What better way to do after a fatiguing day of sightseeing and shopping than to fill ourselves up with nutrition for the body and mind? Butao Ramen is a narrow, teeny, and tucked up ramen shop in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay area, recommended to me by a friend. When we got there, it was just right around dinner time, and I was worried we wouldn’t get a seat, seeing how few tables the joint fit. Luckily, we got one right away. Finding space to set our shopping bags proved challenging. And I almost knocked someone’s head with my elbow while trying to snap a photo at the table. Almost, thankfully. Otherwise I’d probably owe him an extra bowl.
Anyone who’s met me at least once would tell you I’m crazy about noodles, and ramen is no exception. So when I got a ramen recommendation, I didn’t need to think twice. At Butao, ramen lovers can choose from 4 different soups: Butao King (the original signature tonkotsu pork broth), Black King (a strong black sauce made of garlic and squid ink), Red King (a spicy version of the tonkotsu), and Green King (pork broth infused with olive oil and basil); noodle variety (thin or thick); noodle texture (extra firm, firm, medium, soft); vegetable variety; richness of broth; spice level; and extra condiments such as BBQ pork, seaweed, egg, and mushrooms.
While contemplating on my order, I thought I’d go all out. So I went with the Red King broth, with extra rich broth, spice level 6, extra firm noodles, and a side of half-boiled egg. Which actually turned out to be not so wise. As much as I enjoy spicy food, this one was a tad too spicy as well as rich to really indulge in. And I mean it when I say the broth is very rich. I even thought the original broth was quite intense. While gobbling up our ramen, we also had a taste of their complimentary bean sprout side dish. Don’t judge it by its dull appearance because it was actually full of flavor and crunch.
Butao King Ramen (HK$80)
Red King Ramen (HK$90)
Your better bet would be to go easy on the broth richness and chili. If you are into ramen, even though Butao is not exceptional, I’d say it’s worth a try. Price wise, you’re looking to spend in the range of HK$100-HK$120, which, in my book, is actually quite pricey for ramen. But it is conveniently located in a shopping area and might just save you from a day of walking and blisters. Just don’t count the calories!
40 Tang Lung Street / 銅鑼灣登龍街40號地下
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Mon – Sun: 11 AM – 11 PM
Shop A & B, G/F, Kam Wing Commercial Building / 尖沙咀棉登徑28號錦榮商業大廈地下A,B舖
28 Minden Avenue
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
+85 2316 2878 +85 2316 2880
Mon – Sun: 11:30 AM – 11 PM
66 Wellington Street / 中環威靈頓街69號地下
Central, Hong Kong
Mon – Sun: 11 AM – 11 PM