Popular Japanese dining concept opening two more Lehigh Valley locations, including one with robotic servers and hosts – The Morning Call


A popular Japanese dining concept continues to expand its footprint in the Lehigh Valley area, including a restaurant with robotic servers and hosts.

Takkii Ramen, a modern casual restaurant specializing in Japanese comfort food, plans to open four more locations — two in the Lehigh Valley and two in New York City — in the coming months.

The new Lehigh Valley locations will include outposts at Slatington Farmers Market, 8281 Route 873, Washington Township, Lehigh County, which is expected to debut in early summer; and at 36 N. Third St. in downtown Easton, which is expected to open in late summer or early fall, chef and owner Marco Lu said.

Takkii Ramen, which opened its first location in November 2020 at 1042 Mill Creek Road in Lower Macungie Township, is a sister brand to Rakkii Ramen, which debuted in December 2018 at 328 S. New St. in the South of Bethlehem.

Other Takkii Ramen locations operate in Quakertown (inside the Trolley Barn Public Market) and West Reading, Berks County, while other Rakkii Ramen locations are in Doylestown, Bucks County; New Brunswick, NJ; and Smithtown, on Long Island in New York.

Two more Takkii Ramen locations will soon be available in Syosset and Riverhead, both on Long Island in New York.

“We specialize in the same authenticity and flavors as our beloved Rakkii Ramen menu, but with the addition of a new setting, restaurant dynamics and revamped fusion cuisine menu,” reads -on on the Takkii Ramen website.

After studying the art of ramen making in Yokohama, Japan, Lu decided to jump into the ramen craze with his growing restaurant brand.

Popular dishes from Rakkii Ramen, including fried pork gyozo, noodle-wrapped shrimp, spicy miso ramen, and a bowl of sukiyaki rice, are transferred to Takkii Ramen.

However, much of the new brand’s menu consists of fresh creations, including fried chicken ramen and Takkii beef ramen (soy broth, signature chili oil, marinated minced beef, caramelized onions, scallions and sprouts of bamboo).

“I own another brand called Cup o’ Rakki, so we also have various bubble milk teas at Takkii,” Lu said. “In addition, we have fresh fruit teas and slushes.”

At Easton, Lu will partner with Kevin Patton, with whom he also partners at Rakkii Ramen in Doylestown.

The 2,700 square foot Easton Restaurant will occupy a renovated space that previously housed Easton Computer & Electronics. It will provide seating for around 45 customers, Lu said, while the Slatington Farmers Market site will be a stand with counter seating, similar to the Takkii Ramen spot at the Trolley Barn in Quakertown.

The Easton Restaurant will be located on the same block as other restaurants and food businesses, including Sweet Girlz Bakery, Quadrant Book Mart & Coffee House and another Japanese restaurant, Tokyo Sushi. It will complement other Asian hot spots in downtown Easton, including Mister Lee’s Noodles, Sogo Fusion Lounge and Love Phở & PL Cafe, a Vietnamese noodle house.

“We also plan to have at least two or three robots at the Easton site,” Lu said. “The robots will be able to take you to the table and deliver your food like a food runner. We already have some in Doylestown, and they work well.

The robots, which stand approximately 4 feet tall and have a self-charging function, feature artificial intelligence voice interaction that allows them to greet and interact with customers; autonomous route planning that allows them to get customers to their tables on the best possible route; smart trays that can tell when a delivery is complete; and 3D sensors that help detect obstacles.

For more information on Takkii Ramen, visit takkiiramen.com.


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