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Creator of Tsuta, the world's first Michelin-starred ramen shop, dies at 43

Yuki Onishi was the founder and head chef at Tsuta ramen, which has three outlets in Singapore.

Creator of Tsuta, the world's first Michelin-starred ramen shop, dies at 43

Yuki Onishi, the creator of one Michelin-starred ramen shop Tsuta, has died. (Photos: Twitter/Tsuta Global)

Yuki Onishi, founder and head chef of the world's first Michelin-starred ramen restaurant Tsuta, has died. He was 43.

Tsuta Global announced the news on Friday (Sep 23), saying it was "deeply saddened" by the passing of the "meticulous and talented chef", who had helped to boost ramen's popularity across borders beyond Japan. 

"On behalf of the management, our thoughts are with his family, friends and staff around the world as we strive to continue his legacy," a social media post read. 

The death was reportedly attributed to acute heart failure. 

Born in Fujisawa city to a family of chefs, Onishi spent some time working at his father's ramen shop before leaving to pursue a high fashion career at the age of 22. His job as a merchandiser took him across the world. It was during this time that Onishi realised his calling – to create awareness of Japanese cuisine, particularly its signature use of dashi and emphasis on umami. 

Onishi opened the very first Tsuta – a humble nine-seater restaurant in Tokyo – in 2012.

Four years later, Tsuta – formerly known as Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta – opened its first overseas outlet in Singapore at the Pacific Plaza.

That same year, Tsuta made waves in the culinary world after it became the first ramen shop to be awarded a Michelin star – an accolade it enjoyed for four straight years.

Tsuta now has three restaurants in Singapore – at 313@Somerset, Jewel Changi Airport and Takashimaya shopping centre. It also has two outlets in Bangkok. 

Source: CNA/hs