WALES'S ONLY PROPER RAMEN SPOT
Matsudai Ramen is Wales’s first and only proper, standalone ramen shop. It was launched in September 2019 by self-confessed ‘ramen geek’ James Chant as a means to scratch a creative itch and recapture his mojo after becoming disillusioned with the music industry work he had been doing all his life. James embarked on a series of pop-ups throughout Matsudai’s first 6 months - each selling out faster than the last - and these pop-ups culminated in a packed-out 6 week residency at Blue Honey Local in Cardiff, before the dreaded coronavirus closed it down.
With James having no background in cooking whatsoever, Matsudai is a true labour of love - an exercise in taking things as far as you can and not compromising. Authentic ramen is something of a misnomer - ramen is such a new food, relative to other Japanese cuisines, that traditional ramen doesn’t yet exist - or not really. Besides, Matsudai Ramen is just as heavily influenced by US ramen chefs as Japanese ones, getting started by emulating the bowls of people like Mike Satinover, Ivan Orkin and Keizo Shimamoto.
But this is PROPER ramen, make no mistake, and it has attracted a devoted following amongst Cardiff’s food-loving community - the love poured into every bowl obvious to everyone who tastes it.