In October of 2018, Michigan-raised entrepreneur/investor Keiichi Sato acquired downtown Royal Oak restaurant Moti Mahal with the vision of transforming it into a ramen restaurant. With a multi-talented team consisting mainly of friends and family members, we labored for months to create a new interior and exterior aesthetic featuring glimmering stainless steel and designer light fixtures. Keiichi worked with interior designers Wendy Silverman and Sherri Lawrence from Scott Shuptrine Interiors to choose many of the interior elements. His sister and CCS art student, Yoshika Sato, was commissioned to design the logo, digital art pieces, and wall-mural. We chose to represent the technology and innovation used in our kitchen with a fun robotic theme.
The word Kaizen is a Japanese term for the concept of continual improvement. With that spirit and a single-minded focus on quality, hundreds of hours were logged in the kitchen, researching and developing the process of making our premium, authentic ramen with help from ramen experts around the world. We boiled the art of making ramen to a science. The high tech machines used in our kitchen include a Yamato noodle maker (sei-menki) to craft our noodles in house, an automatic noodle cooker, a refractometer to measure the thickness of the broth, and even proprietary custom-built mechanical agitators for optimal release of flavor and collagen from pork and chicken bone.
On June 8, 2019, we did a soft-opening during the Arts of Fire festival opening our doors unannounced to passers-by. Astounded by the richness of our Tonkotsu and Miso Paitan, some guests left with comments such as "Best in Michigan" and "Phenomenal." Some asked if the soup contained dairy due to the milky white color and creaminess. The answer is no. The nearly white color of our paitans is achieved through the careful filtering of scum at the beginning of the process and long hours of rapid boiling and vigorous stirring, resulting in the cream-like emulsification of the fats and gelatin.
We accommodate for Vegan and Gluten-Free guests, providing vegan ramen and brown rice/millet noodle option that closely resembles ramen noodles. Since we make our ramen noodles in house, we can make noodles with flavors infused into the dough such as our Curry Noodle and Chili Noodle. Try these options for a dollar extra to add an extra dimension of flavor to the ramen. Aside from ramen, we offer delicious sides such as gyoza, karaage chicken, soft steamed buns (bao), and also donburi bowls and poke. Our food is served in a comfortable and casual self-serve style setting, and dishes may be left at the table.
Kaizen Ramen will officially open on evenings starting Monday 6/17/19. We will expand our hours to lunch hours after a few weeks when our staff is fully established.