A new Japanese noodle franchise has created a happy and healthy buzz in the CBD's trendy Leigh St precinct. Ajisen is part of an international franchise that began in the Japanese city of Kumanoto. As with many parts of Japan, this region has its own specialty in noodle soup - or ramen - based on a broth made from pork bones. The result is a soup which is rich, complex and satisfying. While it has an almost creamy taste, it still has the refreshing feel-good factor of a chicken soup. If a note in the menu is to be believed, it also has "a positive effect on your joints, muscles, skin and hair" due to the collagen which leaches from the bones. So it might end up stealing business from the health spa up the road as well. Ajisen is an international franchise that feels decidedly homely - from its unpretentious fare to service that is friendly, if occasionally confronted by language problems. Still, not much else seems to have been lost in translation.