Yoisho Ramen is a ramen shop based on my studies in New York and my search in Tokyo and Singapore. Most of the ramen restaurants in Jakarta is pretty much copy and paste, pork soup, wooden decor, yellow lighting and a thick phone book menu. When I studied abroad in New York there was more of a fun and casual vibe around restaurants, where people stay for longer times and unlike in Tokyo where ramen is more of a quick meal, I want to make a ramen that is accessible and affordable to everyone without selling a false pretense of authenticity. In New York, there are plenty of different ethnicities, and like it or not they would have to cater to those tastes in order to sell well, which is something I am doing In Yoisho Ramen, catering to local tastes.
I feel like the ramen scene in Japan is evolving, to the point that they use a variety of ingredients that would be inauthentic if a foreigner would apply it in their ramen and still get a pass. I am not Japanese but I still work under traditional Japanese guidelines, ramen itself is a mutation out of food for necessity, what is available, and to me, I have a lot of great local ingredients at my disposal.
Tori Paitan soup, chicken carcass, and feet cooked for long hours along with several aromatics. I like to keep the base of my ramen simple and then add the flavorings (Tare/Motodare = Shoyu, Shio, Miso) further in operations. There is a demand for pork soup because to be fair Indonesians are more familiar with the taste and thickness, to meet those demands I came up with the Tori Potage. Which is the thicker version of the Tori Paitan, nothing too fancy we just thicken the soup with more aromatics, to reach the density of the standard pork soup, but with less fat, therefore much more healthy.
The Cartoon character was developed because my original logo was an old man with a ramen bowl for a head, its great but it did not convey the energy I wanted. Yoisho has to be youthful, honest, and the girl just worked. I want my logo to show that my brand has room for growth if the girl was my Ronald Mcdonald the red spiral on her head would be the golden arches. we decided to name her Yo-chan, based of the name Yoisho, which is something someone would say to give them energy before a task, a chant to motivate others around them to heave or move things, lastly, it is the sense of relief (unwinding), like drinking a can of beer after work. I want a logo that is not just writing, I want a character like the Starbucks girl that people can get accustomed to.
In Yoisho we are proud that we make our noodles in-house, our gyoza dumplings in-house and also our soup stock without any MSG. Not that they don’t use MSG in Japan, not to say that we are ‘authentic’ or ‘healthy’ (although we are), but because I just can’t see Yoisho using MSG as a shortcut. All the food served in Yoisho is food I would eat myself, its all based on my time overseas and research. Yoisho is always improving and developing new ways people can enjoy ramen, great techniques are not just in fine dining, it can also be affordable.