Chicago is known for its vast food options. In fact, it's safe to say that this city's food culture is like no other. One of the top cuisines that continues to reign supreme here is Asian. Step on over to Chinatown and you'll find yourself in abundance of options from sushi to pho. Over the past couple of years, ramen restaurants have become wildly popular especially during the cold winter months. A bowl of piping hot and flavorful broth can warm your soul and your heart.
“Ramen has become beloved by many in the U.S. in recent years and Tsujita is the pioneer of Tsukemen, so we wanted to extend this experience to Chicagoland,” says Chef Ikehata.
Chef Ikehata is a Japanese chef, restaurateur, and the mastermind behind a new ramen spot in Des Plaines called Chicago Ramen.
“We’re extremely excited to open our first ramen restaurant in the Midwest. TKY’s vision is to spread delicious ramen throughout the United States, providing techniques and recipes to those who want to make ramen. We hope that many people in Chicagoland will be satisfied and inspired by the taste of Chicago Ramen.”
Chef Ikehata was trained at Tsujita in Tokyo, a beloved artisan ramen brand, which was selected one of the best 10 ramen shops in Tokyo by the readers of Japan Times in 2019. After more than 7 years of experience at Tsujita in Tokyo, Chef Ikehata was sent to Los Angeles to open and manage its first US location, which was described in 2017 as “the king of tonkotsu ramen in Los Angeles” by the late food critic Jonathan Gold of the Los Angeles Times.
He is proud that Tsujita set the standard for ramen in Los Angeles, winning acclaim from critics and writers alike, and, most importantly, satisfying a multitude of diners. And now that Tsujita has become a noodle juggernaut, Chef Ikehata wanted to share the taste of this authentic, Tokyo-style ramen with the Chicago metro area.
Yesterday during the grand opening many were blown away by the robust flavor of the broth. You can definitely tell that it was made with love, passion, and a lot of time.
“Ramen is like a course menu because it consists of soup, meat, and vegetables, and yet it’s affordable. We start with making broth, which takes about 60 hours to prepare, and we boil noodles very carefully each day,” Ikehata said. “And just before serving ramen, we heat each bowl to ensure that noodles stay warm. We treat each ingredient and utensil with care, a practice that adheres to Japanese artisanship.”
With every bite, you can really tell that each ingredient was made with care. Hats off to the chef! To get a slurp of this delicious ramen head on over to Chicago Ramen they're open for lunch and dinner every day from 11am-11pm. You won't be disappointed.