Sergei and Shani Oveson waited 6 years to start Ramen Haus. “We’re not new to the [restaurant] industry, but this is our first restaurant,” says Shani. Shani, who has worked for over 10 years in Japanese restaurants, including Naked Fish and Tosh’s Ramen in Salt Lake City, did not expect the overwhelmingly positive reception of their restaurant—especially so quickly. “We tripled our expectations. Lines at opening, lines out the door . . . it’s amazing.”
While Shani spends most of her time interacting with customers, Sergei works in the kitchen as the backbone of Ramen Haus’s cuisine. Their menu boasts uncommon Japanese fare, like Taro Fries and Lilly Mushrooms. “We designed our menu around what’s hard to find in Utah’s Japanese restaurants,” said Sergei. Sergei is also not new to the restaurant scene. Originally from Mongolia, Sergei also has a history of working in Japanese restaurants, including the well-known Izakaya Suki Asian Gastropub in Washington, D.C.
The Oveson’s did no advertising for their restaurant before opening. Shani says, “we wanted to ease into it and build up a reputation by word of mouth.” Reviews for Ramen Haus poured into Yelp!, but some are more mean spirited than constructive—one even referring to Shani as “a toddler.” But those reviews aren’t phasing Shani and Sergei. “We put our blood, sweat, tears and love into this,” says Sergei, and the ramen speaks for itself. You can visit Ramen Haus at 2550 Washington Blvd, Ogden, or call 801-393-0000. While you’re there, do yourself a favor and order the pork buns. Keep an eye out for an official review of Ramen Haus by Salt Lake magazine’s Mary Brown Malouf.