The team behind Kamrai Thai and Sushi House in Lemont is branching out with a nearby restaurant dedicated to Japanese cuisine. The new Maxx Sushi & Ramen, 812 Pike Street, is expected to open April 16.
“Our first vision [was] to separate Japanese cuisine from Kamrai to keep up with the demands of our customers,” said a spokesperson for the restaurant. Rather than offer more Japanese menu items at Kamrai, the team felt it was best to open a separate, dedicated restaurant. “[Over time], most of our customers asked us not to change anything at Kamrai. Our plan now is to keep Kamrai the way it is and add ramen to the Maxx Sushi Bar.”
Maxx Sushi & Ramen will be open during the spring just for lunch, Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. The aim is to offer full lunch and dinner service by the summer.
Now fans of the sushi menu at Kamrai, 901 Pike Street, will find the best sellers on the Maxx Sushi & Ramen menu. These include the Sex on the Moon Roll (shrimp tempura, eel, masago and avocado topped with tuna, tempura flakes and scallions) and the Penn State Roll (with white tuna, crab sticks, cucumber, jalapeño, masago and eel, topped with yellowtail, tuna and a special sauce).
The team says the ramen offerings will each have a unique twist. There are currently six ramen options on the menu, ranging from a spicy miso ramen to beef curry ramen. Add-on toppings include pork chachu, chicken, shrimp tempura, soft tofu and vegetables.
The new Maxx Sushi & Ramen menu also includes rice bowls, which come with toppings like spicy tuna or a Japanese curry and are served with a side of miso soup or a salad, a perfect lunch option. There are also several appetizer and dessert selections, from fried dumplings and grilled edamame to green tea ice cream.
Just like the Kamrai menu, the Maxx Sushi & Ramen menu caters to vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diners with a variety of dishes.
The Maxx Sushi & Ramen space is half the size of Kamrai, which reflects the difference in experiences diners will have at each.
“Maxx Sushi & Ramen is geared toward the young and adult crowd that will mostly come to the restaurant to enjoy their favorite foods and leave. There are no courses or BYOB,” the spokesperson said. “With Kamrai offering the two Japanese and Thai cuisines at one restaurant, our customers can each spend at least an hour in the restaurant on a normal business day, plus the wait time on a busy day.”
However, guests at the new eatery can still expect a casual and relaxed atmosphere, with fresh, tasty food and a friendly staff. Some of the fresh ingredients will be sourced from area producers as they are available. Max Ditin, the head chef and owner, frequents the local farmers markets, believing that quality, fresh ingredients are the key to better flavors. Additionally, the team welcomes any local producer interested in a partnership.
“We believe good food connects people and brings friendship, no matter where you are from or how you look,” they said.
Maxx Sushi & Ramen will have a casual and relaxed atmosphere.