Arami is a new sushi restaurant that opened in Ukrainian Village in August. My friends went for dinner one night in September, so this post is clearly overdue. I can't really remember all the details, but we had a lovely meal and hopefully the pictures will speak for themselves.
Arami is owned by Troy and Ty Fujimora, who also own Small Bar and the Exchange, and BK Park, former chef of Mirai. Their menu is composed of hot and cold appetizers, noodles, donburi and sushi. I had heard great things about Mirai so I knew the sushi would be great but I was so excited that they would be serving ramen. You all know how I feel about ramen. It's also BYOB, but they have Noble Grape's menu on hand so you can order and they will deliver bottles for you as you eat.
We started off with some cold appetizers to share. Here is the Togarashi Seared Tuna, topped with a creamy meyer lemon dressing. Underneath it was a seaweed salad and kelp noodle. I loved the textures and the juxtaposition of flavors, in particular the togarashi spices with the lemon dressing. Oddly enough, it works!
Next we tried the Toro Tartar Bite, which came in these little sake boxes. Each spoon held minced fatty tuna, chives, caviar and house special soy sauce. It was almost too pretty to eat ... the key word being almost.
Our friend Aleen is a big fan of tako so when we saw Spicy Tako Spring Roll on the menu, we had to try it. It was spicy octopus, cilantro and mixed greens rolled up in rice paper.
I can't for the life of me figure out what this is, but I think it was chicken thigh or something in a soy based sauce. I'm not sure how they formed these chicken thighs into rectangular blocks, but the tops were crispy and the insides tender and moist. If only someone could figure out how to make chicken nuggets taste like this.
We ordered some of their special sashimi's. Here was their hamachi, topped with mushrooms and truffle oil. It's been months but my mouth is watering thinking about this hamachi.
Here is their Sake Garlic, salmon with garlic and vinegar. Also very good.
We ordered some special maki to share. We picked the Hamachi Maguro Ebi, which had yellow tail, tuna, scallion, jalapeno, shrimp and spicy mayo. Below that was the Hirame Spicy Tako, with fluke and ginger apple dressing on top. Between these two, I thought the Hirame Spicy Tako was more interesting, especially with the apple elements. It was light and refreshing.
My favorite maki however would have to be the Double Sake. It presented salmon two ways: the inside had crispy salmon skin with scallions and on top was salmon and lemon mayo. Amazing!
We made sure we saved just enough room for ramen. We tried the two types that were available. The Arami Ramen has pork belly, braised beef, house tsukemono, kamaboko and egg. The broth was kind of salty but I think it's probably because by the end of the night the broth had condensed quite a bit. Otherwise the noodles were great and I love poached egg in ramen. When I made ramen at home, I always crack an egg at the end. I break open the yolk and let it run and swirl with the noodles. It's the best.
Here's the Kimchi Ramen, which was pretty similar to the Arami Ramen, except it had tofu and kimchi in it. We all agreed that the Kimchi Ramen tasted better of the two.
For dessert, we got an order of the mochi. I made the mistake of eating those peppercorns. Soomeenshee forgets sometimes that certain things are for decoration only. lol.
Overall, it was delicious and definitely lived up to the hype. I can't believe I haven't paid it a re-visit yet, but what can I say, there is too much eating to be had here in Chicago. :) Hopefully I'll make it back soon.
1829 W Chicago Ave
(between Wood St & Wolcott Ave)
Chicago, IL 60622