Essential SF ramen restaurant Marufuku has secured a space in Temescal to join the East Bay’s flourishing ramen scene. The new location is 4828 Telegraph Avenue, the former home of Hina Yakitori beside Temescal’s dive bar of choice, The Avenue. Eater SF has reached out to Marufuku for an opening date — it’s “coming soon” according to the restaurant’s Instagram account, which promises a “ramen revolution” in somewhat dramatic fashion.
Update, 3:00 p.m.: A sign outside Marufuku Oakland announces the opening date will be February 28.
That isn’t unwarranted: Since Marufuku opened in 2017 in the Japantown mall (1581 Webster Suite 235), the restaurant has drawn an enthusiastic following for its Hakata ramen, with a thick milky broth in the style of the Hakata district of Fukuoka, a city on the southern Kyushu island of Japan. Marufuku’s tonkotsu pork broth takes 20 hours to achieve its flavor, and the restaurant also serves a limited number of bowls of a popular chicken paitan ramen. Marufuku also serves classic izakaya style appetizers like chicken karaage and takoyaki.
According to licensing documents, Marufuku’s SF and forthcoming Oakland restaurants are pillars in the restaurant empire of Eiichi Mochizuki, a chef/owner who opened his first Japanese hot pot restaurant, Shabuway, in San Mateo in 2004. An SF Shabuway location at 120 Geary Boulevard operated as a combination ramen restaurant with another essential SF ramen shop, Men Oh Tokushima Ramen, until the conjoined restaurants closed together last year. A representative of Marufuku clarifies that Marufuku’s chef and ramen are “totally separate” from Shabuway, though they share the same ownership.
When Marufuku arrives in Oakland, it plans to “break the wall of imitation ramen” according to that dramatic Instagram account, which calls #ramenlovers to action in an #oaklandramenrevolution.
That revolution may already be underway. In past years, a full-blown ramen renaissance has swept north from the South Bay to San Francisco and the East Bay, with the most high-profile openings in Berkeley and San Francisco being locations of Tokyo-based chain Ippudo.