A new place to sip hot broth and slurp on noodles is open just in time for Haligonians to escape the frigid winter winds. Buta Ramen has set up shop at the former home of Hamachi House (5190 Morris Street) under the ownership of Francis Yoon.
“So far, we are getting very good feedback,” says Yoon, who has owned several restaurants in Toronto. After travelling to other parts of the country, he realized he wanted to live on the east coast.
“I still wanted to do the same thing—I want to to the same thing for the rest of my life,” he explains.
Yoon left for Moncton three years ago and opened an eatery there. While living in New Brunswick, he made frequent visits to Halifax, liked the city and “tried lots of good restaurants” here. While he noticed plenty of places to get sushi or Korean food, he felt the city could benefit from a ramen joint. Yoon has included ramen on his menus before, but this is the first time he is focusing on the dish specifically.
For now, Buta has a selection of tonkotsu, tantanmen and nagasaki champon ramen: all pork-based. Appetizers include spicy edamame, shrimp and octopus. “Once my chef gets trained and used to these menus, what I’m planning is to introduce more—I have so many different ideas and options,” says Yoon. Namely, he plans to expand the offerings to include vegetarian ramen.
So far, Yoon has no qualms about leaving big city life behind.
“Here, I just want to be more happy. Concentrated on what I’m doing instead of worrying about paying rent,” he says. “Here I can be more relaxed—and if I’m relaxed, then my staff’s all relaxed and happy. I think customers come in and enjoy and have a good time.”