This is some rapid fire reviewing. Hide-Chan’s new ramen shop opened today and I am, erm, reviewing it today.
The reason I was so prompt in getting there with a fellow collection of #ramendorks is the fear of the Hong Kong queue.
Butao Ramen, the current fashionable choice for a bowl of ramen, offers you three hours of queuing and a bowl of liquid sludge. Quite frankly, the thought of queuing for three hours at Hide-Chan with the possibility of another bowl of bad ramen meant that I was going to be first in this time. No time for queues to develop or listing magazines to give unfathomable good (and wrong by reference to Butao) reviews to it.
So today the queues were minimal, no more than 10 to 15 minutes at their worst. And I am glad to say that the ramen was worth a 10 minute queue. It might, as long as you order the flamed pork belly as a side, even be worth a 20 minute queue. Longer than that though… probably not.
The style of Hide-Chan is, fearfully enough, probably the future of dining in Hong Kong. Take “fashionable” food, stuff people in a room to eat it without thought to decor, experience or service, price it ok-ish, and start churning. Ensure a constant queue stretching out the door so there is never an empty table and off you go.
People may balk at the above and say that ramen is always a quick, dirty affair. But it is a quick dirty affair in Japan, where even bad places offer good service and you don’t have to chase the side dish you ordered for 20 minutes (as we did here).
Still, on the food front, it’s better than average. Thick, weighty tonkotsu broths, not overdone ramen or eggs, delicious pork. Basically what you want as a pit stop, no trouble, pop in anytime place. But with a queue… well it is pushing it.
- Price – 100hkd a headish with some extras
- U/G, The Loop, No.33 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong (2522 5990)
PS like Butao Ramen it offers a series of stocks. “white” which is original tonkotsu, “black” with charred onion and garlic and “red” with Korean sweet chilli. I went “white”, it was the right choice.
PPS following a couple of revisits, I wouldn’t bother with Hide Chan again. The broth seems to taste a bit too like a river estuary. Over thick and bitty and under good.