You can have ramen and a rice bowl or even fried octopus at this Rexburg restaurant - East Idaho News
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You can have ramen and a rice bowl or even fried octopus at this Rexburg restaurant

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Miso ramen, left, and pork katsu rice bowl at Banzai Ramen in Rexburg. | Andrea Olson,

REXBURG — You can have your choice of a delicious rice bowl with pork loin that’s packed with flavor, ramen with a tasty miso, or even fried octopus if you’re feeling adventurous. 

Banzai Ramen in Rexburg, at 248 South 2nd West, opened in March. It’s owned by Asa Hatch, Kjell Jones, and Darren Gealta. 

RELATED | New ramen restaurant will open in Rexburg where people can get a taste of Japan

Jones sat down with and let us try a few dishes, including one of their newer items: the pork katsu rice bowl. 

“(It’s a) pork loin that has been breaded and fried and then prepared over a bed of rice. It comes also with corn, bean sprouts and one soy egg and then we have tonkatsu sauce that’s drizzled over it as well,” Jones said.

The thought behind creating a dish like this in the restaurant, which primarily serves ramen, is the fact that it’s another choice during the warmer months. 

“To some people, eating a bowl of soup might not be something that they’d want just because of how hot it is outside, so a rice bowl adds another option for people that aren’t quite into ramen,” he said. 

Speaking of ramen, got to try the miso ramen. He explained what’s in it.

“Miso is the flavoring, two soy eggs, green onions, bean sprouts, and then what’s called chashu — it’s pan-seared pork belly — and then also some corn,” Jones said. 

The idea of the different types of food offered came from one of the partners and some of the employees who have worked and lived in Japan.

“All of the recipes are authentic, and they come from Japan itself,” he said. 

Then, there’s the very popular takoyaki — fried balls made of octopus.

Banzai Ramen
Takoyaki | Andrea Olson,

“So on the inside, there are a couple of octopus tentacles. It’s supposed to be gooey on the inside and then have a crisp on the outside,” Jones said. “A lot of people, they get caught off guard by octopus, but that’s definitely an item that’s for the adventurous, for those that want to try something new.”

There’s also gyoza, which are pork potstickers that can be steamed or fried. It comes with a sweet chili sauce. 

A specialty drink called ramune also adds some fun to the meal. It’s a Japanese carbonated soft drink. The bottle’s top is sealed with a round ball. To open it, you pop the ball. Watch how it’s done in the video above. There are different flavors, including melon, strawberry and orange. 

Banzai Ramen is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. 

“We are definitely trying to be something different, something authentic and really a new experience for anyone that’s coming in,” Jones said.

Banzai Ramen
Gyoza | Andrea Olson,

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