There’s always something brewing at Legacy Hall and lately, it’s a new food stall opening today serving hibachi and ramen.
Hibachi. The word summons up the sight of koi fish swirling in a dark pool, the clink of spatula against knife, and the image of sober chefs enshrouded in smoke, chopping eggs and shoveling rice with sharp precision. The taste of distinctive ginger salad dressing and miso soup lingers on the tongue. Hibachi itself refers to the traditional Japanese heating device.
Then there’s ramen. Ever since the development of single-serving instant ramen noodles, which have been feeding wallet-strapped students since 1958, the popularity of ramen in the United States has been soaring, as has its accessibility. However, for all its affordability and nostalgia, instant ramen was merely the soft opening we needed in order to usher in the real stuff, where flavor comes from stovetop simmering instead of an aluminum powder packet. It is topped with fresh vegetables and soft boiled eggs, slices of fatty chashu pork, bean sprouts, and green onion. It must be eaten quickly, while the noodles are at their very best. A 2018 article in The New Yorker calls ramen “a vehicle for creativity, nostalgia, and profound gastronomic pleasure” and its devotees members of “a veritable culinary religion.”
Chef Chin’s Ramen and Hibachi, will be offering both at Legacy Hall in Plano. “It’s the whole gamete of Japanese cuisine from teriyaki, sushi, poke, hibachi, and ramen shops,” Chef Chin Liang says. “I think ramen in particular is a growing trend because it’s a timeless comfort food and is suitable for the whole family. Also, it provides Asian cultural background for those that enjoy it.”
Chef Chin got his first introduction to the restaurant industry as a child, working at his parents’ restaurants in Taiwan. As a young adult, he moved to the United States, where he has spent 20 years immersed in Dallas’ Asian restaurant scene, as a hibachi chef, ramen chef, robata chef, a sushi chef, and ultimately an executive chef at Dallas restaurants like Ajisen Ramen, Sushi Awaji, Naan Sushi, Blue Fish, Steel, Lounge 31, KAI, and more.
“Passion is the reason I do what I do,” he says. “I love food and cooking for people.” Chef Chin says that he loves Japanese food for its simplicity, freshness, and delicacy and is especially motivated to offer “a contemporary twist on the rich culinary heritage of Japanese cuisine.”
He first joined the Legacy Hall line up with Hōru Sushi. He chose Legacy Hall because on his first visit, he was impressed by its energy, convenience, and variety. “I loved that each stall offered a unique cuisine from around the world, and that Legacy Hall offers great entertainment to enhance the overall dining experience,” he recalls. Because Horu Sushi has done so well, it’s the perfect time for him to open a second concept there, serving ramen and hibachi.
He describes a laid back environment producing restaurant-quality Asian cuisine made to order. “I want to show people that hibachi and ramen can be just as thoughtful and delicious in a casual setting,” he says. Hibachi especially is associated with fine dining experiences like Benihana, with onion volcanoes and shrimps tossed in pockets. Chef Chin may not provide the same show, but he intends to provide the same high quality.
It would have been easy to either open a hibachi place or a ramen place. Chef Chin decided to do both. “I’ve always liked to challenge myself and do something different when it comes to Asian cuisine,” he explains. “With so many great ramen shops and hibachi restaurants in DFW
already, I wanted to offer a unique twist on both traditions. One thing I noticed growing up in Japan was every time I went to a ramen shop the menu was always limited in protein and produce options. From then on I’ve always wanted to create a ramen shop with more variety and options.”
Chef Chin’s Hibachi & Ramen promises ramen piled high with a variety of proteins prepared hibachi-style, creating a unique crossover of both flavors. Hibachi entrees will be seasoned delicately with their house made teriyaki sauce, garlic butter, and soy sauce, tossed with sautéed vegetables, and the option of salad, fried rice, and yakisoba noodle, while their ramen has a base of rich broth and dealer’s choice of fried chicken, NY strip, garlic shrimp, and grilled salmon.
If you’re wondering where to eat today, here’s your answer.
Legacy Food Hall | 7800 Windrose Ave. Plano | legacyfoodhall.com