A new Asian-fusion restaurant specializing in ramen and seafood launched Saturday on the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue South and Eighth Street South in downtown Naples. Ichi Togarashi features a clean, upscale nautical look in the former space of the Tea & Spice Exchange next to Caffe Milano.
The new downtown dining spot is co-owned by Naples resident June Dispongsa, who also has co-owned and operated Ichi Ni San, a Thai-Japanese fusion restaurant in Daytona Beach, since 2018. Dispongsa said that cuisine and experience inspired Togarashi, named for a Japanese spice.
Togarashi features 20 kinds of ramen, a popular Japanese noodle dish usually served in a meat-based broth. Varieties include Tonkatsu made with pork bone broth, Thai spicy Sukhothai with chicken or ground pork, chicken or pork pho rice, beef Gyodon, clam and mussel spicy miso ramen and spicy Thai beef or pork ramen.
“It’s not only ramen. We specialize in Asian fusion food, which includes Japanese, Thai, some Korean and some Chinese dishes,” Dispongsa said. “We also serve Asian street food. We also have some dim sum. We have some Chinese and Singaporean dishes. We make our own kimchi. We work with multicultural and multinational crews which motivates us to understand more about each culinary culture—Thai, Japanese, Korean, Singaporean, Burmese, European and American.”
The extensive menu of Asian fusion dishes offers varieties of dim sum, sashimi, nigiri, onigiri rice balls, poke bowls, rice bowls, soups, salads and desserts. Chef’s creations include dishes such as Japanese Beef Udon Curry, Vegan Ramen Pasta, Salmon Curry Ramen, Escolar Butterfish Mango Salsa and a seafood platter. Appetizers include creamy potstickers, edamame and garlic bok choy.
Dispongsa strives for authentic tastes and traditional presentations with her culinary creations. “Our priority is always being able to deliver on freshness while making sure everything that leaves the kitchen is nothing but delicious,” she said.
Ichi Togarashi, 800 Fifth Ave. S., Suite 102, is open 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.