One of Japan's fastest-growing restaurant chains is embarking on a $10 million expansion into New Zealand.

Fukuoka headquartered Ippudo, known as Hakata Ippūdō in Japan, has opened its first New Zealand store in Auckland, and plans to open at least four other venues in New Zealand in the next five years.

The noodle restaurant, which is Japan's first - and biggest - global ramen chain, operates in 13 international markets and has more than 100 stores located throughout the world, including in America, England, France, across South East Asia.

Ben Cheong, operations manager for ST Group, the company which owns

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