Monday, December 11, 2017

アオリの神隠し (Aorinokamikakushi in Osaka)

アオリの神隠し

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Bear with me here.


This is Seungri, a member of Korean mega k-pop group Big Bang. I know of this band, as I live in Asia and do not live under a rock. Ask me to name one of their songs? Can't do it. Ask me to name one of their members? Couldn't do it until 3 minutes ago, when I started research for this ramen review.

Seungri is the youngest member of the group, at 26 years old. In December of 2016, he opened a ramen shop in Seoul, and in the following year, 14 other shops from the chain around Asia.

Yes, that is 15 shops in less than a year.

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Aori-chan is the shop's official mascot. A quick internet search revealed nothing about who, what, or why. I guess it is for marketing. It is strange, actually, that Seungri's face isn't all over this spot. All of the customers were female fans who were probably fans of Big Bang.

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The shop takes (steals?) the Ichiran idea of isolation booths for solo eating.

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Lighter tonoktsu ramen, supposedly easier for the ladies, is on order. For 980 yen you get the standard bowl with an egg.

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Extra toppings exist, but stick with the basic on your first time.

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Hmmmm.

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This one was super meh. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but the whole thing seems like a weird gimmick to prey on fans. I've heard that if you count their worldwide fans, Big Bang is the most popular group in the world. I'm sure Bieber Burgers, no matter how bad, would bring in some decent business. Gaga wraps? Migo burritos?

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So there you have it. It makes me sad to see manufactured chain ramen shops expanding around the globe. But when I talk to friends who have tried to open overseas, the money and time alone is enough to destroy a sole proprietor. You need investors, and I am sure people are lining up to represent some famous k-pop star and make a quick buck.

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Right next door to a brothel!

Official site here.

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大阪府大阪市中央区西心斎橋2丁目6-6
Osaka, Osaka-shi, Chuo-ku, Nishishinsaibashi 2-6-6
Closest station: Namba

Open 11:00-22:30