Address: Shop 1-2, G/F, 1-5 Elgin Street, Soho, Central 中環伊利近街1-5號地下1-2號舖
Telephone: 2546 8008
Opened in 2012, Torimen is an eatery located right next to Enomod on Elgin Street in Soho, which serves ramen for lunch and yakitori and half-portion ramen for dinner. With a monochrome tone, walls adorned by anime murals and large communal tables, Torimen is an effortlessly cool space that attracts a young and trendy crowd. The eager and friendly staff and a delicious selection of cocktails make this restaurant a marvellous place for dinner gatherings.
(1) The bartender, a young and energetic lad, offered to let us try his latest concoction using yuzu honey, ginger and vodka, and it was a showstopper – the yuzu honey was sweet and fruity, and the ginger gave it an amazing kick. There wasn’t a name for this cocktail yet, but do ask for it if you would like to try it!
(2) The Japanese figs with blue cheese salad ($80) was a colourful and summery dish, which was nicely enhanced by the richness of the pungent blue cheese.
(3) The Duck breast with red wine infusion ($62), served chilled, was a refreshing starter, with the duck breast benefiting from a beautiful smokiness.
(4) Next up was the Grilled oyster with nori risotto ($45). Underneath a delicious piece of oyster revealed a spoonful of risotto plumped up with juices from the oyster; it was marvellous.
(5) Torimen prides itself on its premium yakitori, which are cooked at the optimal temperature of 400°C to offer the most intense char-grill taste and use only the freshest ingredients with no marination at all. Being the yakitori lover I am, I of course seized the opportunity to try as many of them as I could.
The Ox tongue ($48) was appealing juicy and chewy, and the Chicken gem (i.e. thigh) ($36, limited availability) had an exquisite bounciness.
The Spanish Iberico pork rack ($98) was full of enticing, meaty flavours, and the Japanese mini sweet potato ($24), brimming with natural sweetness, was simple yet satisfying.
More innovative were the Home-made minced chicken stick stuffed with cheese ($38), with cheese seductively oozing out as you cut it open, and also the Squid with yuzu wasabi ($28), which was lifted by a fiery wasabi kick.
The Rice patties with seaweed and dried fish ($28) had a pleasant crunchiness, but had slightly too little fish in it; the Cherry Tomato wrapped with bacon ($26), on the other hand, was hearty and tasty with a thick layer of cheese.
Last but not least, the Crispy quail egg ($28) is a dish that can currently only be found at Torimen in Hong Kong. The quail eggs were freshly flown in from Hokkaido, and the egg shell had been slightly softened, yielding an interesting crunchy texture as you bit into it. While, taste-wise, I cannot say that I preferred this to quail eggs without shells, it definitely offered a bit of fun to our meal!
(6) Moving on, we dug into the Torimen Ebi Ramen ($58), a lovely ramen meticulously cooked with a PH 8.6 water and simmered under low heat for 8 hours. Medium-sized ebi were used for their perceptible sweetness, and the ebi head, shell and oil were the soul of the broth, giving it an irresistibly strong flavour with absolutely no MSG in it at all.
(7) Even though normally only available at lunch, we were very fortunate to be able to try the Seafood Tsukumen ($90). Magnificently springy ramen was dipped in a thick, salty broth, and it was a bundle of comforting, wholesome goodness.
(8) We finished our meal with an Apple Crunch ($78), a light and citrus dessert made with thin sheets of pastry, diced green apples and custard. Normally, I would have preferred thicker sheets of pastry for more bite, but given that I was already bursting at the seams, this light rendition worked well for me.
Conclusion: Torimen is a bright, charming eatery with brilliant Japanese food served at reasonable prices. I would definitely like to come back for their delightful yakitori and fabulous cocktails!