By Connor Beach
Huntington village can now add a ramen joint to its long list of restaurants and bars.
MB Ramen, which opened last month, is the brainchild of Chef Marc Anthony Bynum and owners Eric and Jason Machado of Reststar Hospitality Group.
The trio are already teammates having collaborated on Hush Bistro which opened on Gerard Street in August. Bynum features a ramen dish on the dinner menu at Hush.
Now, with his initials on the sign of his own ramen restaurant, Bynum has been busy serving up intricate bowls of creative ramen dishes to the crowds of hungry diners who have flocked to the restaurant since its soft opening in mid-March.
“It’s rhythm and ramen,” Bynum said, adding that the urban atmosphere is created by the unique murals and open kitchen behind the bar.
Jason Machado, of Huntington, said customer response to the concept and food in the around-1,200-square-foot space has so far been “dramatically great.”
“Ramen is hot right now,” Machado said. “People have been wanting it, and we are putting out a top-notch product.”
Machado said MB Ramen is still operating under the soft opening and has no set hours yet, but the ramen bar will eventually be open for lunch and dinner with plans to incorporate late night dining and takeout.
Machado said Bynum’s passion for ramen and his years of experience cooking the East Asian dish made MB Ramen’s opening an almost inevitable eventuality.
“The flavors are definitely something to be enjoyed,” Bynum said.
Although MB Ramen can serve up a bowl of ramen in less than 10 minutes, Bynum said the broths, which give each ramen dish its unique flavor profile, can take up to three days to create.
Machado said the restaurant is still serving a limited menu that includes six types of ramen and four rice bowls. The ramen bar also serves beer, wine and sake, with Asian-inspired cocktails in the works.
The open kitchen behind the bar allows diners to watch Bynum and his staff craft their food, and the chef’s passion for ramen in evident in the care with which he ensures that every detail is perfect on every dish.
The signature MB Ramen ($14) features a tonkotsu pork broth, pork belly, scallion, mushroom, pickled ginger, egg and tonkotsu noodle. The extensive cooking process creates a depth of flavor in the broth, and it is clear that a lot of thought and knowledge went into creating the dish. The tender pork belly makes for a succulent bite, and the noodles are cooked perfectly.
The Shoyu Ramen ($13) features duck confit, menma, scallion, nori seaweed, oven roasted tomato, egg yolk and a wavy noodle. The Asian influences are evident in the broth and increments of this ramen dish that eats almost like a comfort food with a complex combination of flavors and textures. The duck confit adds an elevated element to the dish that pairs nicely with the egg yolk and wavy noodles.
Machado said his family’s long-standing connection to Huntington offer not only an understanding of the local market, but an attachment to the town.
He said, “Huntington is where we love to be.”