The ever-growing and changing Tennyson Street got itself a ramen option, imported from Osaka, just in time for the cold weather.
The funky, glass-fronted space that for six years housed Axios Estiatorio has a sleek new look and steam in the air as Kazan Ramen Bistro.
An international chain, this is the first Kazan Ramen Bistro in the mainland United States. The first U.S. shop opened inside owner Seiki Takashi’s Waikiki Yokocho market in Hawaii.
“Kazan is a company that’s well established,” Takahashi said, ” so we brought it to Hawaii and now we brought it here.”
“We feel Denver is very unique. It’s an upcoming city,” he added. “The city is growing and the city’s community, the people here, I think are very sophisticated. They do understand and appreciate the ramen concept.”
Chef Mitsuru Saito is at the helm in the kitchen, where they’re turning out handmade noodles, soup, chashu and more using traditional Japanese methods.
At Kazan, they want to show people how Japanese food works, so they complete some of the dish preparation at your table. The Kazan ramen is the menu’s centerpiece, in part for that presentation.
The nearly ready ramen comes out of the kitchen in a 300 degree Celsius (572 Fahrenheit) stone bowl, which they cover with a volcano cover — kazan is Japanese for volcano. A little hourglass on the table is flipped and the ramen sits for one minute as steam shoots out of the top.
The fried rice is similarly completed at the table, with all the ingredients stacked neatly on top of the egg, only to be mixed and mashed together.
After a soft open just before Christmas, Kazan Ramen Bistro is revving up and preparing to add daily lunch hours beginning is April. Until then, it’s open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Ramen dishes run from $13 to $18, rice dishes from $6.50 to $13, tapas from $4 to $6 and appetizers from $5 to $18.
Here’s a look at what else is on the menu: