Chasing the Chashu

Kuroganeya Ramen

Chicken broth ramen with two slices of house special chashu, bonito flakes, soft-boiled egg, black fungus, and green onions

Ramen is one of the foods you can find everywhere in Hong Kong. But ramen with really good chashu? Kuroganeya is my first stop.

Like many ramen and skewer shops, the menu works like this: You get a piece of paper with lots of options, and you circle what you want. Other than the standard noodle bowl topping groups, you can choose a chicken or pork broth base, extra toppings, and the softness of your noodles. Make sure to read the ingredients of the noodle bowls, because they also have spicy and non-spicy options.

I typically order a medium-texture ramen with black fungus, bonito flakes, a soft-boiled egg, sliced green onion, and two slices of chashu all in a chicken broth. When the waitress places the bowl down, I watch the bonito flakes writhing as they soak up the hot soup. Though I know it happens every time, it’s just so fascinating…

After mixing all the ingredients together in the soup, I always go for a hot bite of noodle first. The flakes, fungus, and green onions all tangle with the noodles, holding in the flavor of the soup. The hard-boiled egg is properly done, and its shoyu-soaked white goes well with the soup.

The chashu is what this ramen resto is all about – and they do a damn good job with it. For those of you not in the know, chashu is basically Japanese-style charsiu: Instead of roasting the pork belly, though, they marinate and braise the meat for melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. At Kurogameya, the slices are grilled separately with a dab of sweet sauce for that hint of smokey aroma, and the fatty layers are an absolute guilty pleasure: The fat just melts into the meat and makes each bite juicy.

Ramen tends to be pretty heavy: Portions are pretty standard, but it’s very filling. And don’t forget to drink the soup – if it’s too much flavor for you to handle, you can always tell the waiters to lighten it up.

I’ve had some of their skewers before, but I’m usually full enough to not order anything but ramen. I can’t comment on anything specific, but I can say that they were tasty.

The shop itself is quite small, but it doesn’t feel too crowded even when it’s filled up. You might get seated with some strangers during lunch and dinner rush, but that’s pretty typical of Hong Kong – if you’ve been here for long enough, it really shouldn’t bother you.

All in all, I can safely say that this is my favorite ramen joint in Wan Chai. I’ll definitely be back for more of that porky goodness.


Scoring

Parameter Score
Ramen Noodles 4/5
Chashu 5/5
Toppings 4/5
Overall Ramen 4/5
Service 4/5
Cleanliness 4/5
Environment 5/5
Washroom 3/5
Menu Cost ($) 4/5
Total Score 4/5

Menu Pricing

Ramen bowls are $85-88 each.
Sides and toppings (dumplings, rice, etc) go from $8 to $38.
No takeout for ramen.


Kuroganeya (黑鉄屋)
Shop B, G/F, 3-5 Tai Wong Street East
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
+852 2856 0813

Open every day 12:00 – 21:30

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