Nagoya Trio Brings Yoshi Ramen to Bellevue en Route to World Domination

Ramen Yoshi interior

The local ramen boom continues with the recent opening of Ramen Yoshi in Bellevue.

Three self-described “frenemies” who individually own ramen shops in Nagoya have joined forces to—they mutually say—”bring authentic ramen to the world.” (They actually already jointly own one ramen shop back in Nagoya.) Bellevue is just the beginning of their plan to open 100 shops around the United States.

Yoshi’s #1 ramen (per the menu) is tonkotsu, made with pork and chicken broths yielding a rich, creamy soup. Almost all of the remaining ramen bowls are made with chicken and vegetable broth (with some bonito added), with all the usual suspects available: shoyu, shio, yuzu-shio, miso, and spicy miso. Expect bold flavors. The shoyu is very strong with prominent soy sauce flavor. There’s a lot of real yuzu (as compared to the yuzu powder other places use) in the yuzu-shio, and the spicy miso is reportedly spiked with a lot of heat.

Tsukemen and the Nagoya specialty mazesoba will be available soon, and the menu has many side dishes, from karaage to takoyaki to gyoza. Miso katsu and tenmusu (a rice ball containing tempura shrimp) are Nagoya sides that will be worth interest.

As for the restaurant name, Yoshi refers to the man behind the Mr. Yoshida’s line of cooking sauces. As the story goes, Junki Yoshida arrived in Seattle from Japan at age of 19 with only $500 in his pocket, making his mark with his family’s age-old secret recipe for a gourmet cooking sauce. Ramen Yoshi (open lunch and dinner weekdays, and all day Saturdays) will have a special Yoshida Jiro ramen in honor of the man. (Yoshida himself made an appearance at the grand opening.)

A look at three of the ramen bowls:

Tonkotsu ($9, plus $1.50 per egg, but no eggs available preview day) was the best of the bunch with its creamy broth. I love big noodles, but these were just a little bigger than I like, and not jagged. (Many will like the chewiness.)

Tonkotsu ($9, plus $1.50 per egg, but no eggs available preview day) was the best of the bunch with its creamy broth. I love big noodles, but these were just a little bigger than I like, and not jagged. (Many will like the chewiness.)

Note all the real yuzu (maybe too much citrus?) in this yuzu-shio ramen ($11). I wish the broth was a little more complex.

Note all the real yuzu (maybe too much citrus?) in this yuzu-shio ramen ($11). I wish the broth was a little more complex.

The shoyu ramen ($9) was my least favorite. The soy sauce flavor was too strong, and again not enough complexity to the broth.

The shoyu ramen ($9) was my least favorite. The soy sauce flavor was too strong, and again not enough complexity to the broth.

Adapted from Eater Seattle article posted on 11/3.

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