RAMEN HEADSIn Japan Ramen is like a Sandwich in the West. It can be breakfast, lunch and dinner. Japanese people are very dedicated to their favourite Ramen restaurants. I have even seen this trend in Toronto. There is a fairly new Ramen restaurant on Dundas near University and just before lunch people start to line up outside. I don't get it because there are other Ramen shops nearby, but they must like that one better than the others in the area. I prefer the broth of Pho to Ramen broth as it has more depth in the flavours but people love to slurp up those noodles and suck back that broth.
This documentary is the story of a man in Japan who has become the King of Ramen Heads and has developed a system to serve his customers. His name is Osamu Tomita. He is an obsessive perfectionist and will not allow his apprentices to take over. If he can't be in his shop it doesn't open. He searches the highest quality ingredients and makes his noodles by hand every day and they are longer than everyone else's and has a specific stretch that keeps them from breaking.
Ramen Heads looks at the Ramen culture in Japan and Chef Tomita's mentors and influences and some of the other styles of Ramen in other restaurants in Japan.
He won the "Best Ramen in Tokyo" for 4 years in a row and people come from all over to try his Ramen. His shop celebrates it's 10th Anniversary and this is a behind the scenes look at their practices and success and why they have over 200 people who line up everyday for his noodles and broth.
He only eats Ramen and will work all day without a break and on his days off he goes to eat at other Ramen shops.
Is it dedication or obsession? Watch the film and you decide.
See it at HOT DOCS
Saturday, May 6 10:45 AM, TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX