Gold leaf — that harmless, flavorless, edible decoration that magically makes food outrageously expensive — is now served in bowls of ramen. The Wall Street Journal reports that Koa, a Japanese restaurant in Manhattan, is now serving gold-flecked ramen for $180 per bowl. The restaurant claims it's the "world's most expensive ramen."
Customers willing to drop their crisp Benjamins on the bowl can expect a rich assortment of ingredients to accompany their gold flake including Wagyu beef and shaved truffle. You can also take home a souvenir from the pricey experience — your very own set of chopsticks.
For those thinking, "I could buy a whole bucket full of chopsticks and tasty ramen for $180," you're certainly not alone. Koa tells the paper that only two people have order the dish since it joined the menu last month. Ramen, of course, is an everyman dish with street food roots and the restaurant serves many more moderately priced bowls.
Yet the trend of applying gold leaf to otherwise unexceptional foods continues to spiral into the Instagramming cultural abyss. Gold has adorned everything from $100 Cristal doughnuts to $360 plates of Wagyu, $8 frozen yogurt cones, and bottles of shimmery Slovenian wine. There is, however, a cost to possible viral fame. Stunt seeking restaurants beware.