New noodle shop gives us a reason to slurp
Morris Ramen brings tasty noodles to King Street
The Backstory: Shinji Muramoto found two people as passionate about ramen as he is in former Restaurant Muramoto chefs and spouses Matt Morris and Francesca Hong, whom he then helped to open Morris Ramen on King Street. The small downtown noodle shop has been a hot spot for signature ramen bowls.
The Vibe: Located in the former home of the original Restaurant Muramoto, Kushi Bar Muramoto, The Haze and then Red Sushi, Morris Ramen was redesigned mostly by Morris and his father Bob Morris with the help of Carlson Construction. Jacob Morrison is the architect who designed the space. The smell of ramen fills the air as you walk into the small space and take a seat on a wooden block chair. “We wanted people to come in how ever they were and feel comfortable and happy and cozy,” says Hong.
The Menu: The small menu offers four bowls, including two misos, a spicy chicken bowl and the signature Morris bowl with chashu pork belly. Non-ramen offerings, like the chicken wings and an ice cream sandwich, are simple and well executed.
The Must-Try: The miso bowl is Morris’s favorite, and there’s a story behind it. Two years ago, Muramoto sent Morris to Obihiro, Japan–Madison’s sister city. There, Morris worked for three months in a small restaurant and really got into miso ramen. Morris set out to create a miso bowl that would impress Muramoto, who was born in Sapporo, Japan, known for its miso. The challenge resulted in two versions on the menu–one with ground pork, corn and moyashi, and a veggie version with seasonal items, aburaage and nori.
The Bottom Line: A lot goes into making ramen, and they do it justice. “To serve something so humble and so filling as ramen … it’s so fulfilling to see people come through the doors and walk out happy,” says Hong.
Andrea Behling is managing editor of Madison Magazine.
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