The American ramen dream

Regarding the Aug. 23 Everyman Eats column, “The ramen burger that ate New York“: I don’t know, I’m a purist. I love a good American hamburger, cheeseburger with fries even better, and I love a fine bowl of gourmet ramen.

Otaru being one of the ramen capitals of Japan, I feel as if I’ve died and gone to heaven. There are enough good burger chefs in the Sapporo-Otaru culinary region that I can now have the best of both worlds. Last winter, one of the coldest on record in Otaru, I enjoyed dining at many of the finest ramen restaurants in the city.

New York chef Keizo Shimamoto, the subject of the column, has combined East and West, even though Rudyard Kipling said such a feat is nigh impossible. I’ll definitely sample one of his “ramen burgers” if his recipe proves a great success and he opens a restaurant in Sapporo or Tokyo.

I admire Shimamoto for pursuing his ramen dreams and not settling for the dull, drab, pencil-pushing life of an American salaryman. Yes, the U.S. business world is all about the organization man and the gray suit, much like Japan. Go for it, Keizo.

robert mckinney
otaru, hokkaido

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.