I love little-known neighborhood finds - the types of places where the restaurant just focuses on a couple dishes, but does them really well, and with heart and soul.
At the same time, I am quite risk-adversed. I hate just walking randomly into a restaurant and trying it, only to find out that the food was terrible, the prices were high, and I just wasted several hours, calories, and money. I know this from experience - it's happened one two many times when I'm in a touristy spot in a foreign country and I haven't done my homework.
As a result, I don't usually walk randomly into places.
However, one of my out-of-town friends is much more willing to just try things. During the week when he was in town visiting us, we ended up exploring many things in my neighborhood - things I would have never explored on my own. I was thrilled to discover a great Thai massage place (definitely would not have walked into one of those myself!) as well as a fantastic chicken ramen shop just around the corner from our new apartment.
Torihana Tei specializes in chicken. Their main focus is ramen, and they offer a chicken ramen, a spicy chicken ramen, and variations on that theme. You can also get a few other dishes, such as fried chicken, chicken chashu, pan fried dumplings ($38 HKD - pictured at left) or chicken chashu don with "fluffy omelet" ($58 HKD, pictured at right).
The chicken ramen broth is fantastic, with a deep, rich chicken flavor. The noodles are very good as well, with excellent texture. I love how you can specify whether you want thick or thin noodles, cooked firm, medium, or soft.
The spicy ramen is also delicious and comes with a nice kick that's not overwhelming.
All in all, the food here is great. The menu is small but focused, and everything is done quite well. They do offer some take-out only options, such as a fried chicken bento or chashu chicken bento (I believe each of these can be enjoyed inside the restaurant if you order it with a drink).
They will sometimes roll out interesting special ramen dishes. The last time I was there, I saw a women enjoying a bowl of "matcha ramen". The broth was green, it was so interesting!
In any event, it's a fun casual place with an authentic Japanese, small ramen shop feel. I have already come back, and I will definitely be back again if I'm ever craving a nice, warm bowl of chicken ramen.
Thanks Ed for getting me to try this place!
Torihana Tei chicken ramen
Shop 15, G / F, Wah To Building
22-30 Cross Lane, Wan Chai