The illusions

Every day, I feel…like giving up. The honesty. The truth. Everyday, I give it my all. The passion. The faith.

Today, I rest. The battle wounds can attest. Today, I am the best. I aced the final test.

Officially back

January 16, 2020. I’ve been very lucky in life. Driven by mostly emotions that involve soup and noodles, I’ve met a lot of friends (and some I haven’t met yet) who have been able to pick me up when I was down. I’ve also seen those not-really-friends that have tried to ride the waves only to crash against the reef. But for the most part I have been truly blessed to be where I am. Many people might think it’s strange that Ramen Shack is popping up in Tomiz when it could easily have its own shop, but I’ve always been one to look a handful of moves ahead and working with a company like Tomiz is a huge honor.

After soft open I got a chance to fully understand my position here. And it somehow lit the fire again. Instead of going through the motions and doing what is deemed enough, I pushed a little harder. Cuz when you go harder, the next big thing will get a little easier.

After all, what is Ramen Shack without a B-side? Prep was tough but the only way I can teach someone else to do it is to do the hard work myself. Full immersion feeds dedication and respect.

A bigger menu means better setup. I thought about this for days but this is definitely where experience leads. The patience of a seasoned doctor commanding his operating table.

Even when something goes wrong we find a quick solution. My former bosses would be proud.

Alright, time to eat. Thank you for coming to opening day. I got many messages from friends and colleagues around the globe. I’m back. And it will only get better.

Soft open and strong close

Wow. That was a roller coaster ride. Short-staffed from the get-go, we all had to put our experience to the test. Thankfully, this team was solid!

And wow. It was a rough week for me. But seeing all the love from the ramen community easily made up for it.

Very very thankful for many of you showing so much love. Shack wouldn’t have made it here without you.

This Future bowl came from a special place in my history and was really more about testing my love for an old school chuukasoba, the type of ramen that gave birth to my passion.

On the last day I had to remind everyone that no matter how dirty our future gets, it will still taste good in the end.

Now that I am comfortable and know that this team is capable of greatness, it’s time to get crazy. Are you ready? The evolution of ramen shack just caught fire…again

It’s time to show my family what it’s like to go for the gold. See you on Thursday January 16th for a taste of old and what’s to come. Ramen Shack Forever.

A change of menu

Why? Why would you change the menu when it worked so well before?

I don’t know. I think I just needed a good challenge. It’s been ten years. Perhaps it was time to self-measure my skills.

I don’t care anything about that! I just want The Quiet Storm! The Sunset Red! The Tonkotsu Tan Tan!!

I am not the greatest ramen chef that ever lived. I don’t want to be. I just want to be at peace with my quest. Recently, someone told me that they think I am living life the way everyone should. Honestly? I think I am too honest. My hopes and dreams are clouded. I am not really what I am. I am you. Stressed. Happy. Blessed. Angry. Just wanting to do what I’ve wanted to do since the age of 5.

Back to the menu. This Future broth is just a piece of me. I feel that it is the answer to shift American’s feelings from Tonkotsu to Shoyu. A path leading ahead, as slanted as the toppings might point. But who am I to shift a nation?

This menu is my heart and soul. My last hope. My reason for trying it again. My path ahead to the future. My legacy to you.

The glamour

This week I’ve been prepping past midnight almost every night. There are challenges in trying to prep for ramen during a certain window. Normally, a ramen shop may not open for lunch because they are prepping all morning and afternoon for dinner service. With the kitchen being occupied in the morning this option is non existent. And we still haven’t opened yet.

I tested my miso ramen today. Although it looks ok I won’t be putting it on the menu tomorrow. There are some definite flaws that I’m not happy about. I have been feeling a little under the weather today (perhaps from lack of sleep and plenty of stress) so it’s quite possible my sense of taste has just gone haywire. I’ll give it another go tomorrow.

But for now, soft open will happen tomorrow with a very limited (one ramen) menu. Even the eggs may not be ready because I kinda fudged those up too. Don’t ask. It’s been rough today.

Well at least just one item will mean for a smoother start to the soft open. But it’s almost midnight and still another two hours from getting home. Losing steam. Losing motivation. This is the glamour.

Future Chuukasoba

Looks can be deceiving. I think this will be the final version for soft open. Though this bowl can easily do without toppings, I will try to keep it as simple as possible. There is a reason for everything.

Now I will dream about the miso. Still need to figure that out tomorrow.

100 day feast

I’m grappling with the fact that my full imaginary menu won’t be ready this week. Still trying to finalize toppings for the Future Chuukasoba and I haven’t had time to touch the Miso. With limited kitchen time (due to the shared space) and the struggle to maintain the noodle business, I think it’s better to start out slow.

Tomiz will be open tomorrow. And tomorrow will be the day to see exactly what I will be dealing with when the proposed switchover from lunch shift to dinner shift will occur. But I also have to take my daughter to school in the morning and make noodles. Oh man, I feel like I’m getting in over my head. Somehow, this self torture makes everything feel normal.

Today we also celebrated our 100 day old son with a tradition called お食い初め (okuizome), a ritual to promote healthy eating as he eventually transitions to solid foods.

He liked the new ramen the best. #future👋

Finally some kitchen time

I had a dream last night that I fed a regular customer my new recipe and they hated it. They begged and begged for me to go back to something from the old menu. I woke up in a sweat! Haha. For weeks now I’ve just been imaging what the new bowl of ramen would taste like, look like, smell like and going through plenty of different iterations in my head without even knowing if they would actually work.

With Tomiz starting to come together nicely, it was finally my turn to get some quality kitchen time. Remember, I’ve never made this recipe before and I’m just semi-blindly going off of what I’ve seen in old ramen books with snippets of Eifukucho Taishoken’s recipe. Here goes!


Now that’s golden!

I’m speechless. That was pretty damn close to ET sans pork.