In the basement of Double Knot | Photo via Double Knot
Breakfast, 9:30 a.m. // Like Garfield and 10,000 novelty t-shirts, I don’t do mornings. Particularly not ones that haven’t snuck up on me accidentally—the sun rising while I’m still out doing whatever it is that insomniac food editors do—and caught me still in last night’s clothes.
One of the reasons I became a writer was so I’d never have to get up before noon. Sadly, somewhere in my youth I missed an important distinction. Some writers get to sleep the mornings away, sure. They’re generally the ones who own more than zero berets and have strong opinions about pencils. And then there are the ones who actually have to make a living.
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Wok Street, the Southeast Asian fast-casual concept from the team that brought us sushi burritos at Hai Street Kitchen have set their opening date at 1518 Chestnut Street. Wok Street’s first day will be Thursday, May 12th and they’re kicking it off with complimentary lunch at noon for the first 300 people through the door.
Wok Street offers a build-a-bowl concept that starts with rice or noodles and then adds proteins like crispy veggie miso tofu, Szechuan glazed chicken, slow braised soy sauced topped beef or pork. The bowls are then completed with veggies, sauces and toppings like coconut red curry sauce, tangy tamarind sauce, pickled red onion and pickled red peppers to name a few. Wok Street also offers banh mi, summer rolls and salad options.
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Kensington Quarters chef John Boswell is cooking up something different at the restaurant tomorrow night. From 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., the upstairs loft space of the restaurant will become a Ramen pop-up.
The menu will include two Ramen dishes: pork Ramen ($14) and vegetable Ramen ($12). Aside from the soup, there will also be steamed buns and small charcuterie plates. For drinks, Kensington Quarters will be serving sour beer, Basque sidra, and natural wine.
No reservations are needed for the pop-up; simply walk on in and get your noodles.
Kensington Quarters [Foobooz]
Maido, the Japanese grocery market and restaurant in Ardmore is throwing down a Japanese curry challenge for this Saturday, November 28th. The curry festival pits homemade curries from customers against Maido’s house curry. Over a dozen pre-registered contestants have a shot at $350 in prizes. Maido will also be offering tastes of the dishes from the restaurant’s new expanded menu.
Japanese curry is very different from Indian curry and no two Japanese curries are the same.
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Rai Rai Ramen is now open on at 915 Race Street in Chinatown. The “House of Noodle” offers seven varieties of Japanese ramen plus another 21 specialty ramen that run from seafood to pork intestines. The location is open Sunday to Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The menu also lists the North Brunswick location that was closed do to fire and a location in Kailua, Hawaii.
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Rai Rai Ramen was located in North Brunswick, New Jersey until it was damaged in a December fire. The ramen restaurant is now relocating to the 900 block of Race Street in Chinatown. In their North Brunswick location, Rai Rai had a four-star Yelp rating and 261 reviews.
Most reviews were impressed by the number of ramen varieties, 25 by our count and in particular, by the spicy seafood ramen.
Rai Rai Ramen [Foobooz]
Fat Pig Ramen at coZara, $8 at dinner.
When Hiroyuki Tanaka opened coZara in University City a year ago, more than a few people raised an eyebrow at the omission of sushi bar. After all, Tanaka’s Rittenhouse Square restaurant, Zama is one of Philadelphia’s go-to spots for sushi.
But now that coZara has reopened after a short closure to tweak the space, the lack of a sushi bar has been addressed. Installed right in front of the new entrance is an eight-seat sushi bar. Upstairs sees changes as well, with geisha images on the stairwell, and several changes to make the space feel more intimate. Bamboo stalks and rice paper obscure the view to outside, while dark curtains hide the outdoor deck.
New food items as well »
Drunken Zama sake
Looks like Japan celebrates made up food and drink holidays too. Tomorrow, October 1st is National Sake Day in Japan, so if you needed any more of an excuse to indulge in sushi or sake, here’s the go-ahead.
CoZara is hosting a four-course, $35 dinner from 5 p.m. until close in honor of the Japanese holiday. The University City izakaya will welcome Nanbu Bijin Sake to pair with the dishes. Nanbu Bijin is the company that produces Zama private label sake, “Drunken Zama.”
Check out the special menu »
CoZara, located at 33rd and Chestnut Streets on Drexel University’s campus has added a sushi, maki and sashimi menu available for lunch and dinner. The additions are a concession to the izakayas original concept. When CoZara opened, the restaurant focused on small plates, kushi, rice and noodle dishes. Chef/owner Zama Tanaka admitted, “once people hear that we serve Japanese food, they have been coming to us looking for sushi.”
Check out the full new menu below. But first, here’s a pretty picture of said sushi:
Drexel Dragon Roll and the UPenn Roll.
Sushi menu »
Nom Nom Ramen, which has won a Best of Philly award for its ramen, has opened a second location, this one in University City. The new location opened yesterday in the food court at 34th and Walnut.
The menu is the same as the 18th Street location and will compete with coZara and Ramen Bar for University City ramen dominance.
Nom Nom Ramen [Official]