What began as a quick, simple and above all nourishing dish for a hungry population in post-war Japan has now gained something akin to cult status.
Devoted fans known as “ramen heads” crisscross the country in search of the ultimate tonkotsu, shio or miso ramen—and they’re willing to wait hours in line for a bowlful of it.
Tomita Osamu has been voted Japan’s best ramen chef three years in a row, and this film examines his ingredients and methods in great detail. He’s happy to share his secrets, but he’s also obsessive about what he does, and always on the lookout for the best dried sardines or the most delicious pig’s head for his broth. “As a chef maybe you need to be more of a ramen head than your customers. You need to make the soup so good that people never get tired of it, even if they eat it every day.”
We meet some other chefs as well, including Fukuja, for whom time has stood still, and Ichifuku, who’s famous for her miso ramen.
"For those whose knowledge of ramen is limited... this dissection of a really good ramen’s complex ingredients, as well as the many types of broth and exciting regional differences, will be mind-blowing."
"Ramen is just noodles and broth, right? Well, no, it’s actually much more, as we learn in the entertaining Japanese documentary “Ramen Heads.” The dish has a fanatical following in Japan, where the movie’s central figure, Chef Osamu Tomita, is celebrated as the king of ramen."
"The story of the ramen empire is one of constant rise with no fall in sight. In Ramen Heads, it's told through the seemingly narrow lens of one proponent of that dish that is so much more than a noodle soup."
Directed by Koki Shigeno
IN japanese with english subtitles
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