IPPUDO’s Ramen King on What It Takes to Run a Ramen Restaurant

If you’re interested in trying out IPPUDO ramen, they’re going to be at Waku Waku +NYC! While the average anime convention can’t provide more than overpriced hot dogs for reasons beyond their control, at Waku Waku +NYC you’ll get to eat ramen so authentic you’ll make Naruto jealous. Buy your tickets today!

Shigemi Kawahara, also known as the “Ramen King,” is one of the prime players in the global popularization of the Japanese noodle soup dish, pushing its reputation beyond the “cheap eats” image of instant ramen. His restaurant chain, IPPUDO, has stores in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Thailand, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Philippines, and New York City.

In this video, Kawahara not only shows his method for cooking delicious ramen, but also dispenses with some advice for living and pursuing your dreams.

Some choice quotes:

There are plenty of hopefuls who say, “I don’t have the money so I can’t start my own restaurant.” Well you can start a restaurant without money. What’s important is to think, “Let’s do it!” I think what’s most vital is how hard you’re willing to work to fulfill your dreams. That’s why, when people like that talk, I don’t even listen to half of what they say.

 

The starting point for my business was like this: “I want to eat the ramen I make! I want to create a particular space for my restaurant! I want to be the proprietor! I want to welcome customers in! I want to talk with them, have live discussions with them! About the universe, about family, about anything… that’s the kind of space I wanted.

Though ramen likely has its origins as an adaptation of a Chinese dish, ramen has over the decades become a distinctly Japanese food. There are countless variations, with different broths, ingredients, and even noodle types. Anyone who’s tried the real deal will tell you that instant ramen, while perhaps still delicious, pales in comparison.

 

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