By Annie Guo VanDan
Photos by Lijin Zhao
Exciting changes are coming for Kyu Ramen, the ramen shop located in Denver’s Capitol Hill off the bustling intersection of Colfax Avenue and Pearl Street.
Starting this month (November 2020), the restaurant’s menu will focus on DIY (do-it-yourself) ramen bowls and authentic Japanese dishes, a shift from their current Asian fusion concept.
Co-owner Chris Nielsen says the shift is to meet the needs of their customers.
“Customers come in and want to make various changes to the menu items. If every bowl or plate has little changes, why not have an open choice where you can create everything on your own? This gives customers more options including bowls that are vegan and vegetarian friendly.”
“We don’t want people to look at everything on the menu and don’t know what to eat here.”
Recently, co-owner Saki Melius has also been working incorporating vegan products to create another type of ramen broth. Their broth recipes were inherited from the previous restaurant at this location, when they took over operations in September 2019, and renamed the restaurant Kyu Ramen. Kyu, pronounced like the letter “Q” means the number nine in Japanese. Since then, they have continued to adjust the recipes to create their own unique tastes and improve the quality of the ingredients used.
When the restaurant opened last fall, they would have never imagined a pandemic to strike the city—and country. This has meant having to limit their capacity these past months and use paper utensils instead of their nice kitchenwares.
Their upstairs bar was open for private parties during the warmer months, and they are currently renovating this space to resemble a Japanese nightclub that can host events like engagement parties or wedding receptions.
Melius and Nielsen come from different backgrounds. Originally from Japan, Melius lived in Colorado Springs for ten years before moving to Denver in 2013. She has worked in the restaurant industry for more than 17 years. Nielsen owns and operates a security company, in which he say the security guards love Kyu Ramen and are regular visitors.
Kyu Ramen is one of the only Denver ramen shops to open at 9am. Nielsen says, “Even in the morning a hot ramen will warm you up. A lot of people enjoy grabbing a bowl of ramen on their way to work, which gets them ready for work.”
“We may have seasonal menu options, especially as we head into the colder months.”
DO-IT-YOURSELF RAMEN $13 - includes one protein (add another protein for $2
STEP 1: Choose your broth
1 - Tonkotsu (creamy pork broth)
2 - Spicy Miso (pork)
3 - Udon (soy fish)
4 - Yasai (seaweed - vegetarian)
STEP 2: Choose your noodles
1 - Ramen (egg noodle)
2 - Udon (thick wheat noodle)
3 - Rice Noodle (gluten free)
4 - Kale Noodle (vegetarian)
STEP 3: Choose your protein
Chashu (sliced pork belly)
Chicken Spicy Chicken Bulgogi (sweet soy marinated beef)
Tofu (fried or steamed)
STEP 4: Choose your 3
Egg (1/2), Bean Sprouts, Spinach, Kimchi, Green Onion, Corn, Carrots, Cilantro, Wakame (seaweed), Red Gin
600 E Colfax Ave,
Denver, CO 80203
9AM to 9PM Daily
Dine-in and Take-out