Michelin-starred ramen shop draws crowd

Foodies eager for a taste of the world's only Michelin-starred ramen were up early to take a spot in the queue.

By the time the 18-seat Tsuta restaurant on the ground floor of Pacific Plaza opened at 11am yesterday, there were about 175 people waiting in line.

Singapore is Tsuta's first overseas outlet.

The restaurant estimated waiting times to be one hour. It is set to serve 200 to 250 bowls of ramen a day in the first five days of operation, and will increase this number to 400 to 450 when full service commences on Nov 12.

Undergraduate Nigel Toh, 19, the first person in the queue at 8am, said he had heard so much about Tsuta in the news and decided to try it.

"I am keen to try their signature shoyu ramen since tonkotsu ramen is more commonly available in Singapore," he added.

Prices start from $15 for a bowl of shoyu ramen and shio ramen.

IT consultant Kelvin Teh, 35, the second person in line, had watched a YouTube video on Tsuta six months ago but did not expect such a famous name to expand overseas - least of all in Singapore.

"I know if I come at 10am, trying the ramen will be a 'gone case' as the queue will be too long by then," Mr Teh told The Straits Times.

Also in the queue was violinist and Tokyo native Yoko M., 34, who had heard about how diners would start lining up at 6am in Japan.

Indonesian Sugirato Alim, 35, arranged for a stopover in Singapore on his flight from Indonesia to Italy just to go to Tsuta.

"I thought I would take a risk and queue up for ramen during my nine-hour stopover in Singapore. I hope I do not miss my flight," he said.

Tsuta's Singapore outpost is a partnership with investment company Hersing Corporation, which also owns the local franchise of Michelin-starred Hong Kong dimsum chain Tim Ho Wan. - STI