I've been to a few grand openings for restaurants when I lived back east. I also hosted a few for our family when we opened a new place, but Wednesday, October 5th's grand opening of the new Ramen Hayashi Restaurant in Fresno, (Riverside Drive, Herndon and 99), blew us away.
Patti and I were invited to the grand opening by Cheryl Morrison, who works with the Lin family for years as a public relations consultant.
We were excited and honored that she chose us to invite; we are so happy she did.
This isn't the first restaurant for the Lin family. They own another Ramen Hayashi restaurant in Clovis and J-Pot Mini Hot Pot & Bar, Spicy J's, Hino Oishi (which I've been wanting to check out with Patti-that's coming soon), Rollie-Rollie Ice Cream, Lin's Fusion, and Tshui-Ta.
This was the second Ramen restaurant for the family; that took roughly four years to come to fruition.
Jason Lin, one of the sons, gave a great introduction at the opening about the family and how long they have worked to get the Fresno location up and running. He described it as being pregnant for the past four years until the opening night.
What made our night was when Jason Lin came up to us as soon as we entered the restaurant, introduced himself, and thanked Patti and me for coming and being part of this exceptional evening.
A great start to an extraordinary evening began with a host of appetizers from their other restaurants for everyone to indulge in.
There was sushi, sashimi, oysters, and muscles for seafood lovers. Then there were platters of chicken wings and Szechuan dumplings that were out of this world. I couldn't stop eating them.
The veggie egg roles were to die for. They had so much flavor and weren't greasy at all. I don't know what was in them and didn't ask. I just wanted more, and I'm not usually a veggie egg roll person, but these were fantastic. Patti said the morning after that, she wished she had eaten more of the egg rolls.
There were bottles of Fiji water at each table, or you could opt for complimentary wine, beer, and soft drinks. Everything was open and available to us for the night.
They had veggies like string beans in garlic and sesame sauce that Patti raved about. I couldn't have any due to the sesame seeds, which were also on a beef and rib dish. So I trusted Patti to give me her thoughts, and she loved them.
There were these round balls that were called cherry bombs that were a mix of corn meal, I believe, and meat. They were juicy and full of flavor like everything else was.
There were skewers of chicken with sesame, something Patti could eat but I couldn't; she raved about the flavor. I was missing out on some great stuff, but I did get to try the beef skewers, and they were excellent.
The fried chicken wings were battered and deep-fried but not greasy and flavorful. I enjoy chicken wings and tasting new sauces that go with them, but these wings didn't need a sauce. All they needed was for you to eat them as is. I did, and as I said, they were juicy, flavorful, and just right. I honestly overindulged in the chicken wings, which caused an issue with what came next.
Before I Get to Next
Just as we finished what we thought was the feast, they started a dragon dance.
From the entrance, a dragon entered with the sounds of banging drums and bells and proceeded to dance around the inside of the restaurant, making its way out to the outside dining area where we were seated.
Noisemakers (fireworks) were going off, which I discovered was prerecorded and played over the speaker system provided by the DJ for the evening DJDSOTO.
As the dragoon danced its way from inside to outside and back inside again, everyone clapped along with the bells and drums and enjoyed a great time.
After enjoying what we thought was dinner, Patti noticed people leaving, and we were getting ready to do the same when we saw everyone had gone out front. They must have announced the inside, and we didn't hear it outside.
It was time to cut the ribbon, but before that, a few speeches and heartfelt thanks from Jason Lin to everyone involved in opening this location. From construction crews to his help at the restaurant, everyone was recognized.
Once the ribbon was cut and everyone had stopped clapping, Jason announced it was time for dinner.
Patti and I looked at one another and. started laughing since we were full at this point, but we heard steak and lobster, and we decided we needed to find room.
Along with the most tender and flavorful steak I've had in a long time, there were lobster claws in a spicy sauce, green beans with almonds, fried rice, and a seafood medley in noodles. Not to mention more sushi and sashimi, all different from what had been offered with the appetizers.
What we were dining on now was from the kitchen within the new location prepared by the new chefs.
This is what diners will enjoy when they eat at Hayashi Ramen at either the Clovis or Fresno location.
If what we had to eat that night indicates what they make, everyone is in for the most incredible treat in ramen cooking. I will even go on the limb and state it is, without doubt, the best of the best, and you need to get into the Clovis or Fresno location as soon as possible to enjoy a feast you won't ever forget.
There are ramen places all around Clovis and Fresno now, and while most follow the same rule of thumb for ingredients and flavor, in my opinion, Hayashi stands out from the crowd.
Service, consistency, atmosphere, and excellent quality are most important to Patti, and I, Ramen Hayashi Fresno & Clovis, excels.
We believe you'll enjoy it next time you look for some ramen!
Mark & Patti