Billed as the world’s first ‘ramen western’, Japanese comedy Tampopo, directed by Juzo Itami, features an unforgettable scene in which a gangster in a white suit passes an egg yolk into the mouth of his lover as they kiss. Meaning ‘dandelion’, Tampopo tells the story of a cook trying to perfect her ramen recipe, with a few brawling cowboys and desperate housewives thrown in for good measure.
Itami’s wife, Nobuko Miyamoto, plays noodle cook Tampopo, whose modest attempts at keeping her ramen café going after her husband’s death are met with disdain when Stetson sporting trucker Goro rocks up and tries a bowl. Ken Watanabe plays Goro’s spunky sidekick Gun. Together they agree to teach Tampopo how to cook the perfect bowl of noodles.
In one scene a group of businessmen in a French restaurant all nervously order the same thing as their boss (sole) only to be upstaged by their junior colleague and his request for escargots and an ’81 Corton-Charlemagne. At the end of the film the egg yolk-loving gangster is shot by an unknown assailant, to his lover’s horror, but uses his last words to tell her his secret recipe for sausages.