An acclaimed ramen restaurant from the Bay Area is coming to Texas. Called Marufuku Ramen, it's a noodle shop from San Francisco, where it has earned raves and long lines for its authentic tonkotsu ramen.
It will open its first location in Texas and its first outside of California in Frisco, at 9292 Warren Pkwy., in the same vibrant center as 85C Bakery and Kura Revolving Sushi Bar.
Frisco will be only the third Marufuku; its other two locations are in San Francisco's Japantown and in Oakland.
John Nguyen, who represents the Frisco center where Marufuku will reside, says that it's pegged to open in October.
Marufuku was founded by Eiichi Mochizuki and Koji Kikura, Bay Area veterans who've operated a number of successful restaurants, including Shabuway, a small shabu-shabu restaurant chain they opened in 2004 that launched the first shabu-shabu wave throughout northern California; and Hime, one of the very first izakaya-style restaurants in the U.S. when they opened it in 2007.
Marufuku specializes in two highly perfected bowls: chicken paitan and Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, a variation on pork-based tonkotsu but with thinner noodles.
Its tonkotsu ramen features a rich broth that's cooked for over 20 hours. It contains cha-shu braised pork belly, seasoned soft-boiled egg, green onion, kikurage mushrooms, bean sprouts, and their trademark ultra-thin noodles.
It can also be ordered in a "deluxe" version with additional ingredients including thick pork belly, corn, and nori seaweed.
Their Kyoto-style chicken paitan boasts a thick, opaque, extra-creamy broth. It contains cha-shu chicken breast, soft-boiled egg, green onion, kikurage mushrooms, bean sprouts, and noodles. It, too, can be ordered in a deluxe version with extra goodies.
They welcome custom requests such as choice of thick or thin broth, the firmness of the noodles, five levels of spice — from "no spicy" to "ultra spicy" — and even what is called "kae-dama," or a second helping of noodles.
Other menu items include izakaya-style appetizers such as Japanese-style karaage fried chicken, fried squid legs, shishito peppers, and Marufuku bites, which are Japanese steamed buns filled with cha-shu pork.
A quartet of rice bowls pairs rice with toppings such as chopped pork belly, fried chicken, and spicy cod roe. They also serve sake and beer.
Nguyen says they're thrilled to have a unique and high-quality concept such as Marufuku make its Texas debut. "Mr. Mochizuki came to tour Texas and wanted to be part of that center, with all of the other exciting concepts we've brought to Dallas-Fort Worth," he says.
While the Texas location will feature Marufuku's signature dishes, it's also likely to offer dishes that are unique.
"They'll tailor the menu to the location and cater to everyone's tastes," Nguyen says. "We'll be lucky to get some of the most authentic and top-notch ramen."