Muslim-friendly ramen restaurant ‘Ayam-Ya’ beloved by many Muslims

Safari Group operates ‘Ayam-Ya’, a restaurant offering Halal chicken broth ramen, located in Kyoto Karasuma and Tokyo Shin-Okachimachi. Let’s hear about their journey of catering to Muslims and their future prospects.

At Safari Group, we operate dozens of restaurants across Japan, with a focus on the Kansai and Tokyo regions, extending even to Okinawa. We have also expanded our presence to the United States, specifically Seattle.

Our ‘Ayam-Ya’ restaurant is known for its Halal chicken broth ramen and currently has two branches. The Shin-Okachimachi branch has obtained Halal certification and includes a dedicated prayer space. The Karasuma branch, currently operating in a temporary location, and we plan to obtain Halal certification once we secure a new location.

Spicy Shoyu

The most popular menu item at Ayam-Ya is the Spicy Shoyu Ramen. With over 90% of our customers being Muslims, we have tailored the spiciness to match their preferences.

Interestingly, our journey into the world of ramen began not in Japan but in Seattle, where the company opened our first ramen restaurant. Wanting to apply that ramen expertise domestically, we opened ‘Ayam-Ya’, a rich chicken broth ramen restaurant, in Kyoto in 2015. The name ‘Ayam-Ya’ is derived from the Indonesian word for ‘chicken meat’.

Chicken Soba Shio

However, unlike Seattle, where we thrived, the highly competitive ramen market in Japan presented challenges for us in attracting customers. A significant turning point came to us when we received an inquiry from an Indonesian student asking, “Do you use only chicken meat?”. This was our first encounter with the idea that some individuals, due to religious reasons, couldn’t consume regular ramen.

Japanese ramen is immensely popular both domestically and internationally, but it often contains pork in the broth and toppings, making it off-limits for Muslims. In response, we decided to obtain Halal certification from the Malaysian Halal Corporation to ensure that Muslims visiting Kyoto could enjoy delicious Japanese ramen without hesitation. Adapting the taste to match the original while using certified chicken broth and seasonings proved to be a challenging task.

Chicken Soba Shoyu

Initially, Ayam-Ya offered a wide range of items on the menu. However, as the menu expanded, so did the complexity of operations, leading to longer wait times for customers. Currently, we offer a more streamlined selection, focusing on several ramen variations and Chashu-don (rice bowl with sliced meat), making our operations more efficient.

Switching to providing soup from our central kitchen, certified Halal, instead of preparing it in each restaurant, has further streamlined our operations, making it easier for us to expand to new locations in the future.

We have even received offers to open Ayam-Ya restaurants in Malaysia and Indonesia, and we plan to explore franchise opportunities.

Mazemen (Japanese brothless ramen)

During the pandemic, our online sales of frozen products garnered significant orders from Muslims living in Japan. Currently, our primary focus is on operating physical stores as inbound tourism resumes, but we have plans to gradually restart our online sales. Plus, we are looking into developing instant ramen to make our products more accessible.

In the future, Ayam-Ya is committed to delivering our delicious ramen to Muslims in various ways, so we will continuously strive to expand our reach and offerings.

< Business Profile >
Address: 4-12-15 NIshinakajima, Yodogawa Ward, Osaka
Service: Restaurant operation

Ayam-Ya Okachimachi Store
3, Motoasakusa, Taito City, Tokyo

Ayam-Ya Karasuma Store (to be relocated in December 2023)
1F Douka Bldg., 470, Kannondocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto

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