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Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen’s Passion for Japanese Cuisine

Words by Andrew Koh and Angie Koh

Discover how founder of Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen, Chef Tan-San, shares his culinary passion with affordable Japanese cuisine.

Tucked away in the enclave of Serangoon Gardens & Upper Thomson area, Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen is a local establishment serving up authentic and delicious Japanese cuisines using quality ingredients imported from Japan. Hajime is the Japanese word for “beginning” and the short form of Hajimemashite, which is translated to “Nice to meet you”. It reflects the restaurant’s philosophy of returning to the origins of food and providing a warm welcome to all customers.

Hajime is helmed by Chef Tan-San, who has more than 40 years of culinary experience. Chef Tan-San’s passion for food started since young. In the 90s, he travelled to Japan to master the art of Tonkatsu. After completing his training, he returned to Singapore to helm the kitchen of Tonkichi as the nation’s first Tonkatsu Chef. Not one to rest on his laurels, he went on to become Tampopo’s pioneer chef and was recognised for many of his food creations. Today, Hajime is the embodiment of Chef Tan-San’s 40-year dream to bring authentic and quality Japanese food that is affordable to everyone.

Hajime’s Tonkatsu Menu

The most popular items on their menu include the Tonkatsu Ramen and Japanese Pork Tonkatsu, which have earned a devoted following among customers. Besides their signature Tonkatsu range, Hajime also serve an array of Donburi sets, Ramen & sides, which are not to be missed.

With the passion and dedication to deliver good food and service to customers, it is no wonder that Hajime has since blossomed into a well-established restaurant that is endeared by many. Nonetheless, Hajime continues to strive for the better by improving operations in the workspace and better cater to customer demand.

Staff operating the Automatic Gyoza Griller

One of the changes made is the implementation of the Automatic Gyoza Griller at their two outlets, with the support of NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i). Previously, the traditional method of pan frying gyozas over open fires is hazardous, inefficient and may result in overcooking or charring of gyozas. With the Automatic Gyoza Griller, the consistency in the quality of food is ensured, with the cooking time being significantly reduced as the amount of gyozas that can be prepared at one go is doubled to 24 gyozas. Additionally, the operation of the Automatic Gyoza Griller requires minimal supervision, which lightens the workload on the older workers and allows for food to be delivered to customers more quickly.

The introduction of the Automatic Gyoza Griller into the kitchen of Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen is merely one of the changes made to improve operations at Hajime. To read more about the other initiatives that Hajime has undertaken, please refer to “Improving Operations With Technology”.

For more information on Hajime Pte Ltd, please visit https://www.hajime.com.sg

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