Soul Ramen & Noodles Bar just held their First Annual Soul Ramen Eating Contest, and it was a HUGE hit. 

Located in the Phoenix Plaza off Sunset Blvd, this ramen shop was filled to the brim from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26. Ramen enthusiasts, anime nerds, and locals who just love the quality of food here entered the contest.  

It was so packed that the restaurant had to shut down dining for regular customers but did offer take out.  


Sky Capllonch, the front-side server said that since Soul Ramen had moved to this location (previously near Popeye’s) a ramen eating contest had been in the works. For the restaurant's one year in business, they threw one heck of a party! 

Ever since its opening last year, Soul Ramen & Noodles Bar has only grown and has some extremely loyal customers. Here is what makes them so, so special: 

“We take our time, we make our food really well, and we take care of the people,” Capllonch said. “So yeah, that's what makes us unique. There's nothing really special about what we do, but I feel like it matters a lot to people.” 

Capllonch also told me that the ramen broths can take up to 10 hours of prep time and that’s not including anything else.  

Before we get to contest winners, the owners of Soul Ramen & Noodles Bar, Michael Heung, and Spring Tan are well-versed in the ways of ramen. Heung is from China and has brought that cultural diversity right here to St. George. It's as authentic as you can get in Southern Utah. 

Several people wanted to join in on the fun so there had to be a limit put on how many could participate this time. Capllonch said 70 people had shown interest and 50 people confirmed (the max) their entry.  

Contestants were given a shirt, a glass of water, and a bowl of piping hot Tonkatsu ramen (sans the add-ons). 

The first round was absolute chaos of people shoveling ramen noodles into their mouths and slurping up the delicious broth. It was quite a spectacle, and no one took breaks in-between bites for the most part. 

The winner of round one was Donovan Phillips who came in at 1 minute and 20 seconds. Pillips had heaving breaths afterward and didn’t really have a close second in the round. He was unstoppable and smiling at his victory.  

Donovan Phillips 1st round winner raises hand to signal his victory.
Donovan Phillips 1st round winner raises hand to signal his victory.

Phillips said he would definitely enter again and had practiced with top ramen every day to prepare for this. 

The second round had one winner, but it was a VERY close call. Nick Nagera was definitely not breathing but he was smart and poured his water into his ramen cooling it down and allowing him to eat faster. His time was 1 minute and four seconds.  

Nick Nagera (very right corner) takes 1st in 2nd round.
Nick Nagera (very right corner) takes 1st in 2nd round.

Coming in second place was Joshua Ramirez at 1 minute and nine seconds. A very close call indeed. Ramirez took a cue from Nagera and also cooled off his ramen. Both are super fans of Soul Ramen & Noodle Bar. 

Joshua Ramirez (second to the left) 2nd place winner of second round.
Joshua Ramirez (second to the left) 2nd place winner of second round.

The final round winner was James Broadhead at 26.04 seconds followed by Ramirez with 38 seconds and third place went to Matt Jorgensen at 45 seconds!

Here are some recommendations if you HAVEN’T been: 

  • Black Garlic Ramen is recommended by Sky Capllonch and Joshua Ramirez. 
  • Tonkatsu Ramen is recommended by Nick Nagera (and me). 
  • Spicy Beef Ramen recommended by Sky Capllonch. 
  • Shoyu Ramen also recommended by Sky Capllonch. 
  • Katsu Curry ramen recommended by Sky Capllonch. 

If you’re STILL not convinced to try this place, here is a little review from Townsquare Media’s own DJ Tischner (who admittedly eats like a 5-year-old) and LOVED this place. 

Check out Seize The Deal on any of our websites to get a fantastic offer!


Soul Ramen is Southern Utah's BEST Ramen Stop

Soul Ramen & Noodle Bar Hosts It's First Ramen Eating Contest!!!

Gallery Credit: Elle Cabrera

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