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Kasai Ramen

Fresh, New, Hip, and Trendy! These are all words that perfect describe Syracuse’s latest addition to the culinary scene, Kasai Ramen. Kasai Ramen is located at 218 Walton Street, in Armory Square in the heart of downtown Syracuse. 


They are open Monday through Saturday; Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm, Friday from 11 am to 10 pm, and on Saturday from 4 pm to 10 pm. This brand new, two level hot spot with the vintage charm of the historic building and artful modern décor is a perfect location for a lunch or dinner with friends, a romantic date night, a place to bring your kids and let them freely slurp, or even a place to sit unaccompanied at the bar to enjoy a scrumptious bowl of warm ramen!

Much like the physical attributes of the building (exposed brick decorated with modern art) Kasai Ramen serves dishes that are a blend of traditional and contemporary. Their menu features traditional style Japanese ramen and Izakaya (think Japanese equivalent of a tapas bar) favorites with a modern, Syracuse Salt City inspired flare. They also have several exciting vegetarian and vegan options. There is certainly something on the menu that everyone can enjoy!

I went to Kasai Ramen with Jackie, my best friend (since first grade!), on a chilly Friday in November. Upon entering the charming restaurant we were immediately warmed up, both by the heat and the friendly staff! This place immediately gave off good vibes! There were several people waiting for tables but since we had reservations we were quickly seated at a cozy table on the lower floor. I asked Jackie to join me on my Kasai Ramen because she has been a vegetarian (and mostly vegan) for over a year so I immediately thought of her when I spoked out their menu. There were so many interesting options on the menu we had a very hard time making our selections so we decided to try a little bit of everything and split several menu items! Our friendly and knowledgeable server, Octwaney, was happy to accommodate our huge order! We ordered the Beet & Lotus Root Salad, a beautifully plated deconstructed style salad with pickled beets, fried lotus root, pickled daikon radish, cucumber ribbon, fried bok choy leaf, cherry blossom shoyu gastrique, and aged black vinegar. We loved the mix of textures of the cucumber and fried lotus root. We also had the Kimchi Salt Potatoes (smashed rainbow fingerling salt potatoes with house made kimchi and gochujang butter), admittedly I was a little skeptical of this dish and I was unclear of how the kimchi would work with the salt potatoes. I was pleasantly surprised by the awesome flavor combination and this dish was probably my favorite of the night! I also had an order of the Kasai Meatballs, angus prime house meatballs with truffle soy hot sauce and yuzu ginger aioli garnished with pickled red bell pepper. I loved everything about this melt in your mouth dish of exquisite flavor! We also had a Mushroom Steam Bun, a traditional dish served on an adorable plate with hoisin exotic mushroom blend with kimchi pickles and crispy tumbleweed onions. Jackie just had to try the Miso Braised Eggplant gyoza, a seated and steamed dumpling served with house ponzu sauce. This dish was bursting with flavor! We also split a gigantic bowl of Veggie Ramen. This dish was a medley of flavors that was both beautiful and scrumptious. This steamy bowl of deliciousness was full of ramen in roasted veggie brother and incorporated dashi, soy tare, miso soy eggplant, enoki mushroom, baby bok choy, bean sprouts. Jackie loved slurping the noodles! We also did out best to split a shared plate of Roasted Eggplant and Tofu. This dish, meant to be shared by up to four people, was gorgeously plated with roasted Japanese eggplant served with ginger scallion pancakes, pickled vegetables with soy truffle, pineapple ghost, and roasted red pepper coulis. Just for kicks I also ordered the Kasai Chicken Sandwich, a modern and inspired take on an American classic! This marinated and double battered fried chicken with kimchi pickles and ghost aioli was absolutely outstanding and the togarashi fries may be my new favorite “French” fry! We ordered much more food than we could possibly consume in one sitting but we were so glad we tried everything! Each dish was plated like a work of art and introduced truly unique flavors to our pallets!

Kasai Ramen held their grand opening on November 12, 2018 and they have been redefining culinary scene in downtown ever since that day! Check out their website at
www.kasairamen.com and subscribe to their emails to have information about their specials, sales, and events delivered directly to you inbox! You should also like them on Facebook and take a peek at all of the beautiful pictures of their artfully displayed dishes and keep up with their specials and events! Although they have seating on two levels with 100 seats, you might want to make a reservation to avoid a wait. If you don’t have time to sit but need a ramen fix give them a call and place a takeout order at (315) 310-8500. See for yourself why Kasai Ramen has been an instant favorite in Syracuse and stop in today!

Kerilyn Micale
Kerilyn E. Micale is a Cicero native.