Recreating all the restaurant’s famous touches, including the serving of food from behind the bamboo curtain.

Japanese ramen chain Ichiran is famous for its tasty tonkotsu pork-bone broth noodles, and also the unique manner in which they’re served. Diners sit at at solo booths at what the chain calls its “Taste Concentration Counter”, where orders are delivered from behind a bamboo screen.

▼ All you see of the waitstaff is their hands and torso as they pop the bamboo blind up to deliver your meal fresh from the kitchen.

It’s a unique dining experience that allows customers to concentrate on the flavour of the meal without having to worry about how they look while they slurp their noodles. And now it’s an experience we can relive every day of the year, thanks to the announcement that Ichiran has released a desk calendar in the shape of one of their distinctive solo booths.

▼ The Taste Concentration Counter Calendar is one of the more unusual ways to keep track of the days in 2021.

The calendar is only available in limited numbers, and free to members who have registered their details on the official app. Our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma is an app member who really wanted to get one of these, so he wasted no time in visiting his nearest branch to pick one up.

▼ After showing the waitstaff the calendar voucher from the app, he secured his freebie, which was flat-packed and required some assembly.

Masanuki loves papercraft projects, so this calendar was right up his alley. Opening it up, he saw some familiar Ichiran design details, including the dark wood panels of the chain’s well-known Taste Concentration Counter.

▼ The level of detail was incredibly impressive, and thankfully, the instructions for assembly were easy to follow.

▼ After a few folds, the solo booth was complete!

Then came the more fiddly bits, which involved putting smaller pieces together, but even that wasn’t too difficult, and it all came together after about 20 minutes.

One of Masanuki’s favourite pieces was this teeny tiny order sheet, which faithfully replicates the ones used at the store by diners to customise their ramen.

And the best bit about the calendar is its ingenious moving parts, which allow you to pull the bamboo curtain up…and see a staff member in uniform on the other side!

Zooming in with the camera shows just how realistic the setup is, and seeing the bowl of noodles with the raised chopsticks made Masanuki’s mouth water.

Masanuki would pay good money for a calendar like this, so he couldn’t believe what a great deal it was to receive it for free. With the stool included, this would be a perfect decorative setup for any day of the year, and if you had a few of these booths lined up together, you could create an entire restaurant on your desk!

It is designed to be a calendar, though, and that part is complete with monthly boards, which slot in front of the bamboo curtain.

Each month comes with a different menu item, to make it look like a member of staff is serving you food from under the bamboo curtain!

Masanuki absolutely loved the calendar, and looks forward to changing the months — and the menu — throughout the year ahead. The only thing that could be better than this would be a larger, human-sized version, but that’s okay because we’ve got a way to create an Ichiran Taste Concentration Counter at home!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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