Noodle Station

Published on November 30th, 2019

Filmmaker Juzo Itami’s 1985 cinematic love poem, “Tampopo,” is a celebration of ramen and Japan’s food culture. The film follows the trials and tribulations of a ramen shop’s opening and through a series of linked vignettes, examining unique relationships with food through a comedic lens.

For chef Walter Harris, a 12-year veteran of Delray’s iconic Dada, it would be a 2017 trip to Japan that would set him on a welcome collision course with noodles and his first solo venture, Noodle Station. The world will never know if he enjoyed tender moments with oyster maids or hung out with hobos to learn how to make the perfect rice omelet, but he’s happy to admit that it was a year and a half of delicious research and development.

“I grew up with my mom’s soul food and I learned a lot at Dada,” Harris tells PureHoney. “I want to bring that comfort food feeling and great guest service to elevate the casual fast dining experience.”

The Japan trip was a culmination of a lifelong dream fueled by the mangas he grew up reading in Lauderhill that instilled in him a love for Japanese culture. If the comics were his gateway, it was the copious amounts of noodles he ate at Japan’s casual iyazaka pubs that sealed his path.

Giving the build-your-own-bowl concept an Asian twist, Noodle Station lets guests choose from a variety of starch bases including udon, soba and sweet potato glass, to be topped with seasonal veggies and proteins, and steeped in homemade broths.

There are a few signature bowls as well like the gargantuan American Samurai, a combo of ramen and rice noodles topped with hoisin-glazed beef brisket, five-spice chicken, candied Hijiki bacon and a 13-hour-braised pork. The hefty dish doesn’t skimp on fixings with sweet corn, baby bok choy, Napa cabbage, roasted sweet potato, mushrooms and an egg. Harris can’t contain his excitement: “This bowl is our pride and joy, simply put, it’s banging!”

Noodle Station’s menu is keto-friendly, with vegetarian options, and can be modified for specific dietary needs because Harris believes his Asian street food with soul should be available for everyone.

Noodle Station opens December 2019 at 3045 N. Federal Highway in Ft. Lauderdale. | ~ Abel Folgar