Ramen has become one of the latest food trends, at least in part due to celebrity chef David Chang who has brought attention to the elevation of ramen noodles and broth via his trendy series of Momofuku restaurants, and noodle eating epics on Netflix.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that the most expensive bowl of ramen in the world is available at Koa, a Japanese restaurant in Manhattan, for $180 per bowl. Chef Yuji Wakiya, a winner of the Japanese version of the Iron Chef television show, makes the dish with charcoal-grilled Japanese Kobe Wagyu steak which is topped with black truffles and 24-karat gold leaf. The broth is similarly luxurious—made from a combination of pork, chicken, dried shrimp, dried scallop, and dried Konbu seaweed.
Another highlight is the fact that Wakiya serves the ramen in handmade bowls with elegant handmade chopsticks that customers can take home as a souvenir of the meal.
All things considered, $180 USD doesn’t seem all that costly for the most expensive bowl of ramen in the world. In comparison, Guinness World Records reports that the most expensive sushi in the world is made by renowned Filipino chef, Angelito Araneta Junior. His five-piece nigiri roll costs $1,978. Rather than wrapping the roll in seaweed, he wraps each piece in edible 24-karat gold leaf, and tops all five pieces with three white Palawan pearls each. The ‘edible art’ as he calls it, is then decorated with 20-carats of African diamonds. Notably, the gold, diamonds, and peals are all edible, but one doesn’t get to keep the chopsticks in this case.