Cardiff pop-up Matsudai Ramen to trial national deliveries

Cardiff-based Matsudai Ramen is set to expand operations, rolling out national deliveries for its ‘assemble at home’ ramen kits from February 4th.

Since starting with a ‘pop up’ model in late 2019 – which involved taking over local restaurants for short-term residencies – Matsudai’s “proper ramen” has attracted a cult following in South Wales – it is still the first and only standalone ramen ‘shop’ in the country. It has also made waves internationally, inspiring other pop-ups and shops to open in Bristol, the Philippines and beyond.

Tough restrictions on the hospitality sector forced founder James Chant to adapt his original business model for Matsudai Ramen. In April 2020, he began to offer a range of ‘assemble-at-home’ ramen kits for local delivery.

Over the past eight months, the kits have proven so popular – often selling out within 48 hours – that James has been able to invest in a permanent ‘dark kitchen’ and take on extra staff.

As of the 4th February, he will begin delivering his fresh ramen kits to the whole of the UK.

James explained, “Since the very first day the response to Matsudai has been absolutely mind-blowing, and whilst I didn’t envisage the change of format, the support has been huge. Since the start of lockdown, I reckon Matsudai has delivered more than 3000 bowls of ramen! Not being from a food or catering background, the idea that my ramen is in people’s homes and a part of their week in that way is incredibly humbling.”

With new lockdown restrictions stretching ever further, we felt it was a good time to test national deliveries. We’ve had tons of enquiries about it over the last few months, so this is the inevitable next step for us.”

Matsudai showcases different kinds of ramen from around Japan – from the super-rich tonkotsu and tori paitan broths; to the more delicately balanced shio and shoyu bowls, and hearty, umami-stuffed miso ramen.

The monthly-changing menu will be available for national home delivery on a weekly basis from February 4th, and the February menu features a sunset red tonkotsu (both pork and vegan versions are available at £22), and a new wave Tokyo shoyu (£24). Delivery is £6.95 and the order cut-off each week is the end of Tuesday.

Each fresh kit includes two portions of broth, tare (complex seasoning), aroma oil, a custom hand-made noodle and a full array of authentic toppings (e.g. chashu pork belly, ajitsuke tamago (soy-marinated egg), menma (seasoned bamboo shoots), nori (seaweed) and more.

Matsudai will also be offering a range of simple freezer kits from £8 (local delivery only) along with ramen extras, tableware and merchandise.

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