A new vegan ramen restaurant is opening in the Little Italy space once occupied by Le Ballpark.
Umami Ramen is the project of former Le Ballpark co-owner Dominic St-Laurent and new partner Cédric Charron. The meatball (and other ball-shaped food) restaurant closed several months ago after a 5-year stint on Clark and St-Zotique streets; it announced its closure rather abruptly on Facebook this February, but offered little explanation as to what prompted it.
Now, Charron and St-Laurent are working on re-doing the restaurant’s interior, which seats nearly 60, in addition to its spacious sidewalk terrasse. The duo anticipates that the restaurant will throw open its doors in July.
Charron says the restaurant will serve a range of vegan ramen bowls, made with locally-sourced ingredients prepared in-house; for example, he plans to source wheat and soybeans from local Quebec farmers to produce noodles and tofu in-house, using machines imported from Japan.
“We’ll try to do pretty much everything in the place,” he said.
The restaurant will also serve a robust list of drinks, including kombucha (made in-house) and a range of sakes.
Charron, who himself has been vegan for over five years, became inspired to open a vegan ramen restaurant after feeling like there was a lack of plant-based options in the city — something that’s been changing rapidly, but only in recent years. He hopes the restaurant will be a casual spot, one at which patrons “spend the evening.”