With the controversy and conviction of jail sentences for sedition behind them, the founders of shuttered sensationalist sociopolitical site The Real Singapore have found great success in a very different (and delicious) venture — a ramen shop.
First opened as a stall in the National University of Singapore’s Bukit Timah Campus in 2015, Takagi Ramen has since expanded to three outlets islandwide, with their latest branch in Ang Mo Kio seeing a constant stream of patrons.
Thankfully, the people behind Takagi Ramen — husband-and-wife duo Yang Kaiheng and Ai Takagi — haven’t lost their touch in internet trolling. On Oct 11, the ramen joint put up a poll on their Facebook page asking fans to vote on where their next outlet in the east side should open next year. Two choices were narrowed down. Either Downtown East or… Changi Prison Complex. Par for the course for internet polls, people chose the humorous option.
The choice of the more popular option wasn’t lost on Takagi Ramen, whose owners served time for their The Real Singapore hijinks.
As a laugh (we don’t know if they really sent it out or not), Takagi Ramen laid out a proposal over an email directed to the leasing manager of the prison. In it, they alluded to their “recent stay” at the facility and gave some pointers on the menu that can be improved for “guests”.
And then came their proposal — a “special breakfast menu” to serve patrons at a Takagi Ramen outlet in Changi Prison. “All our outlets sell at very low margins, so you can be confident that prices won’t be hiked as we are very familiar with keeping costs low.”
Very droll, Takagi Ramen.
In a Vulcan Post feature, the founders stated that the reason why they started their own business was due to the obvious fact that they won’t be able to find much employment opportunities due to the high-profile case over The Real Singapore.
In 2016, both Yang and Takagi were sentenced to jail after being convicted for sedition. Yang and Takagi both set up the website and were raking in thousands of dollars by writing scandalous, provocative material, which was often falsified and edited to sound more xenophobic.
Now, however, they’re making even more money in their ramen business — Kaiheng expects Takagi Ramen to pull in $2 million in revenue this year.