One of Japan’s most acclaimed ramen shops, AFURI Ramen + Dumpling, is making its first foray into California, with a location planned to open in Cupertino in early summer.
This will be the Tokyo-based company’s second foray into the US market, following an extremely well-received opening in Portland in 2017. (In addition to Afuri Ramen and Dumpling, PDX also boasts an Afuri Ramen and Izakaya.)
Afuri is known for its specialty yuzu shio ramen, made with a clear broth called chintan. According to CEO Taichi Ishizuki, this style of ramen is very different than typical ramen found in the United States, where tonkotsu-style and creamy paitan broths reign supreme.
Chintan broth, simply labeled “chicken broth” on the menu, is heated to a temperature just below boiling, keeping it clear, and giving it a lighter, more delicate flavor. That said, there are tonkotsu-style ramens listed on the menu, like a tonkotsu tantanmen made with miso tare, pork broth, bok choy, shiitake, leeks, and garlic ginger pork crumbles.
As the name implies, there will also be dumplings, including buta gyozo and vegan miso cashew gyoza made with cashews, kimchi, jackfruit, carrot, miso, green onion, garlic, and napa cabbage. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available at Afuri’s Portland locations, though there’s no word yet on whether Cupertino will offer the same.
“By utilizing ramen as a gateway to bring education to others, AFURI is now able to share to California more than just ramen crafted authentically to Japan’s specifications,” wrote CEO Taichi Ishizuki in an email. “AFURI is now able to also share our love of ramen, passion for the craft of making food, sustainability advocacy, enrich communities and the people within them through community involvement.”
Ishizuki says the restaurant will open in “early summer” at 20803 Stevens Creek Blvd, suite 110. Stay tuned for more.