Ramen Ya: Traditional Japanese Food and Hospitality

By at February 23, 2017 | 6:15 pm | Print

ramenya

Open for less than a month, Ramen Ya has already gotten the notice of Japanese-American families in the area for having good, “homemade,” traditional Japanese food. Now other people are quickly finding they like it too.

Owner Sarah Tigrett has over 21 years experience in traditional Japanese cooking and chooses dishes she herself likes for the menu. While many of us could not pronounce the authentic names of the dishes, she thoughtfully provides a clear description of each one and there is a variety to suit most every taste, from the adventurous to the more timid diners.

This has nothing to do with instant noodles in a cup you may remember from college days. These are the real thing, she said.

Tigrett explained that “Ramen Ya” simply means “a ramen shop” and they have a wide variety of the noodle type foods in addition to chicken, beef, rice, egg and even savory pancake based dishes. Her logo of a cat eating noodles comes from her own drawings of her pets.

Her goal is to be happy with a nice restaurant that stays in the community for a long time and gets to know people. To do that, she wants her restaurant to be different, but consistent. It’s not pizza. “We’re more traditional, a lot of our food is made from scratch and our prices are good. We’re authentic.”

Located at 1128 Farmington Avenue in Berlin, Tigrett admitted that she was “like a stalker” before settling on a location. Peering in windows, checking out stores, talking to local people and just walking the streets convinced her that Berlin was the place to be. It was small, but not too small and “the people really seemed friendly. I like it here.”

Tigrett’s father was Japanese and her mother was stationed there while in the army. They moved to the US and she was born in Las Vegas. But she maintains close ties to her relatives in Japan.

She wants people to know that, when they come into her restaurant, there is a “certain atmosphere” that she is careful to maintain. For example, in hiring staff, her “first requirement is that they are very friendly and get along with people. I want everybody to be treated well and to be happy. I want ‘homey like’ family vibes going on. And even though we have only been open for a few weeks, we already have a good amount of repeat business. We get to know their names and it is a good atmosphere around everything.”

“We work so hard to get everything really nice.” Indeed, starting a restaurant is hard work and she is on site from about 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. six days a week.

Their website says, “Ramen-Ya is a restaurant that features ramen, noodles, hot pot, Japanese home cooking and good times. We promise an intimate and relaxed dining experience that offers something different to local and foreign patrons and ensures you enjoy a memorable food experience every time.”

There are restaurants that give you great service, but seem formalized and stuffy. There are restaurants that are very laid back and relaxed, but their service is almost absent. And then there are those that strive to reach a happy middle ground with good service, great authentic food and a friendly atmosphere that is summed up best in one word: “Hospitality.”

Their website and online menu is at http://www.gimmeramen.com.

Town Journal

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