Juzo Itami, 1985 (114m)
Tampopo is the widowed owner of a roadside ramen shop, spending her days looking after her son and keeping the struggling restaurant afloat. When two truck drivers - Goro and Gun - stop to taste the ramen, they urge Tampopo to transform her run-down restaurant and perfect her noodle recipe. Before long, all three are committed to improving the restaurant, bringing in a range of experts to help them in their goal. A contest with a competitor restaurant gives all involved the extra motivation they need as they begin their quest to create the perfect bowl of ramen. Juzo Itami’s 1985 classic ‘ramen western’ is a marvellous celebration of all things Japanese food. The main story is inter-cut with a range of quirky, laugh-out-loud sketches and subplots that explore people’s often surreal and unexpected culinary adventures (you may never look at an egg the same way again). Add in a generous amount of genre homages and a dash of sly social commentary, and you’re left with a food film that is truly delectable.