The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Restaurant Review: Takkii Ramen, homely despite robots

Photo by Austin Carey for The Lafayette
After years of sitting vacant, Takkii Ramen opened for business a few weeks ago.

For as long as we can remember, the building at 36 N. Third St. was shrouded in black with a splashy graphic pasted on the opaque windows proclaiming “Takkii Ramen, coming soon.”

Then, seemingly overnight, the restaurant was opened. So we trekked downtown on the Wednesday before spring break to check it out.

When we entered the restaurant, there was no host there to greet us. We stood around confused for a few moments before we looked down and saw The Host.

The Host is a roughly 4-and-a-half-foot tall robot with a screen displaying a cryptic array of alphanumerical strings. These are your table options. We tapped one of the options and it took us to a bar stool occupied by Kevin Patton, the homo sapien owner of the restaurant who was wearing a “Send Noods” shirt. He then sent The Host back to its home and seated us himself.

After a few minutes of staring at the comfortable, modern decor without menus, a human waitress (or perhaps a very very convincing robot waitress) swung by with them. The menus were organized into four sections by noodle chronology: before noodles, besides noodles, noodles and after noodles.

The bottom of the menu read “made with love.”

Robots can’t love.

We opted for the noodle-wrapped shrimp, the black garlic tonkotsu ramen and the curry chicken don.

The food did not take long to arrive, ferried by Bella (short for BellaBot), a rolling machine dressed as a cat. Bella was escorted by the human waitress, presumably to prevent the robot uprising.

The food was excellent.

The potato noodles that hugged the crunchy shrimp were almost French fry-like, making them a perfect snack for those who just need some sodium in their system. The ramen was stacked with mushrooms, pork belly and hard-boiled eggs that had the texture of cheesecake – and while the pork was a bit rubbery, the meal as a whole was slurped down in Studio Ghibli protagonist fashion. Lastly, the chicken don, with its rich curry gravy and perfect-for-chopsticks rice, was the perfect meal to warm someone on a cold rainy day.

The bill came to $42 — not bad for dining downtown. Takkii Ramen was definitely worth the years-long wait. Doomsday preppers beware, though.

View Comments (2)
About the Contributors
Trebor Maitin, Managing Editor
Pennsylvania enthusiast.
Elisabeth Seidel, Design Director/Assistant Business Manager
The funniest culture designer.
Austin Carey, Staff Photographer

Comments (2)

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  • G

    GarnetMar 22, 2024 at 11:54 am

    I don’t think “homely” means what you think it means

    • W

      Walter WadiakApr 3, 2024 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you for pointing this out, anonymous commenter. I hereby retract any pleasure I might have had in reading this otherwise excellent review. I also demand that the authors immediately cease writing about the local food scene in a witty and informative manner. If ever you are again tempted to share your gastronomic advice, I hope you’ll reflect on the fact that you accidentally inserted an extra letter into a word once.