Can a bowl of ramen help save the world? One Amsterdam restaurant thinks so. Enter Men Impossible: a 100% plant-based ramen with no MSG and additives. It promises to bring a delicious and sustainable dining experience for both vegans and non-vegans alike.

Calling itself a “ramen restaurant on the edge,” Men Impossible at Hazenstraat 19H, 1016SM Amsterdam, which is behind the unique noodle dish with Japanese origins, takes on a bold if ambitious feat to please the palate while helping the planet reduce the reliance on meat.

“The inspiration behind Men Impossible originated from my conversations with the former owner, Mr. Ishida. On any normal day, we would talk about the necessity to reduce our reliance on the animal industry to make this world a better place,” shares Akihiro Hara, owner of Men Impossible.

He continues, “For that reason, we opened this restaurant because I thought it would be best to create and spread plant-based dishes that are more delicious than meat.”

Akihiro Hara, owner of Men Impossible in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“I chose Amsterdam because I felt it was the most diverse and sustainable city in the world.  Here, I feel that diversity is at the cutting edge! When I envisioned the restaurant in the beginning, I got the image that plant-based ramen born in Japan and raised in Amsterdam will spread all over the world.”

The storefront of Men Impossible at Hazenstraat 19H, 1016SM Amsterdam

Making it Planet-Friendly

Meat production contributes massively to carbon emissions, along with soil degradation and deforestation. Nourishing the global population with meat has been shown to have detrimental, if not irreversible, impacts on the environment on the whole. At its current levels, meat production is said to be unsustainable, prompting many to consider shifting to a diet that is more plant-based.

As compared to a diet that uses meat products heavily, a plant-based diet is proving to be a more viable and more environmentally-sound option not only for vegans and vegetarians, but also for anyone who cares for the future.

The noodles served at Men Impossible is made from 100% plant-based ingredients.

There are also some who embrace the plant-based diet for health reasons, such as a desire to reduce risks of chronic disease, cancer, and obesity.

“The restaurant name comes from the English word ‘men’ which refers to human beings and the Japanese word for noodles which is also ‘men’.”

“And I love the movie Mission Impossible; they make the impossible possible. We named it Men Impossible because we wanted to enable the impossible mission of using noodles to make the world a better place,” shares Akihiro.

Making it Palatable

Still, some are hesitant to opt for a more plant-based diet because they believe it to be less palatable. Yet as the Impossible Ramen shows, a plant-based menu does not necessarily sacrifice taste. In fact, it can be as scrumptious, if not more delectable, compared to one that makes use of meat.

“This is a very common response among those who are hesitant in terms of trying out a plant-based dish. To address this challenge, we made sure that our plant-based dish has a rich taste that will please those who like meat, cheese and milk,” comments Akihiro.

“Today, we continue to innovate our product offering, and we made it possible to pair the noodles with a sauce rather than a soup to make it even more unique and palatable.”

Men Impossible takes pride in offering what could be the first 100% plant-based ramen in the world.

“Using Japanese cooking techniques, we have created ramen as a vegan dish that is different from the vegan dishes that are unsatisfactory. I think this is the first time in the world that we have something like this and we really encourage everyone to try,” Akihiro adds.

From the time the store opened in 2017, the response from Men Impossible’s customers has been positive. Over the years, it has accumulated an average score of 4.9 based on its current Google rating.

“There are various customers who come to the restaurant, but more than half of them are not vegan. Of course, there are people who choose the restaurant wanting to eat a vegan dish, but there are many people who visit for the taste.”

“Almost all customers like the taste of our sauce-based ramen. I hope readers can check out the customer feedback and this evaluation on Google,” Akihiro shares.

The interior of Men Impossible is minimalist yet cozy.

Making it Plant-Based

One needs only a cursory look at their mouthwatering food selections, such as the Tempura Course, with a welcome drink, Chef’s starter, Starters (Eggplant Tempura, Zucchini Tempura, Tofu nuggets, Lentil ball, Fried Potato Mochi and Takoyaki), AMAZE Sauce Ramen (1 flavor of your choice from options), Yuzu sorbet, Green Tea; or the Katsu Course with a welcome drink, Chef’s starter, Starters (Seitan-katsu, Vegan shrimp katsu, Tofu nuggets, Lentil ball, Fried Potato Mochi and Takoyaki).

Their signature Amaze sauce ramen comes with exciting flavor options like black burnt garlic, white super garlic, red hot chili pepper, and clear truffle.

Meanwhile, starter options include Cashew Cheese Mousse, Lentil Carrot Meatball, Tofu Nuggets, Eggplant Tempura, Zucchini Tempura, Fried Potato Mochi, Takoyaki (Japanese dumpling), Seitan-Katsu, and Vegan Shrimp Katsu. Drinks such as beer, Japanese beer, sake, wine, and tea, are also available.

“At Men Impossible, our mission is to improve the environment by spreading this type of ramen all over the world. Ambitious but not impossible, we also want to reduce the number of people who die from hunger to zero.”

“To that end, we will change the eating habits around the world to plant-based foods once a week. It will be a world where you can choose by taste, not by consciousness or sense of duty,” Akihiro concludes.

All in all, Men Impossible proves that one can simultaneously enjoy the taste, comfort, and health benefits of a good plant-based meal, while saving the Earth one hearty spoonful at a time.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
James Redmond Chua

James Redmond Chua

Executive Project Manager, JCE Japan Creative Enterprise