Handmade ramen has come to East Cobb and it’s a hit … just as it has been in Asia for centuries.
Okko Ramen Asian Kitchen has opened on Gordy Parkway in East Cobb, with the goal of sharing that love of fresh Asian cuisine. No, this is not the ramen that Americans are familiar with, coming out of a plastic bag or a cup.
With parents who ran a Chinese restaurant since they came to America back in the 1980’s, sister and brother Becky and Ken Wong were very fortunate to get hands-on experience with everything it took to run a restaurant. They grew up eating Ma’s traditional family-style Chinese cuisine and Pop’s Chinese cuisine that was taught to him as a chef in Guangzhou, China.
Her “Ma” was an excellent cook and homemaker — Becky said:
I think that she perfected her cooking at the restaurant. I have fond memories of growing up enjoying lots of “comfort foods!” I have always believed that cooking for someone is a very personal experience. Not only are you feeding someone, you are also feeding that person’s soul.
Becky completed studies at KSU and graduated with a BS in business. After graduation, she opened her first restaurant in the East Cobb community. It grew into a successful restaurant and an important part of the neighborhood. As the business became more stable, she decided started a family of her own.
Becky recently traveled across China and Thailand in pursuit of food tasting, but accidentally landed in Japan and “ramen” ended up being her quest.
She asked everyone who was the best ramen chef in Japan and all fingers pointed to Mr. Tanaka, the elderly ramen master in Fujikawaguchiko (in the shadow the great Mt. Fuji). She studied ramen making for 12 months in Japan under the master himself. He was hesitant to teach a foreigner (Gaijin) since it is generally frowned upon, but she was persistent in asking him to teach her. He had learned English previously, but he had not used it for years until he decided to train her. His daughter helped translate during lessons to bridge the fluency gaps.
Her brother, Ken, works the kitchen and makes the ramen from scratch. Becky said:
Real traditional ramen is a healthy food that makes you smile and feel good about life. It was originally a Chinese noodle dish served in Japan in the 1800’s, however, it is currently recognized as a Japanese dish. It is a relatively simple dish to prepare, but it takes considerable skill and time to master the soup base. The soup base and fresh noodles set apart a good ramen restaurant from a great one.
The Wong’s now bring that longstanding tradition to East Cobb. Their ramen is good any time of the year and any time of the day.
Here’s a sample of what you will find at Okko Ramen:
A Variety of Starters and Appetizers Asians Specials – Including the Teriyaki Steak and Chicken Clay Pot Tonkotsu Ramen – Their most popular ramen bowl Yasai Ramen – Stir-fry ramen, perfect for veggie lovers
There is something for everyone and every palate at Okko, and Becky says patrons can expect something unique. Beer and wine will also be served. There is also free Wi-Fi and seating for about 60.
Okko Ramen Asian Kitchen is inviting and unique. Fresh, handmade ramen and other Asian specialties.
Okko Ramen is open daily for lunch and dinner and the new restaurant is located at 3045 Gordy Parkway Suite 108 in East Cobb (Marietta), but it is easily accessible from Cobb County, Roswell and Woodstock. Follow them on Facebook too.
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ScoopOTP contributor, Rick Limpert is an Atlanta-based writer that covers the intersection of sports and technology. You can follow him on Twitter at @RickRoswell, hear him on Radio 105.7 with Sully and check out his new gadget and tech website at WirelessWednesday.live.