Everyone is talking about the new ramen place in Carmel—Kizuki. It’s a chain that actually originated in Japan—good timing for them to open in Indy when everyone is now finally getting ramen crazy. I met my friend Suzanne there because she lives not too far away and loves to try a new restaurant as much as I do.
There are a LOT of ramen choices on this menu. Almost too many to know which to choose. Plus, all those small plates on the menu make you want to order them as well. Luckily, Suzanne is a good sharing friend, so we decided to get a couple of the small plates and split a bowl of ramen.
I asked our server for recommendations for which ramen to try and she recommended the garlic tonkotsu shoyu ramen or the spicy miso ramen (both $13). I was kind of already thinking about the garlic tonkotsu one she mentioned because it is described as “extra rich” and is made in limited quantities. Nothing like making something sound rare to make it alluring. Plus, my one complaint about some ramen I have had is that it’s too bland, so “extra rich” sounded good. It was a good bowl of ramen. Would I say it was great? Eh, not particularly. The broth actually tasted a little muddy if you know what I mean. The slice of pork in it was nice (except I still always wonder exactly how you are supposed to eat them—they are too big for one bite, but chopsticks and a spoon make cutting it difficult). There was also bamboo shoots and some bean sprouts, which were fine. The star of the dish was clearly the egg. It was soft boiled as it usually is, and done nicely, but it was also seasoned in some sort of marinade and was super delicious. It was unique from most ramen in that the egg itself tasted so good on its own. Next time, I would go with a spicy broth and an extra egg. I also liked that there were lots of different seasonings to use in the ramen on the table--I used a couple and it helped jazz it up a bit.
We also got the chicken karaage ($6.50) and the pork gyoza ($5). I really enjoyed the gyoza—the dumplings were very hot and tasted very fresh. The skins were thin and had the exact right amount of crispiness on the pan-fried side. The vinegar soy sauce was nicely balanced and had enough vinegar to it that you could actually taste it. I would get these again.
Karaage chicken is Japanese fried chicken—it’s typically breaded with starch instead of a bunch of flour, so it has this lighter, crispier crunch to it. They also marinate the chicken beforehand. The chunks here seemed a mix of light and dark meat—some bites were really tasty and some a bit dry, but it was a decent dish. They served it with a spicy mayo that took it a step further in taste. I enjoyed the mayo.
There are a lot of people working here, (you might be startled by how many of them say hello to you in Japanese when you walk in) and they are more than happy to help as much as possible. They are doing a decent business as well. Overall, I enjoyed my visit, but wasn’t blown away.
Would love to know what you have had if you have been as well.
Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya
2450 E. 146th Street
Carmel, IN 46033