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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

A seafarer's love for ramen

PASSION is a ticket to success.

This, as proved by a homegrown, emerging young restaurateur, Scian Lindo, who owned a Japanese restaurant that offers nothing but authentic Japanese food, the Taichou Izakaya (Captain’s Pub).

As young as 25, Lindo was able to realize one of his dreams – to put up a restaurant in his hometown.

Though new in the food industry, the young businessman is but positive about his journey as a restaurateur.

“I’m trying to do what I love, my passion, I don’t stuck complaining because (I am doing the thing I love most). I am more of like happy now because of this,” he shared in an interview at his restaurant Tuesday evening, December 20, at Ponce Corner Suazo Street, Poblacion District, Davao City.

Ramen Otaku

Lindo, who is a seafarer by profession, works as a third mate in a Japan-based shipping company for five years. He then used, somehow, his then profession to explore and discover his interest in Japanese food, especially Ramen, a Japanese dish.

“I am a Ramen Otaku, I am really fond and obsessed with ramen that is why when we go to Japan almost every month, during my stay there I make it to a point that I can taste different ramen from different restaurants,” he said, adding that he explored the ramen world for five years.

He added that his fascination about the Japanese culture and cuisine started when he was still in High School, thanks to Animes and Mangas.

He added that when you are “very interested” about something, you learn and explore what is beyond the surface to have a deep and profound grasp of it. He said he ate and tried making ramen himself for five years.

Taichou Izakaya (Captain’s Pub)

Lindo, a dreamer and an action man, decided to put up his own restaurant in Davao City to finally bring his wonderful Japanese cuisine experiences to his hometown.

Last October 21, Lindo opened his humble restaurant to share what he has to offer.

“From my observation, the Japanese restaurants here lack the authenticity of a ramen that is served in Japan, it tastes really different. Sometimes I am dismayed because I know how it should taste like, so I bring it here,” he said.

Taichou Izakaya, he said, ingredients of most of his restaurant are ordered from Japan monthly.

Lindo earned several short courses like those from Yamato School.

“If you really want to cook something, reading alone can only do so much, you really have to learn from people, professional chefs and immerse to the culture. I also befriended those chefs in our ship and I learned a lot from them,” he said.

He also said that self-study in doing food innovation can do much.
He offers Tonkutso Ramen, southern ramen mostly found in Fukuoka, his most favorite type of ramen.

“My vision is the people to come here (in his restaurant) and be educated about what is ramen, how it is supposed to be. I want them to experience what I tried in Japan,” he said.

“What I’m trying to say, my ramen is as authentic as it can be. I envision my restaurant as a pub wherein people who are looking for authentic ramen and other Japanese dishes in Davao would head here automatically,” he added.

Thriving business

Just over two months in the business, Lindo shared that this early they already have regular customers who always find their way back in Taichou Izakaya.

“It is making good business in Davao because the market is up for something new to eat, especially millenials, they like to explore new dishes. We really have regulars who look for our food offerings, I think it’s good,” he said.

The restaurant, he said, is a humble place, more of a neighborhood place where people can laugh loud, slurp and be as they are.

The restaurant, which can accommodate only up to 16 persons at a time, is open from Mondays to Saturdays, 6 p.m. to 12 midnight. The place also has no wi-fi connection as the owner encourages people to interact.

New dishes will be added to the menu next year. Lindo said they will be introduce another type of ramen.

“Now, I want to concentrate and maximize here, no expansion plans yet. I want this to be like a shop for the neighborhood. When you say ramen, they would go to Taichou Izakaya,” Lindo said.
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