One ramen. One staff. Always higher.
We’re named after a mountain—Mt. AFURI, on the east edge of the Tanzawa mountains in Kanagawa prefecture. Legend has it Mt. Afuri is the father of Mt. Fuji.
Afuri has long been known for its waters, and in days past, it was considered a sacred mountain of good harvest, and thousands would journey to Mt. Afuri every year in pilgrimage. We like to think we’re bringing sacred Mt. Afuri to the rest of the world. The mountain provides us with a kind of philosophy. It can be a little tricky to translate it literally from Japanese, but let’s just call it “Higher.” We push higher in everything we do—everything, from pickling to serving—and we intend to reach for excellence as long as we are AFURI. Mt. Afuri remains—straight, honest, steadfast, dependable. That’s our aim. One ramen. One staff. Always higher.
In 2016 AFURI opened its first restaurant outside of Japan in Portland, OR. The unique geography of Mount Hood and the Portland ecosystem produce water virtually identical to that used in Japan. The unique characteristics of this water coupled with the quality of the local Pacific Northwest ingredients produce both the famous Ramen broth and other high quality Japanese dishes.
By utilizing ramen as a gateway to bring education to others, AFURI is now able to share more than just ramen crafted authentically to Japan’s specifications. AFURI is now able to also share their love of ramen, passion for the craft of making food, sustainability advocacy, enrich communities and the people within them through community involvement, provide opportunities for jobs, training, community enrichment and so much more.
AFURI ramen is different from ramen you’ve had elsewhere. It’s lighter, refreshing—even a little delicate. We’re particular about all of our ingredients, but there’s one in particular that makes AFURI ramen special: we make our signature ramen with yuzu, a small yellow citrus fruit native to Asia. We splash it in our fresh chicken broth and we garnish it on top, too.
It adds a touch of freshness to our ramen and pairs perfectly with our broth and charcoal-grilled pork. We think of it as a thoughtful, refreshing update on everything that makes ramen so great.
Above: Our Signature Dish - Yuzu Shio (GFO)*
At first glance you know there is something special about our gyoza: a thin, crispy web between each dumpling signals the satisfying textures to come. It takes care and time to get each step just right, from the juicy filling, to the carefully hand-finished seal on each gyoza, to those last few seconds of cooking, to get the perfect crunch.
Above: Our signature Buta (Pork) Gyoza
TAICHI ISHIZUKI - CEO
Taichi met the founder of AFURI, Hiroto Nakamura, back in 2011. Having waited for the right moment and partner to expand his restaurant, Taichi was eager to team up with Hiroto to open AFURI's first US location. Together, in September of 2016 they proudly opened AFURI's first US location in Portland, Oregon, chosen for the similarities in water quality and molecular structure which would allow them to replicate the same authentic taste of the ramen served in AFURI's shops in Tokyo. Today, there are two AFURI's in Portland and a newly opened location in Lisbon, Portugal--AFURI's first restaurant in Europe. Portugal's access to plentiful and beautiful ingredients present a wonderful opportunity for AFURI to challenge their chefs and transform the ramen in Lisbon, introducing AFURI and Japanese culture to yet another part of the world.
Passionate about building community and sharing culture through Japanese cuisine, Taichi's mission is to "make the world better through ramen". Intent on providing a meaningful and traditional Japanese meal in lieu of "instant" ramen, Taichi continues to pursue opportunities with those who know that something as simple as sharing a bowl of ramen can connect people across the world. AFURI is a direct result of these values--dedicated to bringing joy and learning to its guests alongside a delicious meal.
Outside of AFURI, Taichi and his wife have made a lifelong home in Portland and recently welcomed the birth of their first son, Lennon! Taichi loves playing with his son, camping, cooking, and travelling.
Many thanks. Obrigado. ありがとう