Culture

Japan's King of Ramen Has a New Food Documentary

If you loved ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi,' you'll love ‘Ramen Heads' even more
'Ramen Heads' Documentary
Photo: Ramen Heads

You'd think that with the title, Japan's reigning king of ramen, shop owner Osamu Tomita, would keep the secrets to his steaming tonkotsu broth well within the confines of his 11-seat noodle bar.

But the founder of Tomita Ramen in Matsudo, Japan, where wait times for a coveted stool run anywhere from one to two hours, is sharing it all in a new documentary called Ramen Heads.

"The only reason the other shops won't show you how they do it is because they're scared you'll find out they're not really doing anything special," he says in the film. Just consider Tomita the counterpart to Jiro Ono: The documentary details his borderline obsession to the craft, revealing every laborious step he takes in creating the perfect soup broth, which includes sampling bowls at other shops during his rare days off.

In between Tomita's story, Ramen Heads also folds in the history of Japan's signature soup, giving viewers a look into the culture surrounding ramen. The film debuts on March 16 in NYC and L.A., before heading to other theaters nationwide through May.

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