Spicy ramen contest brings the heat to Chino

illustration by Danielle De Luna
illustration by Danielle De Luna

Christine D. Insigne
Staff Writer

The popular ramen chain, Yoshiharu, celebrated its soft opening of their new location in Chino Hills by hosting a spicy ramen eating contest Saturday.

Yoshiharu has hosted spicy ramen eating contests in the past, making it a tradition for the ramen chain.

“This is actually our third ramen contest and, from previous events, people get really riled up,” said Grace Lee, marketing manager.

To help continue the tradition, they invited back YouTuber Raina Huang, who has participated in their past spicy ramen eating contests.

“People wanted to do a spicy ramen challenge against me, and I actually gave them a 15 second head start, but I ended up finishing that bowl of ramen in like 30 seconds where as some of them took like two minutes,” Huang said.

Huang is known for her crazy eating challenges and holding the world record for eating a 50×50 In-N-Out burger in 35 minutes.

Because Huang participated in the competition in the past, she was not allowed to compete during this event. Instead, Raina demonstrated her skill for the crowd by eating a spicy bowl of ramen in 80 seconds.

Afterwards, contestants eagerly awaited their “level three spicy” Tonkotsu Spicy Ramen so that they could try to win the first place prize, a brand new iPad.

Lee led everyone in a count down and signaled the start of the competition. As the participants began to eat their way through their bowls, friends and family members gathered to cheer them on and show support.

The contestants were serious about winning the first place prize, and had even prepared for the competition before hand.

Participant James Stevens said that he held spicy noodle eating contests with his family to practice for the event.

“I’m here at the spicy noodle eating contest to win the first place prize. I’m not here for second, I’m not here for third, I’m here for the first place prize,” Stevens said.

The top three contestants finished their bowls under six minutes.

Afterwards, they had a small awards ceremony to celebrate the winners.

First place winner, Aaron Garcia, said he was glad he was able to win the iPad for his daughter.

As the competition came to a close, Lee handed out $25 gift cards to the first 10 customers who arrived and thanked everyone who participated.

Yoshiharu is known for serving high-quality ramen while providing a family friendly atmosphere. The restaurant serves more than just ramen; they also have a wide selection of rice bowls and sushi.

“They have a really delicious curry, my kids love the sushi, and obviously the ramen is the choice for all my family,” said customer Joe Vargas.

The new Yoshiharu location is located at 4004 Grand Ave. in Chino.

Christine D. Insigne can be reached at christine.insigne@laverne.edu.

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