• Claire Wu

Sanpoutei: Ramen from Niigata Challenges Overseas Ramen Market with Niboshi Broth

All the way from Niigata Japan, SANPOUTEI – Gyoza and Ramen has opened its first new location in East Village (92 2nd Ave) on January 23rd. This 50 seats ramen joint located in East Village, where it has become known as New York City’s “Little Tokyo” as this is where many other Japanese restaurants located.

In keeping with its mission to bring joy and excitement through food (食を通じて喜びと感動を), SANPOUTEI has been serving Japan through five different cuisines since its establishment in 1967. This time, with the goal to challenge the overseas ramen market where the majority of them use tonkotsu broth, SANPOUTEI debut in New York with its signature shoyu ramen featuring niboshi broth.

SANPOUTEI’s president Hironobu Kaneko takes pride in their specialty niboshi broth shoyu ramen. He explained that tonkotsu broth itself has a stronger taste, which is easier for foreigners to understand. However, it is harder to create that kind of taste with niboshi broth, which is something SANPOUTEI has been perfecting for over 50 years.

Kaneko also revealed the secret to their strong-tasting soup. He said that they would fill the pot with the ingredients while most would only fill half of the pot. They would also avoid boiling the soup. Instead, they would stew it for up to six hours every day so the gelatin fully goes into the soup. He also pointed out that the noodles are freshly made out of the machine they brought from Japan.

SANPOUTEI doesn’t just serve ramen and gyoza, it also offers a wide variety of dishes that presents its specialty Chinese-Japanese cooking. Some of the other signature dishes include Prawn & Fruits Spring Roll (海老、フルーツ、マヨネーズの春巻き), Niigata Sake Drunken Chicken (新潟酒の酔い鶏), and Maguro & Uni Kasane Sushi (鮪と雲丹の重ね寿司). Sake came directly from Niigata is for sure a must-try as well.

SANPOUTEI had planned to open its New York location for five years. Kaneko said that while opening a restaurant on the West coast would definitely be easier and would ensure a high profit, he believes that New York is the place to open a nice restaurant that will attract customers.

*Japanese version of this is published on 企業概況 February 2020

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