Ramen Teh gala premiere at Marina Bay SandsRamen Teh gala premiere at Marina Bay Sands

Ramen Teh Gala Premiere at Sands Theatre

We met with the stars of Eric Khoo’s latest movie Ramen Teh at Marina Bay Sands

It was a celebration of culture, heritage and food at the Gala Premiere of Eric Khoo’s Ramen Teh. A Singapore-Japan-France production, the film is a culinary journey told through the story of a young Japanese chef trying to find his Singaporean family. 

Present at the Gala were the director himself and the main cast: Japanese actor-director Takumi Saitoh, multi-talented Japanese singer and actress Seiko Matsuda, and Singaporean actors Jeanette Aw and Mark Lee.

Marking his second visit to Marina Bay Sands, Takumi Saitoh was a man of few words at the event but delighted the audience with his low voice whenever he spoke. He said that while working here, even though there was a language barrier, the people are warm and friendly, and he felt that he found a new family in Singapore.

Many of the Japanese at the event however were more excited to see Seiko Matsuda up-close. The pop idol, whose songs were made popular in the ‘80s, even had a fan in fellow cast member Mark Lee. He quipped in Mandarin that she was his idol during army days, and god must have been smiling at him that he was finally able to meet her in person.

Jeanette Aw almost didn’t make it to the event – she’s in the midst of filming in China – if not for changes in her schedule. Ramen Teh is her second feature film and she mentioned that she learned a lot, especially from Eric Khoo, not just about acting but in directing as Jeanette Aw had just completed her first short film in 2017.

Rounding off the short interview session was a celebration for Eric Khoo’s as his birthday falls on 27 March. The staff prepared a cake and the audience were treated to a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ by Seiko Matsuda.


Ramen Teh Red Carpet Gala Premiere at Marina Bay Sands
Ramen Teh Red Carpet Gala Premiere at Marina Bay Sands
Ramen Teh Red Carpet Gala Premiere at Marina Bay Sands
Ramen Teh Red Carpet Gala Premiere at Marina Bay Sands
Ramen Teh Red Carpet Gala Premiere at Marina Bay Sands
Ramen Teh Red Carpet Gala Premiere at Marina Bay Sands
Ramen Teh Red Carpet Gala Premiere at Marina Bay Sands

About the movie

If you’ve seen his past works, Mee Pok Man and Wanton Mee, you’ll know that Eric Khoo takes filming food seriously. So don’t watch this movie on an empty stomach as there’ll be mouth-watering visuals of local favourites such as chilli crab, fish head curry and, of course, bak ku teh (pork bone tea). If that doesn’t whet your appetite, be prepared for slurping sounds from ramen eating and endless flatlays of food. You’ve been warned.

Snapshots of food aside, the film is actually a poignant story with other themes of family, love and forgiveness. Eric Khoo describes the movie as a personal one that conveys a lot of how much he misses his mother’s cooking since she passed away. These emotions cross language and cultural barriers as when the film debuted at the Berlin Film Festival, European journalists commented that they cried while watching the film since it reminded them of their mother’s and grandmother’s cooking. It’s not all tears and heartbreak though, Mark Lee’s scenes are comedic enough that Singaporean audiences still laughed even at touching moments in the film.

Completed last year, ideas for the movie came about as 2017 marks 50 years of diplomatic ties between Singapore and Japan. What better way to bring two food-crazy cultures together than to merge their iconic dishes? The titular dish however was created even before production began. The producers mentioned that they consulted Keisuke Takeda of Keisuke Ramen to create the recipe first, and work on the script only began when a satisfactory Ramen Teh was created. You can have a taste of Ramen Teh at Ramen Dining Keisuke at Suntec City where they’ll be serving the dish till 30 April 2018.

Ramen Teh premieres in Singapore on 29 March 2018.

Images from the Ramen Teh Press Conference