A new Japanese restaurant set on raising the bar for local sushi, ramen and tapas offerings is now open in South Asheville.
Murasaki Asheville will make its official debut with a grand opening Jan. 28 at 200 Julian Lane in Arden.
Murasaki’s abundant menu features seafood tapas, a dozen ramen and noodle dishes, traditional and signature sushi rolls, and items straight off the hibachi grill. Bento boxes, donburi, sashimi, and agemono and yakimono starters are among the menu categories.
The menu prices range from higher-cost premium dishes to lunch specials under $20.
On Jan. 28, guests who dine at Murasaki may receive a free spring roll, egg roll or kani pocket appetizer. Also, the restaurant will offer a buy one large hot sake, get a refill free deal.
Murasaki is the latest business of owner Putra Negara, who owns Fuji Hibachi in Johnson City, Osaka Sushi & Asian Cuisine in Cherokee and Sake Sushi & Hibachi in Spartanburg. The Asheville location is in the former site of Pomodoros Café, which closed in Sept. 2021.
“We turned the place into a very relaxing ambiance for people who want to hang out during the night. We offer all kinds of sake and wine," Negara said. "The patio will be open during the summertime, and we’re going to have live music eventually on the weekend.”
One of the stars on the menu is the fresh bluefin tuna. Bluefin otoro is cut from the underbelly of the fish that’s rich and buttery and high in Omega-3 fat.
“We’re using a fresh bluefin tuna for our inventory," Negara said. "Yeah, that’s different than other places in town. People don’t usually buy that kind of fish because it’s that expensive.”
The Smoke Toro is prepared with hickory smoke wood chips and served with a smoke soy sauce and fresh wasabi and listed at $23.
“It’s something different that the town doesn’t have — a smoke toro,” he said. “The dish comes in a sashimi dish, literally in a small glass, and then we smoke it. It’s more like a presentation for the customer.”
A seasonal blue fin platter is available, too, which is served with nine pieces of fresh akami, chutoro and otoro cuts, listed as $45.
Murasaki fish is always fresh and never frozen, Negara said.
Another high-end item is the A5 wagyu, a premium grade of Kobe beef imported from Japan.
The Legend of the Ten Rings is seared A5 wagyu, truffle salt, scallion and chili thread atop a lobster mix and served with fried asparagus and Japanese mayo. It’s listed at $24.
Pork Chasu Ramen is a top-selling dish at the other restaurant location. It consists of pork belly prepared in an Asian cooking style served in Tonkotsu broth with vegetables, Shoyu egg and fish cake. The hearty ramen and noodle bowls range from $15-18.
Omakase-style dining in which the diner trusts Chef Arsa to prepare a menu sight unseen will be available by reservation later.
If you go
What: Murasaki Asheville
Where: 200 Julian Lane, Arden
Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. lunch and 4:30-10 p.m. dinner Monday-Friday
12-10:30 p.m. Saturday
12-9 p.m. Sunday
Info: Follow on Facebook and murasakiasheville.com, the pages will launch soon.
Tiana Kennell is the food and dining reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @PrincessOfPage.
This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Murasaki's, high-end ramen, sushi restaurant, opens in Arden