North San Antonio, prepare to get your slurp on. An intimate new shop at 14395 Blanco Rd. in Hill Country Village is set to bowl you over with Hakata-style ramen and other Japanese specialties.
Ito Ramen is the brainchild of Kay Ito, who grew up in the restaurant business. With her new concept, she hopes to bring the cozy feel of authentic Japanese ramen shops to a new market. The small counter service only space accommodates a few guests at a time, and the tables are communal, encouraging interaction between patrons and a lively atmosphere
For those not familiar with Hakata ramen, it is a far cry from the salty packs found at the grocery store. The broth is a silky pork bone tonkotsu with a creamy and rich texture. It is traditionally topped with a variety of fixings as well as proteins like ajitama (marinated soft boiled eggs with a custardy yolk) and slices of pork chashu. Typically, a thinner noodle is used as well.
In addition to the ramen, Ito serves a variety of other traditional Japanese dishes ranging from takoyaki (fritters made with octopus and topped with a slightly sweet sauce and dancing bonito flakes) to gyoza dumplings to house mochi.
Although the shop has finished its soft opening period, regular hours have not quite been set. Check out the restaurant’s Facebook page for daily hours.