Come Back Anytime

Director John Daschbach / 2021 / Japan

Food lovers won’t be able to resist this tantalising story of a master ramen chef and his legendary Tokyo noodle shop.

For more than four decades, self-taught master chef Masamoto Ueda and his wife have run the Tokyo noodle bar Bizentei. There, he serves his famous soy-based ramen dishes to dedicated patrons for whom the restaurant has become an intimate place of community. Such is their close kinship that, each year, Ueda leads his regulars on seasonal pilgrimages to the Japanese countryside, where they harvest local produce to share.

Evoking the sweet, gentle quality of both the cuisine and the man behind it, Come Back Anytime takes us through a year in the lives of Ueda and his devoted clientele. A crowd-pleaser at Hot Docs 2021, Tokyo-based American filmmaker John Daschbach’s documentary delights the senses with footage of delicious food, and captures a sense of camaraderie, family and environmental harmony that resonates with our times. With its soft jazz soundtrack and warm, nostalgic glow, it’ll leave you feeling like you’ve just walked into a late-night hole-in-the-wall and craving some piping-hot ramen.

“Engrossing … A heartfelt tribute to this fascinating spot, and it’s well worth savouring.” – Exclaim

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