Chapter 15 – Shalala

For the entire week, I was reading “Pour Your Heart Into It” by Howard Schultz, the current CEO of Starbucks. I wanted to pick his brain on how to build a successful business, especially in the retail/restaurant industry now that I co-own a creperie. Before picking up the book, I was dreaming about how we can open Lily‘s one store after another, and gradually expand it to other parts of California, other states and eventually even to Asia. But now, I realized how naive I’d been and how much of a far-fetched goal that is…well, at least for now. The book talks about how Howard Schultz, turned his poor upbringing around, became the first university graduate and eventually made Starbucks a global phenomenon. Undoubtedly, a lot of these biographies or autobiographies often lengendize the protagonist and make their stories seem like overnight successes. However, one thing is for certain – that is his extraordinary passion and pride in Starbucks and her coffees.

Anyway, the ramen today is “Shalala”, a place I’ve been coming since college or maybe before. I checked on yelp – their oldest comments date back to 2010, but it seems like they have existed even since before then. During the time, Shalala was probably on of my top 5 favorite ramens in the states. If I remember right, they used to serve tonkotsu and shoyo, as opposed to the toripaitan today. It’s worth noting most ramen restaurants around the Bay are tonkotsu-based. They may have shoyu or shio based on the condiments, but it’s rare to see them provide toripaitan, not to mention having it as the signature, go-to broth.

The interesting thing is, for some mysterious reason, the broth taste changes slightly every time I visit. One time I went twice in a week because the first time, the soup was so good in my mind that it could have competed with actual authentic Japanese ramens like Sanpoichi. The second time, however, I was fairly disappointed. The ramen tasted so much like pre-made instant noodles, even I could have done a better job with those packaged soups sold at supermarket. Whatever the reason, it still could be a fun mini-adventure for those who want to test their luck, just like how you get fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants.

Over the past two months, however, I started to transition to their tsukemen/dipping noodle, which I feel has a more consistent taste and is a lot better. Despite their Shalala’s tsukemen being a little Americanized, as it is just ramen and soup separated (versus the actual thick tsukemen noodle and mixed seafood broth in Japan), I began to like it more than their ramen. One thing though, if they could heat up with soup and noodles even more, or let you choose the temperature it’s served at, like tsukemen restaurants do in Japan, it would be even better.

By the way, I forgot to mention I’m having an orthognathic surgery next week. People have been asking me if I’m excited or nervous, but in truth, I don’t really feel anything at the moment. Maybe it’s because I’m not lying on an hospital bed yet (?) Anyway, the doc told me I’d be on liquid diet for at least a month, so to prepare for the surgery and post-op recovery, I went to three different ramens last week. Hopefully, that, along with a few more in my repository, would be enough for me to keep posting every week. Otherwise, I might have to make this “Smoothie Vagabond” for the time being. Haha.

哈囉~大家好!這週我看了由星巴克老闆-Howard Schultz先生寫的書,叫做「Pour Your Heart Into It」。裡面敘述著他怎麼脫離貧困潦倒的出生,成為家裡的第一個大學畢業生,然後與咖啡相遇,再把星巴克一步一步壯大為家喻戶曉的世界品牌。讀時的感想是這個人實在是太屌了!當然這種成功後寫的英雄傳很多可能是三分真實、七分誇大,但是讀著Howard先生在每一階段為咖啡的犧牲奉獻,以及他對自家產品那不尋常的熱衷,就不禁覺得之前想把麗麗拓展到全加州,甚至到攻打回亞洲的想法在現階段是多麽的好傻好天真。




こんにちは、みなさん。今週はスターバックスの社長さんであるHoward Schultzさんが書いた「Pour Your Heart Into It」を読んでいた。なんか彼のコーヒーへの熱意や自社商品への誇りはすごいなと思った。それの真っ逆にして、自分が今までリリーズに対しての考えとかマジで甘すぎてビジネスごっこみたいで恥ずかしくてしょうがない。クレープ屋さんはあくまで投資だと思って、本業にしようまでという決意はないし…そうしたら、アジア展開は言うまでもなく、この中途半端な気持ちでカリフォルニアで5軒まで展開できるかというのは疑うようになってきた。もっともっと頑張んないとな、とりあえず。





Tsukemen Dipping Ramen $12

698 W Dana Street, Mountain View, CA, USA 94041


2 thoughts on “Chapter 15 – Shalala

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