Ramen Cubism: Traditional noodles and hearty broths meet avant-garde art

Interior of Ramen Cubism. <i>Photo: Tomas Wiik for Coconuts Media</i>
Interior of Ramen Cubism. Photo: Tomas Wiik for Coconuts Media

Anyone who’s lived in Hong Kong knows that ramen joints in this city can be a serious hit or miss. Let’s talk pricing first: A hearty bowl of ramen anywhere in the city sets you back at least HK$70, more depending on how fancy or upscale you like it — and for anything within the HK$70-100 bracket, it can run the ramen quality gamut from perfectly mediocre to very good. Fortunately, Ramen Cubism’s noodles and broth fall under the latter of these two categories.

Tucked away near an alleyway, just a stone’s throw away from Lan Kwai Fong, lies this new-ish, warmly-lit ramen restaurant. The only thing remotely Cubist about the place is the fact that it’s got Cubist paintings on the walls. If you were hoping to dine on a bowl of avant-garde ramen — whatever that looks like — sorry to disappoint. The food here pretty much sticks to tradition.

Premium Cubism by Ramen Cubism. Photo by Tomas Wiik.
“Premium Cubism” bowl at Ramen Cubism. Photo: Tomas Wiik for Coconuts Media

We tried two of the restaurant’s signature ramen dishes: a Premium Cubism (HK$118 for large) — which came in an over-the-top oversized bowl — and the Greenwood Bird with mackerel broth (HK$98), which came in a totally normal, human-sized bowl.

Overall, both ramen dishes had a great, well-rounded umami factor — both had distinctly different broths that were hearty, runny enough drink, but with just the right amount of thickness to coat every strand of ramen with. The actual ramen noodles in both dishes had just the right amount of chew.

The mackerel broth in particular was intensely fishy — possibly even a bit too fishy for some people — but this was nicely balanced out by the earthiness of the mushrooms, as well as the bamboo shoots, which added a bit of crunchiness and sharp, briny flavor.

Ramen Cubism's Greenwood Bird with Mackerel Broth. Photo by Tomas Wiik.
Ramen Cubism’s Greenwood Bird with Mackerel Broth. Photo: Tomas Wiik for Coconuts Media

As for the slices of pork on top of the Premium Cubism ramen bowl, we found that they retained a lot of its tenderness and flavor, though we would have liked these slices to be a bit thicker for optimum texture.

The Greenwood Bird ramen, on the other hand, came with a plate of three large prawns on the side, served cold, and were large, juicy and sweet. For the price of HK$98 — definitely worth every dollar.

Hand-made Takao Dumplings by Ramen Cubism. Photo by Tomas Wiik.
Ramen Cubism’s Handmade Takao Dumplings. Photo: Tomas Wiik for Coconuts Media

The side dishes here are also pretty solid — in particular, the handmade Takao dumplings (HK$48) and the deep-fried Nagoya-style chicken wings (HK$38).

The dumplings were gently pan-fried on the bottom, and on the inside, the ground pork and cabbage filling was well-seasoned and retained some of its soupiness. The dumplings come with a side of chili sauce that has just the right amount of heat. The chicken wings had a sweet honey glaze on the skin and a nice crunch, though they didn’t strike us as being particularly good or memorable.

The average spend here, comprising a bowl of ramen, snack, and a beer, would come up to about HK$200 per head, minus the side dishes (which, split between two people, might amount to around HK$150) — which is reasonable, and on par with what you’d expect to spend on a decent meal in Central.

Overall, Ramen Cubism is a great joint for anyone looking for a casual date place, or as a spot to gather a small group of two to six friends. It’s also a good alternative if you’re looking for something flavorful and filling that’s not the nearest greasy kebab shop as you make your way to (or out of) LKF.

 

FIND IT:
Ramen Cubism is at Basement, Yuen Yick Building, No. 27-29 Wellington Street, Central
Reservations: +852 2399 0811
MTR: Central, approx 2 minutes walk

Read more Coconuts Hong Kong Food & Drink articles here.


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