[Hong Kong] With a competitive ramen landscape as one in Hongkong, it is really something to be given such high praises as “Best Ramen”.
Zagin Soba specialises in chicken-based broth and originates from Osaka.
The branch in Happy Valley is its first Hongkong outpost, while another branch has recently opened in Central at Gough Street.
The interior layout rendered the place slightly upscale and relatively posh.
It was incredibly clean; with a sitting counter typical of Japanese eatery and a few tables scattered at the front and at the back of the eatery.
My first impression upon entering the restaurant was the efficient and courteous service as the waitress led us to our seats.
She immediately got out some baskets to contain our shopping bags and placed them next to our table. She then politely brought us English menu when she realized we were tourists and spoke no Cantonese.
The menu was concise with a photo placed next to each option to clearly illustrate each dish.
Diners have a choice between Chicken Soup Ramen (HKD138, SGD23.88), chicken soup dipping ramen (tsukemen) for HKD148 (SGD25.61) or Seafood and Chicken Soup Ramen (HKD138, SGD23.88).
There are side dishes available such as Fried Chicken (HKD48, SGD8.31) and Burdock Fried Rice (HKD48, SGD8.31).
Tea comes complimentary; you have an option between hot or cold tea which will be served when you have settled down into your seat.
Other drinks include Beer, Coke, Sprite and Yuzu sparkling wine (HKD20 – HKD58, SGD3.46 – SGD10.04).
A limited edition ramen which changes every month is also available. For the month of November, it was Waygu Beef Ramen that comes at HKD 198 (SGD$34.27).
Diners have to go down early for the decadent exclusive bowl as there are only 5 available per day.
A bowl of Chicken Soup Ramen featured chashu, half an egg, a sliced of tender chicken breast and slices of fried burdocks.
The broth had foam on top which resembled cappuccino foam and was incredibly creamy, flavourful without being heavy or rich on the palate.
The dipping broth for the Tsukemen boasted a slightly thicker texture and heavier taste where the slices of chicken breast were found within.
The noodles are of the thick type (which I personally love) and in no way representative of ‘soba’; yet they were al dente and clung to the soup very well. I could taste the robust chicken flavor in the dipping broth.
I particularly liked the inclusion of deep fried burdocks in both types of ramen, as the meat contrasted nicely with the burdock. It also provided some crunch.
Eggs are not complimentary for Tsukemen and have to be ordered separately (HKD 15, SGD$2.60).
The Deep Fried Chicken was also delicious, crunchy on the outside and really juicy on the inside.
Finely grounded yuzu salt was provided as a dip and went well with the chicken to balance out the slight saltiness in the batter.
Though prices are on the higher side, Zagin Soba serves solid bowls of ramen, not to mention superb and attentive service throughout the meal.
Come here for a change if you feel you have had too much Cantonese food. As for me I am looking forward to my next trip here to sample their limited edition ramen.
Branch 1: 13A King Kwong St, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2818 0322
Opening hours: 11.30am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm Tues-Fri), 11.30am – 10.30pm (Sat – Sun), Closed Mon
Google Maps – Zagin Soba Happy Valley
Branch 2: G/F, 7 Gough Street, Central Hong Kong
Tel: +852 24771398
Opening hours: 11.30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Zagin Soba Central
* Written by DFD’s Correspondent Hoang Anh Dang @youreatingbuddy, additional photos from Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary. Anh loves sharing her eating journey from hole-in-the-wall shops to world’s best restaurants. Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.