Ramen Takara Ponsonby

When owner Yuki Yamaguchi came to New Zealand with her family and found scarce Japanese food she wanted to introduce “real” ramen noodles. At the time her father suggested she try, so she started to collect information to build her own restaurant in Auckland. The first Ramen Takara restaurant opened in Browns Bay in March 2007. The second, Ramen Takara Ponsonby, opened on 19 May this year.
“My father has been a chef in Japan for a long time. He had his own restaurant since he was 24 years old. I grew up in the hospitality background. My mother’s relatives almost all have a restaurant. I always wanted to have my own restaurant or café,” Yamaguchi said.
The Ponsonby space was chosen because Yamaguchi wanted to introduce her food as traditional Japanese, but trendy, so decided Ponsonby was the best area to try it. The building also had a warm cosy feeling that she was looking for. The general manager, Yuta, who has been working for Yamaguchi since he was 18 years old, did the fit out.
The team is made up of 15 staff. Yamaguchi is a chef and has head chefs at both restaurants. Yamaguchi made both menus, and some dishes originally came from her father’s restaurant. The standout dish is the ramen noodle, and also popular are the homemade dumplings and spring rolls.