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Japanese Ramen Chain Ichiran Opens 1st Overseas Branch in HK, Serving Noodles 24/7

Fukuoka, Japan-based ramen chain Ichiran opened its first overseas location in Hong Kong on July 11 at 440 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay in one of Hong Kong's busiest commercial districts.

As in Japan, the restaurant has partitioned counter seats where guests can "focus on the flavor." Each of the four counters has nine seats (36 seats total). There is no machine for purchasing meal tickets. Instead, customers fill out a sheet at each seat to instruct the staff how they want their noodles prepared, how much secret red chili pepper sauce they want and what toppings to add. The "kaedama" way of ordering a second serving of noodles only (i.e. without toppings) is also just like in Japan and the sound of charumera flute music plays when customers make ordersAF.

A bowl of Tennen Tonkotsu Ramen costs HK$89, while a kaedama-style second serving is HK$19 and a half-kaedama is HK$15. In Hong Kong, where the market for Japanese-style ramen is now expanding at a furious pace, restaurants are not trying to localize their offerings to suit local tastes. Rather, their goal is to bring the authentic Japanese way to Hong Kong. The restaurant's manager, a Japanese national sent from Japan, is seeking to offer the same level of service as in hisAF homeland. In addition, only the Hong Kong location's drink menu offers "ramune," a lemonade soda drink popular in Japan.

Ichiran has been flying in 80% to 90% of its ingredients from Japan since opening, but the company plans to build a processing plant in Hong Kong this fall or winter to relocate noodle production and other processes to Hong Kong. Ichiran's sales target for the first year is HK$28,450,000 and it plans to open more restaurants in Hong Kong in the future.

Ichiran is open 24 hours a day.

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