NY Street Ramen Contest at Japan Block Fair

Ramen, NYC, NY Street Ramen Contest, Japan Block Fair


Searching Yelp for restaurants in New York that serve ramen yields hundreds of results, a testament to the popularity of Japan’s famous noodle dish. These days ramen is as ubiquitous in New York as pizza or bagels.

If you’re a fan of ramen, you probably  have a favorite ramen place, or you appreciate a particular style of broth or topping. But have you ever wanted to add toppings or flavors to create your very own style of ramen?

Now you have your chance.

Maambe Consulting Inc. formed the NY Ramen Committee to take ramen to a whole new level by hosting the NY Street Ramen Contest 2012. Based on the concept of the California roll, which does not exist on a genuine Japanese sushi menu but has become the standard sushi roll in America, the NY Street Ramen Contest aims to find a style of ramen that is distinctly “New York.”

Create your own original, New York-style ramen at Japan Block Fair on Sunday, May 20 on Park Avenue between 39th and 40th Streets. The contest will be ongoing at all of the Japan Block Fairs until the end of the year, when one of the ramen dishes will be selected as the ultimate NY-style ramen. It will also provide an opportunity  to enjoy different styles of ramen created by New Yorkers.

Ramen, NYC, NY Street Ramen Contest, Japan Block Fair

What are your favorite ramen toppings?

The contest is open to everyone, even amateur chefs, so think about what the ultimate NY-style ramen means to you and participate. You could create the California roll of ramen!

Here are the guidelines:

  • To register, contact Masato Saito at nyramen@gmail.com. The first ten applicants will participate.
  • Provide a Food Protection Certificate for all the ingredients you will use. If you don’t have this certificate, notify the contest organizers in advance. The host of this event will determine all foods that will be served during this event.
  • Fee is $150 – Includes a tent with 5×10 foot space, a six-foot-long table, one chair, 500 bowls, and 500 pairs of chopsticks
  • Optional xtra costs: Ramen noodles from Yama-chan Ramen ($50), large bowl ($15), gas stove ($20), propane gas ($40), portable gas stove ($10), gas can for portable stove ($2/can)
  • Be prepared to serve your ramen to between 300 and 500 people.

The contest will take place from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., and the winner will be announced at 4:30 p.m. Customers will purchase tickets at $4 each or $10 for a block of three. (Ticket sales begin at noon on the day of the event.) After sampling, customers will vote for their favorite ramen.

Become the next Ivan Orkin! A Long Island native, Ivan is the owner/chef of Ivan Ramen and Ivan Ramen Plus, two fabulously popular ramen shops in Tokyo. While his first restaurant is fairly traditional, Ivan breaks the ramen mold with his own style of broth and unusual and unexpected toppings, such as cheese! He was featured in a recent episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations on the Travel Channel and has made the news for years.


Now we’re not saying that you’re going to open a ramen shop in Tokyo after participating in this contest, but there are some nice prizes.

First place: $1,000, a certificate of acknowledgement and trophy from the NY Ramen Committee, an interview/article in the “Nikkei Community” magazine, and a ticket to enter the Grand Finale round.

Second place: $800, a certificate of acknowledgement from the NY Ramen Committee, and a ticket to enter the Grand Finale round.

Third to Tenth place: $500.

Participating vendors: Chuko Ramen, Nobuchan Ramen, Batten Ramen, Totto Ramen, Ramen Ebisu, Suzuki Farms, Terakawa Ramen/Naruto Ramen team, Hakata Tonton.

JapanCulture•NYC is a proud media sponsor of Japan Block Fair. Join us on Sunday, May 20 for a great day of Japanese food and culture!

NY Street Ramen Contest 2012 Schedule:

  • Japan Block Fair Midtown: Sunday, May 20 – Park Avenue between 39th and 40th Streets
  • Japan Block Fair Queens: Sunday, July 29 – Broadway between 43rd and 44th Streets in Astoria
  • Japan Block Fair Upper West Side: Sunday, October 14 – Broadway between 93rd and 94th Streets
  • 2012 Championship Round: Date and time TBA