Suburban Mall Contains Two Notable Japanese Restaurants – NBC Chicago

One of the best places to find hidden gem restaurants is in seemingly innocuous malls, and a good example of this can be found in the suburb of Des Plaines, where one of these malls offers not a but two amazing Japanese restaurants run by the same cook.

The mall, located just two miles north of O’Hare, has two restaurants that serve up some of the area’s best ramen and sushi, just like chef Kenta Ikehata did when he lived in Tokyo.

Chicago ramen has been serving classic Japanese comfort food for several years now. The restaurant, located in a strip mall on the corner of Oakton and Wolf Road, serves a wide variety of offerings, including jagged egg noodles that are boiled and then topped with one of several broths – including a rich miso – plus toppings like green onions. , crispy bamboo or large slices of cha su pork.

The restaurant also offers the rarely seen tsukemon.

“Tsukemon is dipping ramen. So famous in Tokyo,” Ikehata said. “It’s noodles and broth in separate bowls. Take noodles, dip them in broth, then drink.

If you don’t want noodles, you can head to Ikehata’s brand new restaurant, chicago-sushi. Fresh fish is delivered daily and the restaurant staff waste nothing, scraping off every morsel of flesh from everything from brightly colored salmon to ruby ​​red tuna.

You will find all the stand-by classics, including maki rolls, which are topped with all kinds of sauces for beginners. For those with more sushi experience, diners can request a box of chirashi – containing an assortment of seafood and sea urchins – with the “uni” imported directly from Hokkaido.

Staff start each roll with nori, or dried seaweed, native to the Sea of ​​Japan.

“We use quality nori from Japan,” he said.

Then in the dish there is hot sushi rice, then the chilled fish is added. The heat and moisture from the rice and fish moves quickly through the crispy nori, so Ikehata says it’s imperative to eat them immediately.

“My recommendation is that you eat the rolls very quickly. So 3…2…1…go! Just three seconds,” Ikehata said.

More information about both restaurants can be found on their respective Facebook pages, which are linked in the story above.

NBC Chicago

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