ABOUT RAMEN OTAKU
Back in the exciting days of 1993, an impressionable 14-year-old young German with long hair, goatee and thick reading glasses, travelled with his father, a Michelin starred chef, to the Land of the Rising Sun. They made their way to Tokyo where his father was hired for a catering event at the German Embassy. It was amidst pots and pans, Asian kitchens and restaurants that Bjöern Heibuëlt discovered the world of Japanese culture and, more importantly, its elementary cuisine: the humble Ramen.
Japanese are known as perfectionists in everything they do, and the preparation of the Ramen dish is no different; they attend to it with the same consideration and respect as they approach any aspect of life. The young German chef learned that each broth and soup undergoes many hours of careful attention to details, allowing the Japanese to give such regard to the dish. Ramen cuisine and any other form of Japanese food preparation are cooked in their own restaurant, that’s why Sushi and Yakatori are never prepped in the same kitchen space, and the same applies for Ramen cookery. To such extent that one cannot claim to serve authentic Ramen if any other dish is offered on the menu! To achieve such perfection in practice, on average, most Japanese Ramen restaurants only offer one type of Ramen. And so, amongst an array of flavours and aromas; and a soulful broth equally loved by Japan’s elite and its working class, Bjöern’s sensory taste buds were awoken to new palates; and the young German was hooked.
Upon his return home from Japan, Bjöern had a clear vision of the path he was going to take in life and he knew that the art of making a bowl of Ramen would one day be a part of it. His father’s influence was evident, whereas hospitality and catering as a way of hosting people and providing meals were in his blood. The hospitality industry is as diverse as it is fascinating; it was the young German’s gateway to the world, where he begun an exciting journey to enrich his cultural knowledge, palate and appetite.
To achieve his dream and live his passion, studying Hotel Management in his hometown in Bonn was a crucial first step; especially that one does not conquer the world speaking only one language! With an excellent grasp of the English language, Bjöern began working at the Starwood Hotel and Resort chain in London – England, where he developed the foundation of his networking skills. From here his worldwide travels begun; first independently, then as part of a crew aboard a luxury cruise ship, visiting dozens of countries around the world. This luxury transatlantic ocean liner paved the way to positions aboard exclusive private yachts introducing the young chef to a new crowd of high-profiled “lavish clientele”.
Bjöern eventually followed this jet-setting group to Ibiza establishing himself at the forefront of the hospitality and catering industry of the island. Previously only known as the “Party Island”, Ibiza has in recent years become a hotbed of high-quality restaurants, trendy pop-ups and luxurious mansions, providing ample opportunities for someone of Bjöern’s calibre to shine. It was in this trendy European island setting that our young chef provided his high-end services to all type of clients, from Hollywood actors and film producers, to pharmaceutical giants and Saudi Princes; in short, the millionaires and billionaires of the world.
Returning season after season to cater to his favourite private clients, it was clear to Bjöern that the one thing was missing from the Balearic Islands was a dedicated kitchen serving authentic Ramen. He found himself constantly travelling to other cities, and regularly making his way to Barcelona to find and enjoy a real Ramen bowl at a quality restaurant. Always happy to prepare the dish for friends, clients or simply for him, the idea of opening his own Ramen restaurant was suddenly obvious. Following the advice of his girlfriend (no doubt fed up with his constant griping!), it was time to introduce the Balearic Islands to this Japanese delight while satisfying his own personal desire at the same time…