Simply Ramen offers mid-valley residents a savory but nutritious dining option, said Brendon Tse, assistant manager and waiter for the business.
The restaurant opened in Albany about a month ago, and it’s the only eatery in town to have a main focus on ramen, a Japanese dish that typically includes broth, noodles, meat and vegetables.
“It’s very different than maybe, like, a cheeseburger. It’s a fulfilling dish without being too heavy,” Tse said.
“It can be really difficult to find something that’s a healthy option as well as being something you would want to enjoy. Everybody knows that a salad is going to be really good for you, but does everybody really want to eat only a salad for lunch?” he added.
For those who aren’t into ramen, Simply Ramen offers a variety of Asian dishes, including traditional Thai, Chinese and Korean food. “I think it’s a smart thing to do,” Tse said.
Ramen, of course, has a bit of a stigma in many Americans’ minds because they’re only familiar with instant ramen. Residents who have real ramen for the first time will be surprised and excited, Tse said.
Customers at Simply Ramen can mix and match, choosing from five types of broth, different types of noodles and different toppings.
Tse’s favorite ramen to get is the Tokyo tonkotsu broth, which is a lighter pork-based broth that includes green onions, bean sprouts and bamboo shoots. He pairs that with chashu pork, which has Asian herbs and spices, and tops it with wontons.
So far, the signature ramen is the most popular type of broth, with the Tokyo tonkotsu next. The Mongolian beef has been another top seller on the menu, Tse said.
The owners of Simply Ramen are Jason Yu, a Los Angeles-based restauranteur, and his cousin Su Huang. Huang lives in this area, and the cousins saw a need for such a restaurant in Albany.
Simply Ramen, 1800 S.E. Geary St., is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday through Sunday.
For more information on Simply Ramen, call 541-981-2798.