Portland will soon have a new downtown restaurant dedicated to yakitori. Popular Beaverton restaurant Ramen Ryoma will bring Japanese-style grilled meat skewers to a space in downtown Portland later this year.
Although the location is still in negotiations, Ryoma hopes to open its next restaurant SW Morrison Street in the summer of 2021. The location will serve all of Ramen Ryoma’s classic offerings, including corn butter miso ramen, spicy umami ramen, and Japanese style-curry. At night, the location will focus on yakitori, serving grilled chicken and vegetables coated in Ryoma’s special tare, a sweet soy sauce base that clings to the surface of the crisped meat. “We wanted to bring yakitori and more accessible Japanese food that isn’t too expensive or pricey to the Portland community,” says Ryoma floor manager Andy Koida.
Ryoma’s yakitori enterprise will use a specialized Japanese binchotan charcoal grill, which uses a specific type of charcoal that “burns at a lower temperature than normal charcoal, but for a longer period of time.” It also releases more infrared rays, leading to crisper meat without overcooking.
On top of chicken, the restaurant will also grill shishito peppers and several other veggies. As of now, no grilled vegetarian protein option has been developed. However, Koida said the restaurant will serve a similar vegetarian ramen option to the one currently offered at the Beaverton location.
Ramen Ryoma — which operates restaurants in the Portland area, San Diego, and Chile — started in the Portland area, when Yoshinari Ichise opened the first Ramen Ryoma in Portland in 2016. Ramen Ryoma’s Beaverton location, attached to the Uwajimaya grocery store, is known for its no-nonsense shio, shoyu, and miso broths, as well as its juicy chashu pork topping. The restaurant also serves its chashu pork swimming in sweet and spicy Japanese style-curry, along with pan-fried pork gyoza and kurobuta sausage. The downtown location is expected to maintain these offerings while expanding into the yakitori game.
The location will also serve sake and beer, Koida said. “We only have one or two sakes at the Beaverton location, there would definitely be more offered downtown.”
Ramen Ryoma’s yakitori restaurant will open at 1037 SW Morrison St sometime in the next several months. A name has not been chosen yet.
Updated May 14, 2021, at 11:45 a.m.: This story was updated to include a new projected opening period.
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