Ramen is having a moment in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the opening of Oni Ramen in the old Kin Kin Urban Thai space at 2801 W. Seventh St. in Fort Worth proves it all the more. The soft opening is the week of July 25; in August, it'll have a proper grand opening when its signage arrives.
Kin Kin closed in May after about a year. Oni Ramen is the fast-casual concept from acclaimed chef Jesus Garcia, who previously was chef at Little Lilly Sushi. Before that he worked at Five Sixty By Wolfgang Puck, Piranha Killer Sushi, and Shinjuku Station.
To learn the ramen ropes, Garcia moved to Seattle to work at ramen restaurants there, including famed chain Kizuki Ramen. His kitchen will make stocks daily and also incorporate sous vide cooking techniques.
"Our goal is to make Oni the destination for great ramen," he says.
The restaurant is modeled after Austin's Ramen Tatsu-Ya, with a menu that will have at least seven kinds of ramen, such as tonkotsu ramen from southern Japan with pork broth, thin noodles, wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots, mustard greens, green onion, black garlic oil, pork belly, and egg.
He'll also do tsukemen, the ramen cousin where noodles and other ingredients are served separately from the broth; it's said to be a better option than ramen during warmer weather.
"It's my favorite style of ramen, so there will be one on the menu," Garcia says.
Other rotating options include tortilla soup ramen, Thai curry ramen, and Japanese curry ramen.
They're updating the space and adding a patio and a 10-seat bar, which will be the only place in the restaurant that offers waiter service.
It'll be open seven days a week, for lunch and dinner. And like any ramen spot worth its salt, there'll be late-night hours on Friday and Saturday until 4 am.