What to Know
A restaurant known for its solo dining booths has opened a new outpost in New York City
Ichiran caters to introverts with its private, single-person booths
The restaurant is designed so patrons don't need to speak to a waiter to order, or see them when their food is delivered
Calling all introverts. A Japan-based restaurant, Ichiran, known for its solo dining booths, has just opened its second location in New York City. The popular Midtown ramen restaurant allows customers to enjoy their meal without distraction.
Watch the video above to see what it's all about.
Here’s how it works -- you place your order by filling out a form specifying exactly what you want. A waiter takes the form without uttering a word, and a few moments later the steaming bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen appears. You enjoy the ramen and when finished, you push a button and the empty bowl is taken away. All of this happens without a single spoken interaction.
The idea of solo dining first occurred to the creator of Ichiran when he noticed all of the distraction that came with eating in a restaurant. Thus, the flavour concentration concept was born. By sitting alone, diners are able to solely focus on the taste of their food, and therefore fully enjoy the experience of the ramen.
Ichiran is not known for its diverse menu. In fact, they only serve one type of ramen: Tonkotsu Ramen, made from pork bone broth. The bowl, however, is highly customizable and customers have lots of options, from spice level to noodle texture.
While solo dining is very popular in Japan, it is an unfamiliar concept to most New Yorkers, public relations assistant Kayla Copeland said. “When people come here, I think they’re intimidated by sitting alone because Western culture especially encourages eating together. But I think a lot of people have really come to embrace sitting by themselves and eating."