|The Ramen of Mecedes-Benz (RocketNews24 photo)|
According to the online journal RocketNews24
, Mercedes-Benz is selling ramen in Tokyo, at a cafe attached to their Roppongi showroom. They feature both surf ("Umi") and turf ("Riku") versions.
I stumbled across this bit of culinary knowledge shortly after a review of San Francisco ramen-ya Nojo Ramen Tavern
in the Hungry Onion food discussion forum indicated that a Tori Paitan Shoyu Ramen there cost $18. Although Nojo Tavern's chicken ramen bowl contained a whole chicken leg, which is more protein than one can reasonably expect in a bowl of ramen, some forum participants (including me) found this a startling price. Steep as it is, though, this pricing is not to be totally unexpected; another forum participant found another $18 chicken ramen in town, and in another instance, a local hipster entrepreneur (who shall remain nameless) was so enamored by his own chicken ramen creation that he attempted to get $28 for it. His business was short-lived.
My views on ramen are well known to regular readers of this blog (in short, I consider it one of the less noble forms of Asian noodle soups), but even leaving out qualitative considerations, I consider ramen to be overpriced in general. For a hearty bowl of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai or Korean noodle soup, a sticker price of less than $10 is still the rule rather than the exception, whereas it's nearly impossible to find a bowl of ramen in the single-digit range, and most menus start at least a couple of bucks north of an Alexander Hamilton. And when branding kicks in, people will wait in long queues fo the privilege of paying a Mercedez-Benz price for what the Japanese consider a Daihatsu food. (Tokyo ramen shop Nakiryu was recently awarded a Michelin star; the bite for a bowl of its signature Dandan noodles is US $6.99.)
So much for Mercedes-priced ramen; as far as Mercedes-Benz's own Tokyo ramen goes, that'll be US $10.60 for either the Umi (with scallops) or the Riku (with duck "ham") ramen.
Tori paitan ramen photo by Hungry Onion poster "Mr_Happy." Others by RocketNews24
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