May 18, 2022

New must-visit Japanese restaurant offers specialty soup in Newmarket

After finding success with a ramen restaurant in Whitby, Ippon Ramen has expanded to a second location in Newmarket.

The new restaurant on the plaza at 130 Davis Dr. has been off to a slow start since opening in late February, which co-owner and manager Jacqueline He says has helped her settle in.

“It’s a bit better for us because I’m new to restaurant management. I was just a waitress for 10 years,” she said.

Although he is new to management, she is not new to ramen. This is Ippon Ramen’s second location, but there was another restaurant in Richmond Hill called Yokohama Ramen that started it all.

“The owner, who is our uncle, he was in Japan for over 20 years and he learned how to make ramen from the Japanese and he taught us,” she said.

Ramen is a bone broth based soup and noodle dish. At Ippon Ramen, customers can choose from beef, vegetables, chicken, or different flavors of seafood. The menu also includes appetizers, tempura, and create your own ramen options.

When it came time for a second place finish, Richmond Hill was left out because they didn’t want to compete with this restaurant. She said Markham, where she lives, was also being considered but ruled out as there are already a number of restaurants there.

Then there was Newmarket. He said there weren’t many similar restaurants around and she also had a connection to the city.

“I love Newmarket. My brother worked at the Mandarin Buffet 15 years ago, so he has family and friends who live here,” she said.

Originally, the plan was to open in 2021, but pending building permits and then renovation delays pushed back the opening date.

“We had planned to open before Christmas, but so many things got stuck,” he said.

Now they are up and running and have enjoyed a visit from Newmarket Mayor John Taylor and Ward Councilor Bob Kwapis who described the restaurant as a “must try”.

“The mayor and I welcomed this new Japanese restaurant and were impressed by the beauty of the decoration. We also had the chance to taste their delicious ramen and I have to say it was one of the best I have ever had,” he said in a Facebook post.

The reception from the community as a whole has been great so far, he said.

“Here, the customers are mostly locals. They’ve just been so nice,’ she said.

She said she hoped business would continue to pick up as the weather warmed.