San Francisco ramen, poke bowl, curry and Japanese street food restaurant coming to South End

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YUME Bistro — an authentic ramen, poke bowl and Japanese street food restaurant — has signed a lease in South End’s Gold District, about 2 blocks away from Unknown Brewing on Mint Street. BBQ Eel Rice Bowl Anyone?

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Delicious BBQ Eel rice bowl, traditionally called a Donburi.

YUME Bistro is targeting a late November grand opening. Here’s a look at the current space, before construction.

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Formerly occupied by Mynt, the space is yet to undergo any new construction.

People obsessed with ramen have likely been to YUME Bistro in Matthews. Husband-and-wife owners Tony Yum (chef) and Rosena Tong (manager) were born in Hong Kong and ran a restaurant in San Fransisco before moving to Charlotte.

Tony worked under a Japanese chef for 8 years as he perfected his craft.

Plans haven’t been finalized yet, but it’s likely that YUME Bistro’s original Matthews restaurant will turn into an express lovation.

I drove to Mathews yesterday and spent some time with Tony and Rosena. The couple couldn’t be nicer, and I really respect how they’ve pursued their restaurant dreams and balanced work/life with three young children. They’re the type of restaurant owner that you love to love – authentic, genuine and really good at their craft.

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YUME Bistro’s menu consists of ramen, ramen sets (combos), donburi (rice bowls) and about a dozen appetizers (could also be small plates) that range from fried dumplings to pork belly to octopus salad.

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Seafood Ramen!

First time at YUME? Start with the Taoyaki ($6.50) appetizer, a traditional Japanese street food. It’s 6 fried octopus balls.

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Next, order their Ahi Tuna Poke Salad ($9.50). It’s slightly spicier than what you’ll find at Bonsai Fusion.

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Then it’s time for the ramen. The Miso Ramen ($14) is their most popular dish, along with the Thai Curry Ramen. All broth is homemade and cooked from scratch for 24 hours. On the menu, they openly welcome slurping — “Don’t feel guilty for drinking down the soup.”

What’s in the Miso Ramen? Pork bone broth, Salt flavor Ramen w/ pork shashu, bean sprout, sweet corn, kikurage, scallion, nori and aji-tama.

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Located in a strip mall, and relatively plain/ugly on the inside, it’s a testament to the food quality that YUME Bistro has a 4.5/5 rating on Yelp (59 reviews) and 4.9/5 rating on Facebook (65 reviews). Customers love the food.

As South End continues to boom, YUME Bistro will be a welcome complement to Futa Buto and O-Ku Sushi.

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).