Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Night 3 @ Yume Wo Katare: The craziness continues

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I helped out at Yume Wo Katare again tonight! I got there around 5pm when Tsuyoshi-san was fielding a phone call from what I think was the press. Unfortunately, someone seems to have published his personal cell phone number as the restaurant's number. If you're press, please try calling earlier in the day if you can. If you're the public, please don't call. Imagine you're in the middle of preparing to cook & plate (bowl?) dinner for over 100 people without any sous chefs and people keep calling you to ask random questions in a language you're still learning.  If you have a question, please post it in the comments and I'll try to answer.

Those who went last week have mentioned that there were a lot of staff - that's because 10 guys came over from Osaka to help with the opening. Sadly, they flew home on Sunday (their shop was closed while they were gone). From now on it will be just the Nishiokas and 1 staff person. A few of us have been volunteering to help with crowd control.

The first guy was in line at 5pm and within a few minutes there were several people behind him. By 5:30 the line was past the edge of the window.

Tonight they reduced the number of seats from 16 to 12 (6 counter, 6 table). They were really busy when I got there so I didn't get a chance to ask why. First group was in the door at 6pm and some were eating by 6:15, although the last people in the first group didn't start eating until almost 6:40pm, so the wait to get your food seems to be about 1.5 to 2.5 hours, possibly longer during peak times. By 7pm, the line stretched to halfway across Dunkin Donuts.

Tonight there was already a repeat customer. She hadn't planned to come back so soon but said she was already craving Tsuyoshi-san's ramen. She came with a friend who hadn't been there yet. I'm sure he had to twist her arm really hard to get her to come. :)

Someone stopped by and bought take home pork for the first time. They said they planned to eat it with rice. I learned that it's available in very fatty or less fatty!

500g (17.64oz) delicious pork - $15

Their cute shiba inu was with them. I wonder if she'll get some?

We also had some out-of-town guests from New York City. I didn't work the line last week so don't know if they were the first out-of-town guests. One guy, a Japanese American, told me they work for the Japanese government and had come to inspect the restaurant. He kept a very straight face and it took me a second to realize he was joking. They do actually work for the government (JETRO) but had just lucked into finding out about Yume Wo Katare last week and happened to be here on business this week. I'm sure their coworkers will be jealous, although New York does have a lot more ramen than we do.

I wasn't able to stay all night and took my leave shortly after 8pm, so I don't know how the rest of the night went. Tsuyoshi-san tried to feed me but the line was so long I didn't think it was fair for me to have ramen when I've already had it 3 times, so I declined.

On opening night they served over 130 bowls of ramen (with staff and friends it was over 140). On Saturday I think it was around 110. I suspect it's going to remain busy for a little while. It seems like almost all of Boston's Japanese population is coming to check it out and every night some people give up because the line is too long. Now that word is getting out, there were more non-Japanese tonight. I've heard that Ippudo in New York still has waits of 1-2 hours so maybe it will be the same at Yume Wo Katare.

Hoping to write a long post about opening night soon, but I've been too tired/busy to get to it.


  1. I went back on Tuesday too, after going opening night! No friend excuse, just was craving it. I love pork fat! And the MSG probably helps create that feeling of craving... Anyway, love it!

    1. Yay! They love return customers. :) Tonight I saw someone who was back for the 3rd time and talked to several others who said they'd been before.