Aqua City is one of the two large malls in Odaiba (the other one being Venusfort), and to my knowledge, one of the few shopping malls in Japan. You see, most shopping malls in Japan are not really malls, but rather department stores or a cluster of department stores. Which is understandable, since land is so scarce in Tokyo, most stores can't have the luxury of opening individual outlets in large malls (like in Jakarta or Singapore). Instead, they will have outlets in department stores.
This restaurant looks like a typical men-ya (ramen restaurant) in major districts in Tokyo. However, the difference is, this restaurant is a part of a huge complex of ramen restaurants in Aqua City. Think of it as a 'ramen district' if you will.
The ramen district in shopping malls is quite an attraction for some Tokyoites. In fact, ramen districts are so popular, there are TV shows revolving around this subject. All of the ramen restaurants compete each other in garnering the most customers. Some have attendants shouting to call customers, some have big, big signs showing that their chef is famous, legendary, or been in a TV show.
I actually know this particular restaurant from an article I read in Tokyo Walker Magazine. Apparently, according to the article, this restaurant is quite famous for their kuro shoyu (black soy) soup. Evidently, when I went there, there was a lo-ong queue.
The ticket hanki (vending machine). How it works is, instead of ordering in a conventional way, you decide on what you'd like to have before being seated. After deciding, just press the corresponding button, insert the money, and you'll get a...(see below)
...meal ticket. After obtaining this ticket, you then can join the queue and wait until you're seated. The waiter will then collect your ticket and the ramen is then cooked and served. Neat, huh?
Ou-sama no kuro chashu men
At 1380 yen, it's quite expensive compared to regular ramens in Japan, which are usually priced between 500 - 1000 yen.