Only in Japan..
"Momozono Robot Ramen," a ramen shop in the city of Minami, Yamanashi prefecture is gaining popularity not only for its delicious ramen noodles, but for its robotic chef.
Ramen robot with Yoshihira Uchida, the owner shop (Photo courtesy of Mainichi News)
The ramen-making robot was built by 60-year-old shop owner Yoshihira Uchida, who spent about 20 million yen on its construction. Customers can place their orders on a computer in the shop, customizing various aspects such as the levels of soy sauce, salt, and richness of the soup. Uchida says there are 40 million different flavor permutations.
The noodles themselves are cooked by a human, with the robot creating a perfectly blended soup which is then delivered to the human chef via a conveyor belt, who adds the noodles and toppings. The whole process takes only about two minutes, a minute shorter than instant cup noodles. Prices of ramen per bowl are 500 yen for regular size and 300 yen for small size.
Uchida, a huge noodle lover, opened a soba noodle shop 10 years ago. He later started to make ramen -- which received mixed comments from friends, with some saying the taste was strong, and others too weak. In the end, Uchida hit upon the idea of creating a robot that can allow customers to choose the flavor they want. He is now aiming at automating the addition of noodles and toppings, and shrinking the robot itself. He is also planning to open his second ramen shop in Kofu possibly by the end of this year.
Source: Mainichi news