Named Michelin Bib Gourmand two years in a row for being one of the top affordable restaurants, Arami delivers some of the best sushi in Chicago. But don’t be mistaken — hot kitchen items like noodles and robata-grilled meats are also standouts worth exploring.
Here’s the lowdown on some of our favorite Japanese dishes in town:
A refreshing Zensai (hors d’oeuvre) to enjoy alongside your first drink, the flavorful Hamachi Carpaccio is made with torched yellowtail, red onion, tomato, sesame oil, ponzu (citrus-based Japanese sauce), goma (sesame dressing), negi (Welsh onion), and kaiware (radish sprouts).
You can’t go wrong with the maki (sushi) selection at Arami so definitely order a few tokubetsu (special) rolls, plus some classic maki for the table. If you appreciate a little kick, try the Spicy Take Sake with octopus and salmon, as well as the Soft Shell Crab & Spicy Ebi.
You can test the quality of a restaurant’s ramen by ordering the simple, house specialty. Arami’s classic version, made with pork belly, soft egg, grilled enoki, and house tsukemono, passes every test with flying colors and will have you longing for another bowl.
Scallops, or hotate in Japanese, play a prominent role on Arami’s menu. One of our favorite preparations, the Hotate Motoyaki is boldly flavored and delightfully filling, combining bay scallops with roasted garlic aioli, tobiko, grilled enoki, snow crab, and scallion.
We love barbecue — who doesn’t? — so the robata section is our best friend. Pick your favorite meats and fishes, and let Arami’s hot charcoal slow-grill do the talking.