Butao ramen is the #1 on my ramen list (better than Ippudo, which was my #1)! It is also a must-visit for me whenever I’m in Hong Kong since there’s no decent ramen spot in Kaohsiung. There are only four types of ramen (all based on pork bone marrow broth), which are classic (豚王), spicy miso(赤王), squid ink(黑王), and pesto (翠王).
It’s hard to avoid queues during dining hours at Butao, so while waiting, the waiter hands out the ordering sheets, and the customers get to choose the type of soup base, thickness of the soup, seasoning, with or w/out meat, vegetables, types of noodles, hardness/softness of the noodles, and if there’s anything else you want to add. This is pretty much a customized ramen!
This is the traditional pork bone marrow soup. The soup is really thick and rich in flavors. The saltiness isn’t like the saltiness from salt. The natural flavor of the bone marrow is released, which makes the soup opaque, and milky.
The Black King is the traditional soup with squid ink and squid miso (the black ball in the middle). This is my favorite! This is not as salty as the classic one. However, make sure you wipe your mouth afterwards! Otherwise you’ll walk out the restaurant with black mouth and teeth!
I ordered Red King when I first visited Butao. I love spicy food, and I would say my tolerance for spiciness is pretty hight too. However, the first few sips aren’t that spicy, but my mouth was burning when I’m half way finishing the noodles. I had to keep drinking water!
Overall, if you are a ramen-lover, definitely have to try it out!
p.s. The Central and Causeway Bay branches are the best!