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New York – Ramen chain Ichiran is offering New Yorkers a genuine Japanese solo dining experience.
The chain, popular in Japan, offers diners traditional pork bone broth tonkotsu, which can be customised to reflect personal preferences for flavour, strength, noodle tenderness and fat content.
In Japan, Ichiran is for solo diners, but the company accommodated Western habits by giving groups the option of dining in a more conventional seating area and attended by waiting staff. Solo diners are seated in individual booths where they have minimal interaction with other diners and the restaurant’s food servers.
Customers eating alone order by filling out a form with their flavour preferences and pressing a call button. The order is then collected anonymously by a member of staff whose face is hidden by a bamboo screen, so that the dining experience is focused entirely on the food rather than the customer service.