Noodle lovers, rejoice. The eagerly-awaited Japanese transplant Nishiki Ramen is now serving up steaming bowls of its signature ramen to San Diego. The eatery officially soft opens today and has a grand opening scheduled for October 4; a limited menu will served until Sunday. The bright maple wood-lined 1600-square-foot space, with 49 seats, was designed Satoshi Ikedo (Tajima, Jinya).
With a ramen influx that includes out-of-towner Jinya Ramen Bar and other concepts rumored to be eyeing the local market, Nishiki owner Mike Furuichi told Eater that he hopes they will all collectively contribute to raising the profile of authentic ramen. But Nishiki could be a standout in several ways, most uniquely for its on-site noodle room, which houses a custom machine that produces two thickness of noodles using organic whole wheat flour; a larger, flat noodle is for their miso ramen while a thinner, slightly wavy noodle is the foundation for all other ramen varieties. Their signature soup base, simmered from chicken and pork bones, is MSG and preservative-free and purports to be healthier than most while maintaining a rich texture. And the traditional meaty chashu topping is made here from Berkshire pork. There's also a vegetarian version of ramen, which offers the option of gluten-free noodles.
Other small plates and snacks range from salads and chashu buns to chicken karaage and rice bowls topped with pork cutlets or chicken teriyaki. They will eventually expand their ramen selection to include a 100% chicken-based ramen, a seafood ramen, the Japanese-Chinese hybrid tantan ramen, and more. Also in the works is a sushi menu, plus beer and sake.
Nishiski Ramen is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and will be closed on Mondays.