The popular Japanese dining concept continues to expand in the Lihai Valley region, including one restaurant with robotic servers and hosts.
Takkii Ramen, a modern casual restaurant specializing in Japanese comfort food, plans to open four more seats – two in the Lihai Valley and two in New York – in the coming months.
New locations in the Lehigh Valley will include outposts at Slatington Farm Market, 8281 Route 873, Washington, Lehigh County, which is expected to debut in early summer; and at 36 N. Third St. downtown Easton, which is expected to open in late summer or early fall, said chef and owner Mark Lou.
Takkii Ramen, which opened its first place in November 2020 at 1042 Mill Creek Road in Lower Makungi, is a sister brand of Rakkii Ramen, which debuted in December 2018 at 328 S. New St. in southern Bethlehem.
Other Takkii Ramen locations operate in Quakertown (inside the Trolley Barn Public Market) and West Reading, Berks County, while other Rakkii Ramen locations can be found in Doylestown, Bucks County; New Brunswick, New Jersey; and Smithtown on Long Island, New York.
Soon there will be two additional Takkii Ramen sites – in Syosset and Riverhead, both on Long Island in New York.
“We specialize in the same authenticity and tastes of our favorite Rakkii Ramen menu, but with the addition of a new setting, restaurant dynamics and an updated fusion cuisine menu,” the Takkii Ramen website said in a statement.
After studying the art of cooking ramen in Yokohama, Japan, Lou decided to indulge in ramen with his growing restaurant brand.
Popular Rakki Ramen dishes, including fried gojo pork, shrimp wrapped in noodles, spicy miso ramen and a bowl of sukiyaki rice, are carried over to Takkii Ramen.
However, much of the new brand’s menu consists of fresh produce (including fried chicken belly and Takkii beef (soy broth, branded chili oil, pickled shaved beef, caramelized onions, green onions and bamboo shoots).
“I own another brand called Cup o’ Rakki, so we at Takkii also have different teas with bubbly milk, ”Lou said. “Also, we have fresh fruit teas and layers.”
In East, Lou will partner with Kevin Patan, with whom he also collaborates at Raki Ramen in Doylestown.
The 2,700-square-foot Easton Restaurant will occupy a refurbished space that previously housed Easton Computer & Electronics. It will offer seats to about 45 customers, Lou said, while the location at Slatington Farmers Market will be a stand with counters similar to Takkii Ramen’s location in a trolley barn in Quakertown.
Easton Restaurant will be located in the same neighborhood as other restaurants and food establishments, including Sweet Girlz Bakery, Quadrant Book Mart & Coffee House and another Japanese restaurant, Tokyo Sushi. It will complement other Asian hotspots in downtown Easton, including Mister Lee’s Noodles, Sogo Fusion Lounge and Love Phở & PL Cafe, a Vietnamese noodle.
“We also plan to have at least two or three robots in Eastan,” Lou said. “Robots will be able to take you to the table and deliver food like food to a runner. We already have them in Doylestown, and they work well. “
The robots, which are about 4 feet tall and have an automatic charging feature, have voice interaction with artificial intelligence that allows them to greet and interact with customers; autonomous path planning that allows them to lead customers to their tables in the best way; smart trays that can determine when delivery has been completed; and 3-D sensors that help detect interference.
For more information on Takkii Ramen visit takkiiramen.com.