Hot ramen vending machines are now a thing at SFO
It's part of a new wave of gourmet vending machines
It’s getting better little by little, but airport food still doesn’t exactly have the best reputation. Oftentimes you’ll find yourself waiting forever in line just to get a sad excuse for a sandwich or burger.
One company is hoping to change all that — well, at least for passengers traveling through San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
Yo-Kai has launched an automated ramen machine at the airport. It’s basically a ramen robot and we are here for it.
The hot ramen vending machine launched last week in terminal 3, near gate E4.
The Yo-Kai Express is a self-contained machine that dishes up bowls of steaming hot ramen noodles - in 45 seconds flat.
According to The Spoon, the ramen recipe was developed by a Michelin-star chef and are stored frozen inside the machine. When you order up a bowl, they’re reheated and served with chopsticks and a spoon. Right now there’s tonkotsu ramen available; soon there will be a miso broth on offer.
They’ll set you back $10.99 plus tax.
So what did they taste like? San Francisco Chronicle food writer Urmila Ramakrishnan said: "I wanted to not like it, but it's actually not that bad. I wouldn't say that it's as good or better than some of the other ramen places I've been to but if you want a quick fix ramen for lunch, I would definitely recommend it."
The Yo-Kai Express is part of a wave of new ‘gourmet vending machines’ that aim to provide something a little more high-end than the bag of chips we’re used to pulling from a vending machine. Others include Chowbotics, Bake Xpress, Briggo and Cafe X. (The ramen machine is actually situated right next to the ‘coffee robot’ Cafe X at SFO. We've previously written about the Cafe X machine at San Jose airport.)
According to Houston Chronicle, Andy Lin, CEO of Yo-Kai, said: "In the United States, usually after 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. most of the gourmet restaurants are closed. So we wanted to find out how conveniently we can still get gourmet food. We don't want to make fast food good, we want to make good food fast."
What do you think of gourmet vending machines?