Tourists from China and Taiwan can’t wait to go to Ichiran for its Hakata tonkotsu (pork) ramen. That means the rest of us can’t afford not to know about Ichiran, so let’s have a look.

The layout of the Ichiran shop is more interesting than the menu items. It looks like any other ramen shop up to where you buy a ticket from the ticket machine. But once inside, you’ll see that the counter seats can be sectioned off into individual booths, as if to allow customers the option to have lunch without worrying about who’s sitting in the next seat. And there’s no window in front, so the shop clerks can’t see you either. It’s a place to enjoy your ramen as you please, without worrying about other people looking you over. Customer privacy is fine, but I wish I didn’t feel like a chicken in a cage at a poultry farm.