A ramen restaurant in Shanghai is the talk of the town, but not so much for its noodles. The main reason customers are flocking to this establishment is the two robot chefs who are able to prepare a bowl of ramen in 90 seconds flat. 

Toyako, China's first hi-tech ramen restaurant, opened just last December in the Hongkou district of Shanghai. The restaurant owner, Jin Liu, spent one million yuan (150,000 US dollars) for his two chefs Toya and Kona, and he claims they were absolutely worth it. “You don’t get any problems with robots. They’ll never ask for leave and they won’t get sick,” he said. But the risks of having robots prepare bowls of noodles are actually quite big. For the same amount of money, he could have paid two human chefs for six years. And human chefs can prepare any type of ramen. Apparently, Toyako serves seafood, fried fish, beef in brown sauce, and braised pork ramen, but the robots can only prepare the beef. So yes, maybe spending 1 million yuan on the two robots wasn't such a good idea after all. 

For now, diners are filling the seats, but mostly out of curiosity. Judging by the reactions of ramen lovers in the video, they don't seem to be raving about how delicious it is. One man even stated how he wished the robots spent more time cooking the ramen for better flavor. To Toya and Kona's credit, he did say the ramen tastes as though it was made by a human chef. Good job, robots!

Because of the high costs associated with Toya and Kona, the ramen at Toyako is an expensive 58 yuan per bowl (nine dollars), about double the average price for ramen in Shanghai. We'll see how Toyako does once the novelty wears off. If it does have to close its doors one day, at least Jin doesn't have to worry about having the talk with his two chefs about having to let them go.

"May I get more scallions, please?"

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