Lobster Stir-Fry Yakisoba Noodle | Courtesy of Chef Chin's Ramen and Hibachi
There’s always something brewing at Legacy Hall and lately, it’s a new food stall opening today serving hibachi and ramen.
Hibachi. The word summons up the sight of koi fish swirling in a dark pool, the clink of spatula against knife, and the image of sober chefs enshrouded in smoke, chopping eggs and shoveling rice with sharp precision. The taste of distinctive ginger salad dressing and miso soup lingers on the tongue. Hibachi itself refers to the traditional Japanese heating device.
Then there’s ramen. Ever since the development of single-serving instant ramen noodles, which have been feeding wallet-strapped students since 1958, the popularity of ramen in the United States has been soaring, as has its accessibility. However, for all its affordability and nostalgia, instant ramen was merely the soft opening we needed in order to usher in the real stuff, where flavor comes from stovetop simmering instead of an aluminum powder packet. It is topped with fresh vegetables and soft boiled eggs, slices of fatty chashu pork, bean sprouts, and green onion. It must be eaten quickly, while the noodles are at their very best. A 2018 article in The New Yorker calls ramen “a vehicle for creativity, nostalgia, and profound gastronomic pleasure” and its devotees members of “a veritable culinary religion.”
Chef Chin’s Ramen and Hibachi, will be offering both at Legacy Hall in Plano. “It’s the whole gamete of Japanese cuisine from teriyaki, sushi, poke, hibachi, and ramen shops,” Chef Chin Liang says. “I think ramen in particular is a growing trend because it’s a timeless comfort food and is suitable for the whole family. Also, it provides Asian cultural background for those that enjoy it.”
Chef Chin got his first introduction to the restaurant industry as a child, working at his parents’ restaurants in Taiwan. As a young adult, he moved to the United States, where he has spent 20 years immersed in Dallas’ Asian restaurant scene, as a hibachi chef, ramen chef, robata chef, a sushi chef, and ultimately an executive chef at Dallas restaurants like Ajisen Ramen, Sushi Awaji, Naan Sushi, Blue Fish, Steel, Lounge 31, KAI, and more.