This is the price to pay for “world’s best.”
Famed Japanese ramen joint Ichiran, crowned the world’s best by Forbes in 2016, recently opened a new overseas outlet in Taipei, Taiwan.
People were so excited about it that there was a line outside the door for 10 days straight, according to Hong Kong-based news outlet EJ Insight.
Most patrons had to wait up to an hour and 40 minutes, with up to 200 ramen enthusiasts waiting in line at a time.
The 10-day line beat Ichiran’s own record of eight days, which occurred in Hong Kong, when it opened an outlet there.
The Fukuoka-based restaurant is best known for its tonkotsu pork stock ramen, and is features a unique seating arrangement, where customers eat alone and are served through a reed blind.
The chain’s new outlet in Taipei — the restaurant’s third city outside of Japan — boasts 60 seats, and is located in Taipei’s Xinyi district, the heart of Taipei’s retail and nightlife.
For the queues, which started on Jun. 15, there even tents set up to accommodate people in line:
“I don’t think I can have the ramen now,” said this user.
“Damn, what is going on?”
There were even some who woke up early just to have ramen, and ended up having to queue anyway:
“#ImReallyAngry I thought waking up at 5.30am would mean that there was no queue. Sigh, what’s the deal here?”
Yet others proudly brandished their order chits in the gruelling wait:
Still, it paid off to get there in the early morning. EJ Insight reported that the average waiting time between 6 am and 10 am was only 35 minutes, with an average of 40 to 100 people in the queue.
The restaurant’s peak hours spans from 11pm to 3am, as patrons of Xinyi’s bars and nightclubs head for a bowl of cheap ramen.
Ichiran charges just NT$288 ($9.47) per bowl of basic tonkotsu ramen in Taipei, cheaper than its other outlets in Hong Kong and New York, where the ramen is HK$89 ($11.41) and $18.90 respectively. A bowl of tonkotsu ramen in Japan costs 790 ($7.04).