Tanpopo is a ramen and Asian cuisine canteen-restaurant that opened in early 2023 in the heart of Athens. It was created by Greek-Japanese chef Sotiris Kontizas, who is also the owner of the infamous Nolan.
The name of the restaurant means dandelion in Japanese and is also the title of a cult Japanese movie (when replacing the n with an m, i.e. Tampopo), where the protagonist learns to cook the perfect ramen in order to save her restaurant.
The establishment offers half its tables for reservations and the other half with a first come-first serve order. Guests can sit right in front of the kitchen and watch while their food is being prepared by the professional team of Tanpopo, creating the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese ramen shop. The building showcases a contemporary, minimal design, combining inox surfaces with wooden furniture.
According to the chef, customers should feel comfortable even dropping by alone and having a meal, to then continue with their day, blending the mentality of fast food with quality Japanese recipes.
The restaurant serves various ramen dishes, as well as steamed rice, several side dishes and salads. The menu is subject to change, depending on the season, offering cold dishes too during the summer. In addition, there are many meat and vegetarian options, while the noodles are homemade by the restaurant's team.
Tanpopo is the result of the chef’s wishes for the perfect ramen place where he could share part of his culture. In his own words: Ramen is not food, it is a warm hug.