We had the good fortune of connecting with Takashi Tamai and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Takashi, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
We believe our business help the community and the world that elevates the ramen standard in Colorado, America, and the world. There are lots of ramen restaurants in Denver but it’s hardly to find 100% homemade and authentic & real ramen. I went to learn how to make ramen in Tokyo 7 years ago. I chosen Menya Itto, one of the most popular ramen and tsukemen restaurants in Tokyo, featured with the documentary movie ” Ramen Heads”. People here don’t have to go Japan to taste Japanese ramen and tsukemen because we are here! Also, we are making handcrafted noodles with a noodles press made in Japan. The texture, quality, and taste is the highest and freshest in town as we dont use any preservatives for long shipping term from other states. We also dont use any instant broth base and chemical seasoning for flavors. Over 95% of ramen is included MSG but our ramen is free of MSG but comes from natural flavors and full of umami. Thus, people enjoy eating and seeing deep parts of ramen noodles and soups Moreover, we will create a new ramen culture. For instance, our new ramen, chocolate ramen, is an example. It’s really unique ramen that has both sweet and savory taste of the ingredients and only here in the state. Our ultimate goal is to share our passion for ramen with people that enhances their daily lives that vitalizes and makes them smile and happier.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
There were some challenges in my life. Lets pick two of them. One of them is when I came to the state first as study abroad. I went to business school but everything was very difficult to me like studying English, business, etc. My friend told me you need to study ten times harder than American people because English is your second language. He was right I needed to study all day long during on school. I had never studied such much and focused on something in Japan but I could enhance my limit of ability at the end. Secondly, I went to back Japan to learn ramen. I chosen Menya Itto because they were a king of Tsukemen in Tokyo. However, as they are very popular, they were so strict and harder than expected. I started working from 2 am to 6pm. The break time was only 20 mins for lunch time. I saw lots of coworkers left there by the hard and long work hours but I kept working until mastered it. I realized the true meaning of “never give up” at that time. Both experiences were very tough and painful memories but I am proud of what I’ve done and assure now that those things made me stronger, tougher, and matured to sustain myself to manage current business.
Referenece for Menya Itto.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Pacific mercantile, Japanese grocery stores. They have lots of Japanese stuffs not only food but also books, goods, clothes, etc. Thats fun and remind me to feel Japan.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We are using Kazu Oba’s pottery for our ramen bowl, sake cup, plates for appetizers, etc. Kazu Oba, Japanese potter, and artist in Lafayette, CO
Mr. Kida made our tables and wood decoration inside restaurant.
Takayuki Kida, Japanese wood artist and craftsman in Ellie, CO