Updated: Oct 21, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Source Weekly; written by Eat Drink Bend writer, Nancy Patterson
The day after Miyagi Ramen's grand opening, I made sure to park myself outside of the restaurant around 10:30 a.m., half an hour prior to opening time. I wanted to be the first one in on their second day open to get a feel for the most anticipated new restaurant in Central Oregon this summer. Typically, it's fair to allow a brand-new business, especially in the hospitality industry, to work out the kinks and acquire a flow before coming in to do a review. However, I was eager to see the menu and check out their decor; I decided that this visit would be strictly for pleasure and I'd come back in a few weeks to assess the food. Luckily, I didn't need more than that first visit to be convinced of the monolith that Miyagi is sure to be for our restaurant scene.
Head chef and partner, George Morris, saw an opportunity and missing link in Central Oregon for true ramen cuisine and jumped at the chance to feature Bend's only ramen-focused establishment. "We saw the space at The Box Factory and just knew—this place was made for a restaurant like this," says Morris. In fact, ramen was in the cards almost before Bos Taurus, where Morris is also head chef and a managing partner. After spending months in Tokyo for ramen research and development, Morris headed back to the U.S. to design Miyagi's small-yet-complex menu. "We wanted our ramen to be as authentic as possible, while still serving our demographic here in Oregon," he says. "We wanted it to be approachable."