Five pieces of Home-made pork gyozas. | Mia Naprta


A few months ago, a friend called me with excitement: “You’ve got to check out Ramen Otaku – you’ll know why once you do!” Once I finally made it, I was instantly in love with the bustling ambiance and the walls adorned with vibrant murals. Bjöern, the owner greeted me with a broad smile and offered me a seat in a relatively quiet corner. Within minutes he managed to draw me into his world of ramen, telling me about his experience of sleeping on a floor in Japan and learning the trade from the best!

Did you know that ramen traces its origins back to China, before becoming an integral part of Japanese cuisine? It was introduced to Japan in the late 19th century and has since evolved into a culinary staple. Ramen’s popularity soared post-World War II, as it became a symbol of convenience and comfort in Japan’s fast-paced society.

A traditional ramen dish comprises five main components: the noodles, broth, tare (seasoning), toppings, and oil. The noodles, typically made from wheat, are prized for their chewy texture. The broth, often simmered for hours (or in Bjöern’s case for three days!), comes in several varieties, including shoyu (soy sauce), miso, tonkotsu (pork bone), and shio (salt). Tare is the soul of the dish, providing the essential flavour profile. Toppings such as sliced pork, green onions, nori (seaweed), and bamboo shoots add texture and richness. Lastly, a drizzle of oil, infused with garlic or spices, finishes the dish, adding an aromatic layer of complexity.

I started with Tamago onsen, a traditional Japanese egg cooked at 65C in a light dashi broth with katsuobushi. For those who have not come across this dish before, dashi is a clear stock that is traditionally made using kombu (Japanese sea kelp), and katsoubushi (thin slices of smoked dried tuna). At Ramen Otaku it was served in a shot glass. Initially, I was a little apprehensive, as it did not look very appetizing, but I was pleasantly surprised by its taste.

Next I had a generous portion of five pieces of Home-made pork gyozas, where meat from local pigs was mixed with young leeks and cabbage. These little parcels were absolutely delicious! Pork and cabbage – together with beans and potatoes – formed a staple of my diet growing up in Lika. Wondering what my ancestors would have made of the way the Japanese used their favourite ingredients made me smile for a moment…

For the main dish, Bjöern asked me what I liked and, based on that, suggested that I try the Classic tonkotsu ramen. This was made with homemade tonkotsu tare (with flambéed sake, garlic and katsuobushi). A creamy pork bone broth simmered for 72 hours (pork again, yes!), flavoured with homemade ma-yu (burnt garlic oil), and served with beni shoga ginger. Many moons ago I worked as a market analyst in food industry and I had to do research on Japanese cuisine for one client. It was fascinating to read how important the presentation was and how each component of any plate was there for a reason, often telling a story. Here, a slice of narutomaki, the iconic Japanese fishcake, inspired by whirlpools in the Naruto Strait in Japan, represented a formidable natural phenomenon and was a homage to sailors who went out to sea and never returned.

I thoroughly enjoyed this whole experience and I was so full after that scrumptious ramen that I did not even check the dessert menu, if there was one.

Bjöern joined me for periods of time, between helping hisstaff, and told me about his time in Japan, doing tons of research in order to make his ramen in Mallorca with as much authenticity as possible. These days he is also running a successful catering business and is planning to travel to USA to learn meat smoking techniques from the experts over there. My last question to him was about the meaning of “otaku”. Apparently, it means “a nerd”. I bet we’ll be seeing a lot more from this charismatic nerd in the future!


  • Ramen Otaku
  • C/ Carrer de la Volta de la Mercè, 2, Palma
  • Tel: 871 02 25 18

Social media

Instagram: @ramenotakumallorca

The bill

  • Apetisers from 6.90 euros
  • Ramen from 14.90euros
  • Desserts from 7 euros

Opening hours

  • Monday to Saturday from 1pm to 4pm & 7.30pm to 11pm

The verdict

An authentic, made-from-scratch ramen that looks too pretty to eat. Once you do tuck in, it tastes sensational! I would definitely go back to try another ramen and hear more of Bjöern’s stories!