Can you imagine yourself willing to wait outside at one ramen restaurant for just only a slurp of regular Japanese cuisine for an whole hour? I never thought I would do such thing in my whole life, but I did it last weekend, at Totto Ramen, I literally waited for an hour, no kidding. I was headed up by a friend of mine that there is a line before people can even get in to this tiny little restaurant.
I thought it might be the reason for me to go all the way there and wait in the notorious line, because usually a line is the implication of their foods being outstanding. But how can a squeezed, run-down restaurant keeps being enduringly popular as customers waiting in wind in all its business hours? Let’s break down this business magic.
As an original Chinese, I’ve heard many Chinese citizens living aboard vaunted about other Asian foods are originated from Chinese food and harangued about how amazing the history of our cuisine is. That is not all untrue. In fact, even I’m usually inclined to have meals in Asian restaurant in New York, because I cannot easily get rid of my original eating habit and it really can assuage a sudden wave of nostalgia, I can still feel a strong exotic taste out of their food, which for me is an icing on a cake for my dining experience. In fact, I love foreign Asian food, as much as I love Chinese food. Japanese ramen for me, is a total different cuisine of noodle from those Chinese styles. (I wonder whether Japanese people are willing to categorize ramen into noodle).
I joked about it as Totto Ramen keeps its business operation model as people waiting outside as it successfully exhausts their customers and have them served after lowing their expectation by emptying their stomach. My foodie friends told me there are other restaurants in New York also making delicious Japanese ramen in which people don’t have to wait for a ridiculously long time. A friend of mine even zealously praised Totto Ramen as serving the most tasty ramen he had ever had. Well, I guess food commentary goes for the one thousand Hamlet effect, still, public word of mouth and gathering effect are, indubitably, excellent publicity in this industry.
The noodle didn’t blow my mind, but the line thoroughly did. I will never forget about this experience as in a cabinet restaurant, I was served with a warm bowl of ramen and a hearty smile from a waiter after I went through the one-hour devastating queue.
Photos are from