A respected ramen chain out of Japan makes its anticipated area debut this week with the opening of a new outpost in Tysons Corner.
Santouka specializes in tonkotsu, a pearly white broth made by simmering pork bones for 20 hours. Since its start in Sapporo in 1983, Santouka’s portfolio has ballooned to a whopping 61 locations scattered around the globe.
The massive chain’s latest location opens Wednesday, August 12, in the modern Boro mixed-use development (1636 Boro Place, McLean). Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with limited indoor/outdoor seating, takeout, and delivery options.
Flavor options at Santouka include salt (shio), soy sauce (shoyu), fermented soy bean paste (miso), or spicy miso (karamiso). Customers can augment a hefty heap of ramen noodles with toppings like pork cheek, green onions, bamboo, and egg.
The menu also includes traditional Japanese sides like gyoza dumplings (pork and chicken), karaage (Japanese fried chicken), and rice bowls topped with grilled salmon or pork belly.
The ramen brand, originally expected to arrive in Tysons Corner last fall, decided to push forward with the opening despite an ongoing pandemic.
“We came to realize our authentic ramen could cheer up Virginia’s diners,” says Food’s Style USA’s CEO Jun Yoneda, whose group is behind four other Santouka locations in the U.S.
The brand, which goes by Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, opened its first free-standing restaurant in the U.S. in Bellevue, Washington in 2014, earning a spot on Eater Seattle’s Eight Elite Ramen Restaurants. Santouka’s stateside presence also includes locations in Boston, Seattle, and New Jersey.
The massive Boro complex currently counts North Italia and Whole Foods as tenants, with more on the way. Robo-flipping chain CaliBurger tells Eater it’s shooting for a November opening.