Enjoy the comfort at Liami, the newest Asian fusion restaurant near Ramstein
By JENNIFER H. SVAN | Stars and Stripes | Published: November 5, 2020
Eating lunch at my desk at work, I couldn’t finish the brown slop in my bowl, sold as miso soup in a plastic container from the shoppette.
I expected merely edible, but I couldn’t handle the blandness after recently savoring some terrific pho at Liami, one of the newest restaurants near Ramstein Air Base.
The Vietnamese broth, rice noodles and herbs remain vivid in my memory. The hearty slices of tofu soaked up the seasoned broth, complemented with toppings of bean sprouts, cilantro and pieces of hot red pepper.
Liami describes its cuisine as a fusion of Asia and Europe. I’m guessing the European part is the addition of western ingredients like avocado and mango to curries and other fare. Those items appear frequently in Liami’s menu.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the restaurant, which opened this past summer, bills itself as “the sister of Mr. Lian,” a popular restaurant in downtown Kaiserslautern with another location in Einsiedlerhof.
Perhaps someone thought a third Mr. Lian might be too much of a good thing, hence Liami.
Having been to all three now, I prefer Liami for the atmosphere: It’s spacious with more natural light than the other two restaurants, but also cozy, with a brick fireplace in the middle of the dining room. It also has a large outdoor seating area that opens at 5 p.m. A staffer told me the area has heaters, so people can sit outside even as the weather turns cold, if they feel more comfortable.
Liami has most of the staples Mr. Lian is known for, such as the special sushi rolls like crispy tiger, with prawn tempura, mango, avocado, cream cheese and flame-grilled salmon.
The differences in menus were subtle. Liami, for instance, has rolls with crab meat and butterfish, something I didn’t see on Mr. Lian’s menus.
Liami also seems to offer a few more dishes with white tuna.
My outing to Liami started out great; refer back to the pho soup that began the meal. But it went slightly downhill after that. I should have ordered sushi — one really can’t go wrong with sushi at Liami or either Mr. Lian — but I decided to go for one of the lunch specials, rice noodles and chicken served with a salad and homemade lime vinaigrette.
In search of more of a kick, I reached for the soy sauce one too many times. My friend took one taste and gasped, it was so salty. I think I could have salvaged the meal if I had spiced it up with some sriracha.
Wisely, my companion ordered the “best friend” — a sushi tray with a crispy tiger roll, four pieces of salmon and tuna fish nigiri — and like a good friend, she shared. For a side dish, she also had the wakame seaweed salad seasoned with sesame, which I highly recommend.
The dining experience at Liami was about as comfortable as a restaurant could be during a pandemic. The tables were spaced widely apart and separated by plastic partitions. I felt the air moving around, I’m assuming from indoor ventilation, and the restaurant was clean. I’d feel comfortable going again.
Location: Bahnhofstrasse 2, Ramstein-Miesenbach 66788
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Prices: mid-range. Appetizers start at 4.90 euros (about $5.75); plates of sushi range from 11.90 euros (about $14) to 52 euros (about $61) for three people. Daily lunch specials are under 10 euros (or under $12). Pay with euros or credit card.
English menu: Yes
Reservations: Encouraged but not required; customers must leave their name and contact information if getting a table. Face masks are required when not at one’s table due to coronavirus hygiene rules. Takeout also available.