Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ittoku Update / Sapporo Ramen coming to Central Square @ H Mart

Update 5/6/14: H Mart Cambridge is finally open! & H Mart Japanese groceries

Sapporo Ramen in Porter Square

It seems like lately all I've heard is bad news about Japanese food in Boston (Miso Market is closingYakitori Zai is temporarily closedYume Wo Katare is temporarily closed). Finally, some good news!

Ittoku Update

Update 11/11/13: Ittoku is finally open! See First Look: Ittoku!

I've previously written about a restaurant called Ittoku that was slated to open at 1414 Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton last year. It's a joint venture between Kentaro Suzuki (known to all by his nickname Chiki-san), a sushi chef at Ebi Sushi, Carlos Garcia, owner of Café Mami and Ittyo, and Manabu Ito and Taiji Mineo, co-owners of Sapporo Ramen. I'm excited to announce that they should be opening soon. Carlos told me last week that now that construction is finished they can schedule their inspections. Unfortunately, restaurants often fail first inspections, in which case they'll have more work to do after that, so I'm not going to speculate on when they'll be able to open.

Chiki-san gave me a sneak peek of their menu. As I've mentioned before, they'll serve sushi, ramen, yakitori, and izakaya-style dishes. Their three ramen offerings, developed by Manabu-san, will be house, yakiniku, and spicy.  I'm not sure if the house ramen will be the same as the house ramen at Sapporo in Porter Square. Update 11/12/13: Ittoku reduced their ramen offering to just one - Gyukotsu Ramen, a beef broth ramen for $8. Yakitori offerings include the usual meats, a number of bacon-wrapped options, and an all-garlic clove skewer. I'm excited to try the omusoba, which I've never encountered before. It's an omelette stuffed with yakisoba!

Sapporo Ramen coming to Central Square  @ H Mart

Manabu-san is also hard at work developing the ramen menu for the Sapporo Ramen location that will be inside the new Central Square H Mart that's supposedly going to open this winter. The menu will be entirely different from their Porter Square location. Manabu-san and Taiji-san have also partnered with José Garcia, owner of Ebi Sushi (and Carlos's brother), to serve sushi at the Central Square location.

José told me that when you walk in from Mass Ave., Go Go Curry will have the first spot on the right, followed by Sapporo Ramen, and then Paris Baguette, with the grocery store in the back. José said the food court will seat 120 (confirmed in the transcript of the July 9th City of Cambridge License Commission General Hearing).

Sapporo Ramen and Go Go Curry beat out many other applicants for the two restaurant concessions, which is great, because there isn't any good cheap Japanese food in Central Square right now. Although I'm not a big fan of Sapporo's current menu, I'm looking forward to trying the yakiniku ramen at Ittoku and Sapporo Central's ramen!

In researching this post, I stumbled upon a 2007 interview with Taiji-san (which references Sapporo's old menu) and a 2011 Savoroux Savoroux blog post about what led to their menu change. Here are some other reviews:

1 comment:

  1. So excited to hear about quality ramen coming to Central Square as I now live in Inman Square and it is a bit of a ways to get to Porter Square. Also, thanks for the shout out!