Walking on Market Street in downtown Frederick, passers-by may notice the sign for Tsunami Ramen and Tapas. What they don’t see is that inside, the restaurant at 20 N. Market St. is coming together with graceful, crashing waves painted on the walls, a white marble bar and a “Street Fighter II” game by the door.
Tsunami will be the second restaurant from Pong Chan and Moo Rung, who also own Lazy Fish, the sushi shop at 10 E. Patrick St. The new restaurant is in the former location of Vini Culture, which closed in July.
The former wine bar had machines that let customers pour their own glasses of various wines, and served light fare. Originally, the owners said that the machines would stay in the restaurant. However, Rung said that they have removed the wine machines “for now” because of limited space. The kitchen needed to be expanded because Vini Culture wasn’t a full restaurant. Rung said he also had to make room for more storage, for both ingredients and alcohol.
“So it’s going to be a bit of a challenge for us in terms of the spacing,” Rung said.
Rung does not know when the restaurant will open, as the team is waiting for inspections from the city. After the inspections come back and Rung and Chan make any necessary changes to the space, they will have a better idea of when the restaurant can open.
“Trust us, we want to open tomorrow, but we just can’t,” Chan said.
Chan and Rung know that people are excited about the arrival, and wish they could have a more solid opening date to give the public. They are still looking to hire employees closer to opening as well.
In addition to ramen, of which Rung said there will be six or seven kinds, the menu will feature Asian tacos and other fusion-inspired items. There will be an extensive tapas menu that will be ideal for sharing and will include items such as seared duck breast and chopped rib-eye steak.
Rung said the menu is nearly complete, but they are still making small changes.
The restaurant will also have a full bar with draft beers, Asian liquors and cocktails.
Once the inspections are over, Rung will set a date for a soft opening. He’s excited to bring ramen to Frederick, something that he and Chan think the city is sorely lacking.
“We’re happy to be part of the downtown community,” Rung said.