Willamette University opens Japanese-themed dining facility

Bon Appetit Food Services at Willamette University opens a Japanese-themed dining hall today in the new Kaneko Commons residential facility on the east side of campus.

Kaneko Café features a mix of authentic Japanese foods and American classics and is open to the public. Café hours are Monday through Friday from 7 to 10 a.m. for breakfast, 10 to 11 a.m. for snacks and to-go items, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch. Menu pricing is similar to Goudy Commons, with most dishes costing $5 or more. Kaneko Café  is located at 1300 Mill St., next to Tokyo International University of America.

The Café also is meant to educate the community about Japanese culture. Bon Appetit staff members took a trip to San Francisco to visit Japanese restaurants and a ramen shop as part of their preparation for opening Kaneko Café. They researched the flavor profile of certain dishes and learned about the importance of key ingredients and freshness in Japanese cooking.

Food stations at Kaneko Café include:

Menrui (Noodles) - A selection of freshly prepared noodle dishes. Authentic Japanese noodle bowls are offered, including ramen, udon and soba, as well as three broths -- shoiyu (soy), miso (soy bean paste) and tonkatsu ramen broth. These can be accompanied by ingredients that include chikuwa, kamaboko, tempura, roasted pork, chicken and vegetables.

Itadakimasu (Bon Appetit) - This station includes a variety of freshly prepared entrées from around the world, from sushi to Thai curry.

Guriru (Grill) - Om rice and American breakfast are featured in the morning, and lunch customers can choose from fresh fish, Spam musubi, tonkatsu, fresh Country Natural beef burgers and antibiotic-free chicken. This station features "The Birl," a burger tribute to Birl Shultz, a Willamette University student who passed away in 2005. The condiment station includes Japanese sauces and pickled items typical of Japanese cuisine.

Sarada (Salad) - This 100 percent fresh and innovative salad bar changes weekly. The ingredients are based on the freshest available, and the bar features a house-made ginger dressing and Mizuna Greens.

Suimono (Soup) - This station features miso soup each day with an additional chef's creation.

Omochikaeri (Grab and Go) - The grab-and-go program includes bento-style tasting boxes, salads, sushi and sandwiches. An extensive bottled beverage selection also is available.