Cool Guys, Hot Ramen

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Cool Guys, Hot Ramen
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop-poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Also known asFlower Boy Ramyun Shop
Written byYoon Nan-joong
Directed byJung Jung-hwa
StarringJung Il-woo
Lee Chung-ah
Lee Ki-woo
Park Min-woo
Cho Yoon-woo
Country of originSouth Korea
Original language(s)Korean
No. of episodes16
Producer(s)Pyo Min-soo
Running time48 minutes
Original networktvN
Original release31 October (2011-10-31) –
20 December 2011 (2011-12-20)
Related showsFlower Band
My Cute Guys
Dating Agency: Cyrano
External links

Cool Guys, Hot Ramen[1] (Korean꽃미남 라면가게; RRKkonminam Ramyeongage; lit. Flower Boy Ramen Shop) is a 2011 South Korean romantic comedy television series, starring Jung Il-woo, Lee Chung-ah, Lee Ki-woo, Park Min-woo and Cho Yoon-woo. It aired on cable channel tvN from October 31 to December 20, 2011, on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 23:00 for 16 episodes.[2][3]

The series is the first installment of tvN's "Oh! Boy" series of Flower Boy programming targeted at the teenage demographic, and was followed by Flower Band in 2012, Flower Boys Next Door in 2013 and Dating Agency: Cyrano in 2014.


Yang Eun-bi (Lee Chung-ah) is a university student in her mid-20s, preparing for her civil service exam with the dream of being a high school teacher. She accidentally encounters Cha Chi-soo (Jung Il-woo), the arrogant heir to the biggest food conglomerate in South Korea. Cha Chi-soo, newly homed after a failed attempt to attend school in New York City, fascinates women with his good looks and easy charm. Eun-bi was initially attracted to him, until she found out that he was only a high school senior, and thus 6 years younger than her. However, her student-teaching assignment finds her not only working at the high school that Chi-soo's family owns, but teaching his homeroom class. She grows to dislike him for his arrogance and lack of empathy. He, on the other hand, becomes fascinated with her because she is outspoken and athletic, unlike the other women he knows. Yet, he does not interpret the fascination as romantic interest, as he was out of her league and he usually only dates pretty, self-interested girls like Yoon So-yi - a ballet student now dating Chi-soo's rebellious classmate, Kim Ba-wool. Eun-bi resists her attraction in turn, believing Chi-soo is only toying with her. Eun-bi was looking for a more serious relationship, after being dumped by a cheating ex-boyfriend while waiting for him to complete his mandatory military service. She frequently turns to her dating-savvy roommate/ex-high school volleyball teammate Kang Dong-joo for advice.

After Eun-bi's father (Jung In-gi) passes away, she is surprised to find out that he left the ramen restaurant he owned to Choi Kang-hyuk (Lee Ki-woo), whom he had helped when Kang-hyuk was a troubled youth, instead of to her. It is soon revealed that Eun-bi's father did this in hope that Kang-hyuk and Eun-bi would marry. Eun-bi, after losing her student-teaching assignment because of her conflicts with Chi-soo, starts to work at the ramen shop, along with homeless fellow students Kim Ba-wool (Park Min-woo) and Woo Hyun-woo (Cho Yoon-woo). Chi-soo wants to work at the restaurant as well, in order to get over his growing obsession with Eun-bi. Kang-hyuk, who knows that he and Chi-soo actually have the same mother, allows him to join the shop out of concern for his cold half-brother.

Kang-hyuk quickly develops feelings for Eun-bi, but she finds herself more attracted to the passionate Chi-soo. Chi-soo, after many misunderstandings, realizes that his obsession with Eun-bi was actually attraction, and actively competes for Eun-bi's affections with Kang-hyuk. However, Chi-soo's father (Joo Hyun) disapproves. Chi-soo's (and Kang-hyuk's) mother had also been an average (not rich) woman, and Chi-soo's father believes that difference was one of the reasons for their separation several years ago. Chi-soo's father's company is planning to redevelop the area in which the ramen shop is located, and Chi-soo's father tries to use the possible destruction of the ramen shop as leverage to keep Eun-bi and Chi-soo apart. Chi-soo has become attached to the ramen shop and is also afraid of being disowned, and so he initially chooses to stay with his father. Eun-bi realizes, however, that she wants to try dating him seriously; she storms to his family's apartment to claim him from his father, and they leave together. The ramen shop is forced to close, but its workers accept this development without complaint. Chi-soo's father disinherits him and has his U.S. citizenship revoked, so that Chi-soo is now subject to the South Korean military draft. The show ends with Chi-soo visiting Eun-bi after he has completed his two-year service in the South Korean Army without contacting her; they kiss as the camera pans over the neighborhood where they first met.





The cast of the series at a press conference

The series was directed by Jung Jun-hwa, who previously helmed the 2008 film Lost and Found (also known as Sweet Lie). It was produced by Pyo Min-soo, along with the production crew of 2009 KBS drama Boys over Flowers.[11]

Filming commenced on September 21, 2011, with Jung Il-woo playing Cha Chi-soo and his friends, at a cafe in Hongdae.[12]


According to AGB Nielsen Media, the November 7 episode received a viewership rating of 2.07 percent, the highest rating in its timeslot, thus the most-watched cable program for the second week in a row. It also recorded a 200 percent increase in viewership from the previous episode among 20- to 49-year-old men. It was reported that it was the most-viewed show among women in their teens to 30s as well as among men in their teens to 20s. The series was watched by one in three teenage girls with 30 percent audience shares, and in Busan, it recorded five percent in viewership ratings.[13] At its peak, the series scored viewership ratings in the four percent range, the highest ratings amongst its cable competitors in the same timeslot for eight weeks.

Its popularity has spawned a webcomic version of the show, taking off from characters Ba-wool and Hyun-woo as 20-year-olds managing a ramen restaurant. The cartoon has had over 1.8 million page views since its release on online portal Nate, with the number of visitors increasing by an average 32 percent per day.[14]


Episode Original airdate AGB Nielsen[15][16]
Average rating
1 October 31, 2011 1.19%
2 November 1, 2011 1.45%
3 November 7, 2011 2.07%
4 November 8, 2011 2.85%
5 November 14, 2011 2.80%
6 November 15, 2011 3.22%
7 November 21, 2011 3.60%
8 November 22, 2011 3.00%
9 November 28, 2011 3.20%
10 November 29, 2011 2.94%
11 December 5, 2011 2.83%
12 December 6, 2011 3.26%
13 December 12, 2011 2.32%
14 December 13, 2011 2.40%
15 December 19, 2011 2.85%
16 December 20, 2011 3.54%
Average 2.72%

International broadcast[edit]

  • In November 2011, after being on air for eight episodes, the series was sold to Japanese content distribution company Culture Convenience Club at a record price of US$100,000 per episode.[17][18] It premiered on Mnet Japan in January 2012, with reruns on terrestrial network TBS from June 12 to July 11, 2012.[19]
  • It was aired on Mnet's Channel M in March 2014.
  • It premiered in the Philippines on TeleAsia Chinese on June 20, 2014. It also aired on TV5 from July 7 to August 22, 2014 under its alternate title Cool Guys, Hot Ramen. It is also being reaired by TV5 every Sunday nights starting November 8, 2015.[20]
  • In Thailand, it was aired on Workpoint TV on October 22, 2013.[21]


  1. ^ Cool Guys, Hot Ramen 한국으로 돌아온 정일우! 111031 EP.1. YouTube (in Korean). tvN Drama. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  2. ^ Wee, Geun-woo (2 November 2011). "REVIEW: tvN TV series Cool Guys, Hot Ramen - 1st Episode". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  3. ^ Hwang, Hyo-jin (13 December 2011). "On the set of tvN TV series Cool Guys, Hot Ramen". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  4. ^ Lee, Kyung-nam (1 September 2011). "Jung Il Woo To Star in Cool Guys, Hot Ramen". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  5. ^ Hong, Lucia (27 October 2011). "Jung Il-woo watched Boys Over Flowers for new series". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
  6. ^ Lee, Kyung-nam (16 September 2011). "Lee Chung Ah Cast As Female Lead in Flower Boy Ramen Shop". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  7. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (10 November 2011). "More Half-Naked Men in Flower Boy Ramen Shop". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  8. ^ Hwang, Hyo-jin (30 November 2011). "My Name Is: Park Min-woo". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  9. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (31 October 2011). "Kim Hye Soo Cameos on Flower Boy Ramen Shop". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  10. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (29 November 2011). "Gong Hyo Jin and Jung Il Woo on Set of Flower Boy Ramen Shop". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  11. ^ Lee, Kyung-nam (24 October 2011). "Lee Ki Woo Shows Off Well-Proportioned Body for Flower Boy Ramen Shop". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  12. ^ Lee, Kyung-nam (28 September 2011). "Jung Il Woo's First Shoot for Flower Boy Ramen Shop". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  13. ^ Choi, EunHwa (8 November 2011). "Flower Boy Ramen Shop Still Number One in Viewer Ratings". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  14. ^ Kim, Jessica (3 January 2012). "Cool Guys, Hot Ramen turned into web cartoon". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  15. ^ AGB 닐슨 미디어리서치 홈페이지 Archived June 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ This drama airs on a cable channel/pay TV which has a relatively small audience compared to free TV/public broadcasters (SBS, KBS, MBC).
  17. ^ "Drama Flower Boy Ramyun Shop Exports to Japan at a Record Price". Soompi. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  18. ^ Hong, Lucia (23 November 2011). "Jung Il-woo, Lee Chung-ah cable TV series sold to Japan". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Vibal-Guioguio, Peachy (30 June 2014). "It's raining fun in TV5's Signal No. 5". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  21. ^ เรื่องย่อ นายตัวร้ายกับยัยราเมน. (in Thai). 23 October 2015. Retrieved 2013-04-30.

External links[edit]