The anticipation has been almost unbearable, but alas, it’s official: Yokohama MKE (1932 E. Kenilworth Pl., 414-544-1674) is swinging open those doors for ramen feasting on May 18 (Thursday), at 3 p.m. The restaurant – sister to Hotel Madrid, Movida and Jake’s Deli – has been teasing photos for months leading up to the opening, which originally was supposed to be fall 2016.
The owners didn’t just turnkey the former Yield Bar. The building’s front facade leads to a “parklet” – a patio in the road. Yokohama is doing lunch, dinner and late-night dining – and offers karaoke. The hours are extensive: Kitchen service is Sun-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2:30 a.m.
The lunch and dinner menus differ a bit. At mid-day, there are four types of rice bowls (tonkotsu, teriyaki, agedashi tofu, tempura shrimp) and three ramens (tonkotsu, vegetarian red miso and the Momofuker, with panko chicken breast), all $10. Also three kinds of steamed buns (char sui pork belly, mushroom, chicken), $4-$5; and two burgers, both served on a seared ramen noodle bun, $9. Add wakame salad or fries for 2 bucks.
The dinner menu offers all the lunch options, plus appetizers – lotus root chips, tamago kake (Japanese-style rice with egg) and Japanese croquettes ($3-$5) – Korean fried chicken wings, foie-stuffed wings, and two versions of tsukemen (dipping noodles with separate broth, in pork and seafood ($12).
Call this the summer of ramen.