On his father’s death, Masato leaves their family’s Ramen shop in Japan to find out the secrets of both his family’s cooking and their marriage back in his father’s homeland, Singapore, and learn of the horrors of the years Japan occupied the island. “Masato intends to learn to cook bak kut teh, Singaporean pork rib soup, a working man’s dish, but his goals expand the longer he remains in Singapore. At first he wants only to get to know his maternal family. Eventually, bak kut teh becomes a peace offering, and his trip becomes a mission to heal history’s scars.
“That’s a heavy burden to put on a bowl of soup. Ramen Shop is made with little gravity; it’s a bright and airy melodrama that cuts between the present, as [his uncle] Wee teaches Masato the secrets of great bak kut teh, and the past, where [his parents] Kazuo and Mei Lian make their courtship.
“[The film] packs surprisingly authentic emotional power. Food lets people discover who they really are; that’s nothing new. But food also lets us reconnect with the dead in profound ways. In Ramen Shop, a sip of broth and a slurp of noodles means more than a trip down memory lane. It means a second chance to say goodbye to loved ones.” (Paste Magazine)