dropping a stainless steel salad bowl with a clang right at the Jap head chef’s feet. The head chef gave the poor guy such a big death glare he looked like he was ready to cry o.O must say u dun get that kinda quality/intensity of kitchen staff in HK very often :P

    Also – fact that the food was prepared by a rather good-looking chef does kinda add to the aesthetics of the place/food, no? ;) x

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