Ramen is one of those foods that is usually either a hit or a miss. We know places in Tokyo where you can get a great bowl of ramen for 500 yen and places that charge you 1000 yen for something you could probably make better yourself with instant ramen from the convenience store.
In a perfect world, customers would be able to choose how much they pay for food based on the satisfaction derived from it. But alas, a perfect world it is not. Or is it? (It’s not)
Good news for ramen lovers out there, though! On July 25 a ramen shop opened in Shiodome, Tokyo that lets customers choose how much they pay for their meal after eating it!
Aptly named “Nedan no nai Ramenya” (The Ramen Shop with no Price), the restaurant works on the premise that customers shouldn’t have to pay any more than what they believe a meal is worth.
After eating, customers write the price they think the ramen deserves on a slip of paper and hand it to the staff at the register. And here’s the crazy bit: you don’t even have pay the amount you thought your meal was worth. They just want to know how much you would pay for it.
Of course, they do need to turn and a profit and are probably banking on the conscientiousness of the Japanese people to keep them afloat. Try this in any other country and you’d be cleaned out in days.
Our correspondent Kuzo visited the restaurant on opening day and reports: “The soup uses a sweet soy sauce base and seems more tailored to female tastes. The noodles are on the soft side, which is also preferred by women. Overall, it’s your standard soy sauce ramen but those looking for something with more of an impact might find it lacking.”
Kuzo also tells us the ramen didn’t come with any toppings. Perhaps they’re playing it safe with costs until they get a feel of customers’ overall willingness to pay.
So how much did Kuzo end up paying for his meal? “It’s a secret.”
Nedan no nai Ramenya is open until Wednesday August 7 and admits a limited number of customers starting from 10:30, 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00 every day.
■ “Nedan no nai Ramenya” (The Ramen Shop with no Price)
Address: Shiodome Nittere Plaza (In the Shiohaku event site)
Access: JR Shinabashi Station, Yurikamome Shibashi Station, Toei Oedo Line Shiodmoe Station, Toei Asakusa Line Shinbashi Station (More info and map here)
▼ “How much would you pay for this ramen?“
▼ A billboard outside displays the average price and total number of customers
[ Read in Japanese ]