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The history of ramen isn’t what you think. Here’s why…

The history of ramen isn’t what you think. Here’s why…

Ramen isn’t Japanese by birth: it’s Chinese. Who knew?!

It took an army of Japanese troops to step over the border in the 1900s, fall in love with ramen noodles, bring them home, and make ramen their own. That was the first big combination in ramen’s history: China & Japan.

The next was post-WWII Japan & the USA. When cheap US flour imports changed the game for ramen makers, stalls started popping up in every region of Japan. Then locals added their own ingredients and style, creating something regional yet distinctly traditional at the same time.

That’s when ramen really blew up, into the food phenomenon it is today. Every region of Japan has combined the local with the traditional to create its own unique spin on ramen. From Sapporo’s rich miso ramen, topped with sweetcorn, beansprouts and finely cut pork; to Hakata’s tonkotsu-style ramen, topped with garlic, picked ginger and pickled greens. The history of ramen is all about people, places and ingredients coming together to create true food culture.

And that’s where we come in. We take our name from the tonkotsu ramen noodles developed in the Hakata district of Fukuoka city in Kyushu. While our UK restaurants may be 5,834 miles from our spiritual home, we’re on a mission to bring modern tonkotsu ramen and our favourite British cities closer together. Hopefully the way we do it adds a little something to the heart and soul of every city we’re in. We’re proud of what we do at Tonkotsu: but not too proud to let you be the judge. So pop in, grab a bowl, then tell us what you think.

Lily, Tonkotsu East