If there is one thing that is certain in the HKUST MBA, its late nights. Not because we are cooped up in the library studying; many of these late nights happen when the class heads to Central for one reason or another. The reasons we head out to central may vary but there is one iconic activity we do in central – head to Ichiran in Causeway Bay.
For those who don’t know, Ichiran is a ramen chain which is open 24 hours a day. It serves one type of ramen with a tonkotsu broth which can be customized in many ways. Here is my step by step guide to the perfect Ichiran experience.
1. Come at 4AM, not earlier.
Saying Ichiran is a popular restaurant is an understatement. During operating hours when most people are still awake, you would expect to wait at least an hour to get a seat. To give you an idea, we went to Ichiran at 12 midnight once and we still had to queue up for about an hour. At 4AM however, you can expect a maximum waiting time of 10 minutes.
2. Drink the water.
Seriously, drink the water. Ichiran water flows freely from a personal tap in each of the booths which is a good thing because it is the best water – ever. Ichiran even says that one of the secrets of the flavour of the ramen is the water.
3. Come with friends
The Ichiran booths are designed to give you a sense of momentary isolation where you can eat a meal in peace. That’s not much fun though. The Ichiran experience is best enjoyed hopping around other people’s booths, peering over the dividers to have a conversation, and taking advantage of the restaurant layout to take a groupfie.