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August 11, 2011

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Chinese chef uses his ramen noodle

The Chinese chef of cozy Zhen Zhen Zhen is famous for urging his customers to slurp up every drop of broth and handmade ramen noodles - they don't need much urging since the small Japanese restaurant is always jammed.

Founded in 2001 by a Shanghainese couple, the restaurant is a labor of love and only serves around 60 customers per day for lunch.

Gao Baoliang, the 54-year-old chef, and his wife lived in Tokyo for 14 years, soaking up culinary arts and Japanese culture. They then returned to Shanghai and opened Zhen Zhen Zhen to bring their passion for Japanese food and culture back to their hometown. They run it themselves, without staff, and the place is decorated with items they brought back from Japan.

"This business is not for the money. It is our hobby and interest, and also a good retirement plan to keep us active," says Gao.

Zhen House Special Ramen (33 yuan/US$5) is served in a rich broth with slices of roast pork, a variety of fresh vegetables and deep-fried breaded pork. The broth, mildly spicy, is boiled for hours, and not any MSG or salt is used. It's possible to order Japanese deep-fried chicken instead of pork.

The menu also features rice dishes, udon noodles and Japanese appetizers.


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