A new pop-up called Ramen Ramen — from Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max cofounder Max Heigh — will be serving bowls of steaming soup out of a food truck starting next week in Hillman City.
The truck will be a standalone effort out of the Sam Choy’s parking lot off Rainier Ave, rather than an official extension of the Hawaiian restaurant, so no overlapping menu items. But it still has roots to the poke destination. Heigh and Sam Choy’s corporate chef Scott Lutey are behind the project, and have crafted ramen options with some non-traditional ingredients, including truffle crab, smoked beef brisket, and salmon. The debut is set for next Friday, October 23.
It appears this is part of a larger effort to make the most out of the dormant Sam Choy’s mobile operation. The franchise’s three food trucks have been idle since the spring, due to a lack of business in Bellevue, South Lake Union, and downtown Seattle, where they usually cater to the corporate lunch crowd (most companies have been instituting work from home policies).
Rather than keep those trucks out of circulation, the chain has created a rotating pop-up space of sorts in South Seattle. This summer, the Sam Choy’s Rainier Ave location hosted Hawaiian dessert purveyor Mike’s Shave Ice in its lot, and the restaurant plans to make room for another truck called Hapa Dawg & Donuts (serving Hawaiian takes on, yes, hot dogs and doughnuts) in November. All the new pop-ups will emphasize online preordering in the covered lot to encourage social distancing and reduce long lines.
“It’s a great use of our food trucks,” Heigh said in a statement sent to Eater Seattle. “For the past few months they’ve been sitting behind the gate, not being able to serve the community. Our pop-up food truck(s) will be able to create more jobs for the industry, and allow our group to expand its culinary influence in Hillman City.”