He leaves behind a ramen empire—its original outlet in Tokyo, Japan holds the title of being the first Michelin-starred ramen eatery in the world

It’s a sad week for the culinary world as it has lost Yuki Onishi, the head chef and founder of popular ramen shop Tsuta (formerly known as Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta). Reports have stated that he died of acute heart failure. He was 43.

Tsuta Global posted on their Instagram that the company is “deeply saddened” by the passing of their global executive chef and director who “founded the world’s first Michelin-starred ramen eatery, Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta” and enhanced the “popularity of this noodle dish across borders beyond Japan”.

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Onishi founded Tsuta in 2012 at the age of 28. What started as a humble eatery in Sugano, northern Tokyo has gained a cult following, with many flocking to this part of Japan and lining up as early as 6am for a taste of his famous shoyu soba. It earned its first Michelin star in 2015 and has retained it for four straight years.

Gourmands couldn’t get enough of his umami-packed broth—a combination of two custom-made sauces from the Wakayama prefecture (crafted just for the eatery) and Onishi’s own concoction.

The ramen shop’s popularity grew and it opened its first overseas outpost at Singapore's Pacific Plaza in 2016, which has since closed. It currently has three outlets in Singapore (Takashimaya, 313@Somerset and Jewel Changi Airport), and has also expanded to Bangkok with two ramen joints.

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