Shinmai, the second restaurant from owner Yingji Huang (Montclair’s Kakui) is now open, bringing modern izakaya fare with a strong ramen presence to Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood. It joins nearby Itani Ramen in a growing noodle scene (including Ippudo), and an overall influx of restaurants in recent months, like Curry Up Now and Plenty.
The menu from executive chef Jerrod Doss (Aziza, Chez TJ) and lead ramen chef/co-owner Andy Liu includes as bevy of traditional (and non-traditional) ingredients, like a crudo of ocean trout with piquillo pepper, armina sansho, micro red shiso, lime, and sumac. Liu recently returned from two years studying ramen in Japan, and graduated from the Yamoto Noodle School. At opening, Liu will offer two ramens: a tonkatsu ramen with chashu, egg, and negi and wood ear mushrooms, and a vegetable ramen egg, lotus root chips, black trumpet mushroom, cherry tomatoes, and negi. Check out the full menu below.
Meanwhile, beverages will focus on Japanese whisky, sakes, and pilsner-style beers curated by bar manager Brian McMillan and consultant Adam Stemler (Farm League Restaurant Group). Cocktails include ingredients like a toasted brown rice syrup and miso, and clock in at a very reasonable $10 apiece.
The 3,400-square-foot restaurant is located in a large nondescript building, and currently boasts no sign, though there are plans to incorporate a large mural on the side of the building. Inside is scene-y and dark, a minimal aesthetic designed by Síol Design and architect Denny Abrams. A bar with a small lounge area will accommodate those waiting for ramen, with a chef’s counter and generous table seating in the main dining room. Including the private dining room, the rather roomy restaurant has 100 seats — knowing the Bay Area’s penchant for ramen, it will need them all.
Hours are Monday through Sunday from 5 p.m.- 10:30 p.m.
- Shinmai [Official]