By Cat Wurdack

 

Ramen lovers, have you tried the Genki Ramen at Mirakutei? It’s a  white miso-based Sapporo-style ramen with curly noodle in a rich broth made with ginger, pork and chicken bones, char siu (roasted) pork, scrambled eggs, and Thai chilies.

ajapanese-inYou can sit in the window on the first floor of this modern glass and concrete building and watch the rain skim off the cars heading south of the Burnside Bridge. The broad, north-facing windows of the restaurant frame winter’s light and the spare interior of metal, glass and polished concrete provides a welcome break from the traffic and rain outside.

Mirakutei’s lunch menu features several different ramen choices (panko fried pork cutlet in a soy sauce-based soup, spicy Japanese yuzu in a miso-based soup, and a white tonkotsu soup with sesame seed oil and shiitake, pork and bok choy. A big bowl of this warming soup helps put a Portland winter in perspective.

The lunch menu includes bento boxes for $10 and a lunch combo of sashimi, tempura or steak with miso soup, green salad, and rice for $9 as well as grilled fish lunches for $13.

Master Chef and owner Hiro Ikegaya introduced a new dinner menu this month following a renovation of the restaurant which  expanded it to 42 seats. The sushi counter has 10 seats now with four of those reserved for omakase, the distinctive “leave it up to the chef” menu that Ikegaya prepares himself on special request.

Omakase prices range from $30 per person for a tasting menu of 10 pieces of sushi with chef soy sauce to 10 pieces of sushi with three appetizers for $50 per person. Reservations  are required.

Ikegaya, a native of Sapporo, studied French classical cooking and then moved to the sushi bar. He has served at his own restaurants in Los Angeles, Lake Oswego and the Pearl District.

His specialty, a hybrid of Italian and French styles with Los Angeles and Japanese influences, is showcased in sliced Japanese scallops and strawberries with a champagne vinaigrette and strawberry dressing; fluke carpaccio with carrot and chive, and dijon soy French dressing,; thinly sliced  octopus topped with black grapes and a spicy uni soy sauce; and oysters with ginger sorbet.

Dinner is served until 10 pm on weekdays and 11 pm Friday and Saturday.