In a city the size of Austin, it’s always been a mystery as to why there are more than a dozen ramen-dedicated spots to choose from. So when Kanji Ramen opened its doors, everyone was curious to compare. Less than a year old, this new Japanese noodle shop is already a part of the northwest Austin community.
The featured dish is Kanji ramen, the house specialty. The complex layers of ingredients create an artistic assembly of chashu pork, Ajitama egg, wood ear mushrooms, sweet-corn kernels, nori, bamboo, field garlic, and green onions floating on a creamy pork-bone soup with soy sauce-based seasoning. The broth is light — the kind that gives a pleasurable aftertaste that gets you salivating for more.
Another best-selling item is the steak on sticks. The shish kabob uses grilled New York strips and is served with a side of grilled asparagus. The meat is lightly seasoned and very tender. Families are always welcome, as Kanji Ramen offers a reduced-size kids’ menu.
Upon entering the restaurant, notice the black-and-white oversized mural of cartoon art. It is a very busy piece of work fun to decipher. A sort of an overpopulated world with panda bears, cupcakes, silly pigs, doughnuts, rainbows, monsters wearing tuxedos, hamburgers, and sunshine. Locals approve that this fun wall stays true to our city motto of “Keep Austin Weird.” Swing on by during your birthday, and celebrate with half-price ramen.