Just read an interesting article (in Japanese...) about the market rate of a bowl of ramen in Japan.
According to the article, in a "retail price survey" published by the Japanese department of statistics in May 2009, an average bowl of ramen in Japan costs 588yen (about S$9). Comparing that to the average price of a plate of curry rice (755 yen, about S$11.5) and a sushi set (1358yen, about S$20.7), it is a cuisine with high cost performance.
Because the data might be skewed by the cheaper ramen chains, the author did another survey from a directory of the recommended ramen stores. The average came up to 754yen (S$11.5). As expected, it is higher than he average.
Some ramen industry insider in Japan said that the market rate of a bowl of ramen in Japan is usually pegged to the flagdown fare of a taxi. The flagdown fare is 710yen (S$10.8) now, proving the theory right!
Being a ramen walker in Singapore, I've done up the Singapore figures too.
With 8 data points of the ramen places that I've been too, the average price of the "non-chain" ramen store is S$11.4 for the most basic bowl of ramen.
This is almost the same as that for Japan! What a coincidence.
But the flagdown fare for the taxis in Singapore is S$2.8... so a bowl of ramen is about 4 times that.
With the higher manpower cost in Japan, I guess we are paying a slight premium if the ramen costs the same here compared to Japan.
But interestingly, if we peg it to the wonton mee / ban mian at hawker center, we can draw the Singapore version of the analogy too! I have not done a proper research but I think the average price is about $3.
An interesting discovery for today.