Popular Japanese ramen chain opens first store in NZ

Japanese ramen restaurant Ippudo has added New Zealand to its global footprint.

The noodle chain, which has more than 100 stores in Japan and 60 stores worldwide, opened its first store in New Zealand at the newly redeveloped Westfield Newmarket.

The retailer said it plans to open two more stores in the country in a couple of years.

Ben Cheong, Ippudo spokesperson, said opening a store in New Zealand is a win for the hospitality industry and will be a significant investment to local suppliers. 

“We will be sourcing all our fresh products from local suppliers and this includes everything from meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits and many other base raw ingredients,” he said.

Cheong said Ippudo operates seven stores in Australia based in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.

“We serve more than 2000 bowls of ramen every single day across the ditch.”

Ippudo serves Hakata-style ramen, which is characterised by pork bone broth and thin noodles.

According to Cheong, this unique concept, combined with an emphasis on omotenashi, Japanese service hospitality, has translated well and helped the rapid expansion into new markets.

“Instead of being crammed into bars with limited seating, as most traditional ramen shops only have about 10 seats, Ippudo operates in a spacious setting with a mix of private and communal seating, which makes it easy for groups of family and friends to dine in together.

“We expect this unique concept to take off just as positively here in New Zealand,” he said.

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