Low-Key Ramen Restaurant Receives Michelin Star

January 31, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. unveil / ʌnˈveɪl / (v.) – to show to the public
Example: The company unveiled its new product.

2. mark / mɑrk / (v.) – to happen at a particular time
Example: Today marks the couple’s 40th anniversary.

3. low-key / ˈloʊˈki / (adj.) – not easily noticeable or attention-grabbing
Example: The humble politician conducted a low-key campaign.

4. aromatic / ˌær əˈmæt ɪk  / (adj.) – having a good or fragrant smell
Example: The aromatic curry features a blend of different spices. 

5. reputation / ˌrɛp yəˈteɪ ʃən / (n.) – the way others think about someone or something
Example: Many applicants want to be part of the company because of its good reputation.


Read the text below.
For the first time, a ramen restaurant was awarded a Michelin star.

The prestigious Michelin Guide unveiled its 2016 Tokyo edition on December 1, 2015 and welcomed the first-ever ramen shop to be awarded a single star – Tsuta. Last year also marked Tokyo’s ninth year as Michelin Guide’s dining capital of the world.

Tsuta is a low-key ramen restaurant known for its cheap bowls of ramen. With only nine seats, there is always a long line of customers daily. It is located in Tokyo shopping district Sugamo. The guide highlighted the restaurant’s Shoyu Tsukesoba, an aromatic ramen that features porcini mushrooms. The restaurant also boasts its Yakibuta Shoyu Soba which is made from four kinds of stone-ground wheat.

According to Takatoshi Itami, one of the cooks in Tsuta, getting a star was not the restaurant’s priority. He said that their goal is to satisfy customers with their delicious ramen.

Thirteen Japanese restaurants received three stars last year from the famous food guide. Among the thirteen, a new restaurant called Kohaku joined as a new member of the so-called three-star club. Compared to the 2015 edition’s 267, the number of Japanese restaurants included in the Michelin guide’s star awardees in the 2016 edition is lower at 217. Nonetheless, Tokyo still has the most number of restaurants to be awarded by the famous food guide.

From the time the first Tokyo Michelin Guide was released in 2007, the Japanese capital has maintained its reputation as the city with the highest number of food spots with Michelin stars.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think will be the impact of Tsuta’s international recognition?
·         If you could add any restaurant to the Michelin Guide, what would it be and why?

Discussion B

·         Do you think a person’s reputation should be of utmost importance? Why or why not?
·         How can someone maintain a good reputation?

January 31, 2016