For those who fantasize about real-deal ramen and Asian teas, T.Spot, the new space inside Tien Wong, the casual hot pot restaurant in Chandler, might be the place of your dreams.
Courtesy of chef Johnny Chu and wife, partner, and general manager Linda Q (the couple also owns SoChu House in Central Phoenix), T.Spot is a kind of permanent pop-up inside Tien Wong -- housed in the same space but in a separate section and with its own name. A one-of-a-kind concept not just in Chandler but in the Valley as well, T.Spot soft-opened this week and will officially grand-open at noon tomorrow.
"It's always been in the back of our minds," Linda tells me, "But we wanted to get people accustomed to the hot pot concept first. Now we can do the same with ramen and Asian teas."
Here's what diners can expect.
Linda says the ramen at T.Spot is as authentic as it is healthy. Guests can choose from three ramen "flavors" of traditional, miso, and spicy chile, four kinds of Japanese hand-cut noodles (custom-made for T.Spot in Los Angeles), and toppings like nori (seaweed), corn, mushrooms, scallions, and sesame seeds. All ramen bowls are $6.95.
"We make our signature ramen, tonkotsu, with pork bones simmered for eight to 10 hours," Linda says. "There are no pre-made soup bases here."
And for those craving Asian teas, Linda says T.Spot is the kind of Asian tea house one might find in L.A., serving a variety of flavored creations (think boba and milk teas) with various toppings and add-ons like jellies and sea salt cream. She describes one concoction, a honey green tea with a miso cream as being "milky and sweet, with a salty flavor as well."
The addition of ramen and teas mean expanded hours. Both T.Spot and Tien Wong are now open from noon to 9:30 Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, and from noon to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Follow T.Spot on Facebook for more information.
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And the hot pots have gotten an upgrade as well. Linda tells me there's now a prix fixe menu as well as the option to order a la carte.
Can fans of Chu expect his ramen and Asian teas to pop up elsewhere in the Valley?
"We want to expand," Linda says, "and we're looking at spaces. We'd love to bring it back to Phoenix."