Everything started in 1998, when Mr. Machida, a man of driving ambition, participated in a well-known ramen competition in Japan called ‘Ramen Touryuumon.’ He competed against 344 veteran ramen chefs where he received recommendations and nominations from food critics and well-known ramen shop owners. It was at this competition that inspired Mr. Machida to follow his passion for ramen and opened his Tokyo-based restaurant called Kyouka.
Mr. Machida became a pioneer of new-age Japanese ramen and pushed past the traditional boundaries and created a new and dynamic understanding for the making of ramen broth. Now, some 15 years later, this radical and revolutionary philosophy of ramen dubbed ‘Kyouka-ism’ has helped transform ramen culture throughout Japan. Mr. Machida desires for everyone involved with his new movement to find happiness and has freely shared his culinary secrets with his employees and others interested in learning his technique.
Kenji is one of Mr. Machida’s most-aspiring apprentices, and he has travelled to Canada with the hope of bringing ‘Kyouka-ism’ to Toronto foodies. He is the Head Chef of ‘Kyouka Ramen’ which is conveniently located on Queen Street East, in The Beach. Kenji describes his ramen as being ‘honest, earnest, and genuine’ – true to ‘Kyouka-ism’ – and he looks forward to pouring his passion into each bowl of ramen.