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Review: Ramen Heads makes for digestible, if forgettable, viewing

Ramen Heads focuses mainly on award-winning chef Osamu Tomito as he shows us his cooking process, shares his philosophy, and takes us on a journey of ramen fanaticism.

The Globe and Mail

2.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Ramen Heads
Directed by
Koki Shigeno
Country
USA
Language
English

In the West, ramen exists in that strange space between comfort food and fetish object. Broth, noodles, nori – it can add up to an obsession, in certain hands and mouths. There's an argument to be made that our fixation with the soup borders on something queasy or even sinister: The eternal quest to leer and gawk at the foreign, the strange, the new. In the dish's home country of Japan, ramen fits into a more straightforward narrative – casual food, made with care – which makes the new documentary Ramen Heads an easy, pleasing viewing experience, but also mostly forgettable. Director Koki Shigeno covers all the expected aphorisms ("To eat ramen is to slurp without a word," and "You've got to make it so good that people could eat it every day and not get sick of it") and finds an intriguing figure in ramen master Osamu Tomita, but just like a full bowl on a chilly day, the film comes and goes in a flash, with little to chew on.

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