All of you ramen fans out there better get ready to hold onto your hats, because one of the biggest names in Twin Cities ramen is throwing down with a party of epic proportions. John Ng and Lina Goh of downtown Minneapolis's Zen Box Izakaya are hosting their second annual Ramen Massive Attack! and celebrating three years in business -- and bringing in a couple of big names to help them do it.
Joining Zen Box co-owner and executive chef John Ng for the Twin Cities ramen extravaganza are Jack Nakamura, executive chef at the legendary Sun Noodle Ramen Lab; Mihoko Obunai, a featured contestant on the Food Network's Chopped and owner of the title "Best Ramen in Atlanta"; and Keizo Shimamoto, owner of New York's famous Ramen Co. and inventor of the now infamous ramen burger. That's right Twin Cities, not only will this be a prime opportunity to feast on bowl after bowl of beautiful craft ramen, but for the very first time, you'll also be able to get your hands on one of the world's most legendary burgers.
"The two chefs, Jack Nakamura and Mihoka Obunai, were here last year and they loved Minneapolis so much that they wanted to come back, and we met Keizo Shimamoto when we were in New York and he thought it sounded like fun and wanted to come out," says Goh. "Basically we wanted to create awareness around craft ramen and show off the passion that the chefs have. We wanted to share that with the community."
On the non-ramen side of things, the folks from Travail will be onsite creating a variety of street food-inspired snacks while the Fro-Yo Soul Organic Yogurt Food Truck slings desserts. For those of you who like to learn while you party, Pizzeria Lola's Ann Kim and Rainbow Chinese's Tammy Wong will both conduct cooking demonstrations.
In addition to all of the delicious food stuffs, Ramen Massive Attack! will also feature local music courtesy of Solid Gold and Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders along with some traditional Japanese drumming courtesy of Mu Performing Arts. If all that just isn't enough for you, Seven Dragons Kempo will be demonstrating the art of Tameshigiri, which is basically the art of using a samurai sword to cut through rolled bamboo mats in a single strike. The art was originally developed hundreds of years ago as a way to test the quality of a sword, but has since become its own form of martial art. Yeah, it's an excuse to watch people cutting things with swords, and that's not something you're going to want to miss.
The event is free to the public and will take place this Sunday at noon. Early bird tickets will run you $30, but they get you early access to both the ramen and the ramen burgers, along with a heaping serving of other event privileges.
Send your story tips to Hot Dish.