The University Village gets a new addition, with the popular tonkotsu broth ramen restaurant, Santouka, joining its line-up
The delicious Hokkaido-style ramen restaurant, already popular at the 3-year-old Bellevue location, will celebrate its Grand Opening in the University Village mall on August 5th. Located in the central mall corridor across from Glassy Baby, Santouka will officially welcome the public for the first time from 11am-10pm on Saturday, August 5th. The University Village location is the second Washington and fourth overall, free-standing Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in the United States. Santouka’s CEO, Jun Yoneda, especially appreciates Washingtonians’ enthusiasm for ramen and was eager to expand Santouka into Seattle.
The Hokkaido-style broth served at Santouka is made by simmering pork bones for 20 hours until the broth turns pearly white. The signature tonkotsu broth is lightly flavored in salt (shio), or diners can choose soy sauce (shoyu), miso or spicy miso (karamiso) flavored broth. This deliciously-slurpable broth is never-boiled and later finished with vegetables, dried fish, kelp, pickled plum (umeboshi) and other savory ingredients.
Santouka’s style of ramen is particular to the Hokkaido region, and the brand is committed to celebrating its regional roots. As part of this commitment, Santouka participates in an increasingly popular movement to celebrate and better incorporate the culture of the indigenous Hokkaido people, the Ainu, into its practices. Santouka restaurants internationally feature design elements in their restaurant spaces that reflect Ainu culture—the University Village space will reflect this embrace of Ainu culture and feature information about the Ainu people and history in Japan.
New to Santouka, and to Seattle and the Washington region in general, is an exciting development that can make menu recommendations for customers while welcoming them into the restaurant as they arrive. Santouka has partnered with Microsoft and a Japanese system development company to provide an Al robot that will greet customers and gather data about menu preferences. Sota, the popular robot in Japan, will be in action to meet and welcome customers at the Grand Opening. Sota uses Microsoft Azure Cognitive Service and can communicate and help with menu selections, with customers using a Microsoft Surface Hub screen to guide their interaction. Come say hi to Seattle’s first ramen robot and try Santouka’s unforgettable Hokkaido-style ramen.