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WEST HAVEN, Feb. 25, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, center, cuts the ribbon Monday, Feb. 25, with Iishin Ramen Bar chef and co-owner Johnny Chen, second from left, and co-owner Penny Gao, third from left, to mark the ceremonial opening of the city’s first ramen restaurant at 291 Captain Thomas Blvd., formerly Savin Rock Roasting Co.
Joining the celebration are, from left, state Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven; Rossi’s executive assistant, Lou Esposito; Iishin waiter Andy Xu; Gao’s mother, Cindy Gao; state Rep. Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven; Gao’s father, Jackie Gao; and Fred A. Messore, city commissioner of planning and development.
The remodeled restaurant’s bar mixes a clever concoction of cocktails, such as a Soho lychee martini and a sake cosmopolitan, with a creative menu of mouthwatering appetizers and heaping bowls of ramen noodle soup, a dish popular in Japan composed of wheat noodles and broth.
Located near the beach, many of Iishin’s ingredients are made from scratch, including house-made dumplings, tofu and soy sauce.
Its appetizers include edamame, pan-fried Japanese peppers with yuzu salt and Brussels sprouts tempura, as well as a spinach, avocado and seaweed salad.
Four rice bowls are offered — marinated chicken and egg, marinated sliced beef, braised pork belly and barbecue eel — and seven varieties of ramen soup. Signature Iishin Ramen is served with straight noodles in a pork bone broth boiled for more than 24 hours and topped with marinated pork belly, wood ear mushrooms, seasoned bamboo shoots, scallions, dried seaweed and marinated boiled egg.
Iishin is open Sunday-Thursday, noon-10 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, noon-11 p.m.
(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)