I love Asian food, blah blah blah. That in no way means I’ll like ANY Asian food and can’t tell good versions from bad though. A meal at Ramusake, however, authorizes me to tell you with full conviction this place is good- it’s very good. I went here last week, only 3 weeks into it’s opening, and was VERY surprised to find a near full house of happy diners. This amounts to two new Japanese imports I’ve tried this month: Ramusake from London and Katana from L.A., both of which have made for very pleasant evenings, and very happy tastebuds.
The trendy and casual Ramusake have set up shop The Hilton Doubletree, JBR, and has the quirkiest of interiors and very attentive service. It’s confusing to see the otherwise exposed ceiling adorned with lengths of abacus-like installations- considering the abacus originates from China, and I’m pretty sure the menu had no Chinese items on it. The lighting was all retro industrial-style lightbulbs that are much loved by millennial hipsters. As soon as you enter the dining area, the wall on your right has an E-Maki style wall mural illustrating in ancient Japanese art-form what appears to be a group of Japanese women swimming in modern one-pieces. Hillarious.
Here’s what we tried:
Best. Sweet potato fries, EVER. I cannot stress enough on the EVER. Buttery soft on the inside and crispy (but not overly so), on the outside, these fries were served with a kimchi mayo, and a jalapeno dip and were absolutely irresistible. I could not stop until I had (unwillingly) finished the entire bowl.
The vegetable futo maki with kazami wasabi salsa was fan-friggin-tastic. I was baffled at how much I enjoyed a vegetarian option, because when it comes to sushi and maki I’m all about the fish. The salmon roll was also good.
The truffle and cheese dumpling wasn’t too impressive. It was more cheesy and not truffl-ey enough for my truffle loving nose.
The braised spinach with Goma sauce and toasted sesame was sublime. I bet you’ve never heard “spinach” and “sublime” in one sentence without a “not” in between, but that’s exactly what this was. Yum.
Grilled corn with lime, chili, Togarashi spice hit all notes of perfection: the sweet, the tart, the salty and the spicy.
The chicken dumpling had way, way too much ginger, and this is coming for a person who fills a cup with ginger ribbons when making ginger tea.
This was a fantastically cooked piece of salmon, but what really stood out was the perfection of the teriyaki sauce on the side. It wasn’t overly thick and viscous, which made it ideal. Loved this.
The miso brined baby chicken was to die for. The chicken died a baby for a very very good cause.
It’s funny how common the ubiquitous chocolate fondant is, but how many people prepare a medicore fondant that doesn’t ooze and doesn’t wow. This fondant, however, was perfect and wiped clean within seconds.
I have a longstanding, almost decade-old love affair with Mochi ice-cream, so naturally I enjoyed this a lot.
Ramusake was definitely one of the best meals I’ve had all month, and I’ve since been recommending it to everyone asking for what’s good. A meal so delicious that i can’t wait to go back.