Slurping Turtle opened its doors early last week after what seemed like eons of build-out and anticipation. For years, Chef Takashi Yagihashi has been a beacon of hope for ramen lovers in Chicago. But while his flagship restaurant in Bucktown, Takashi, leans toward fine dining and his small outlet in the seventh-floor food court of Macy's, Noodles By Takashi, follows the fast-food format, Slurping Turtle seems to split the difference, offering reasonable prices, sit-down service and, best of all, the same ramen served at the outstanding Sunday noodle brunches at Takashi.
The clean, modern dining room at Slurping Turtle comprises a mix high-top tables—including a long, communal one—and fun window-side "cubbies" with booth seating within. One of the few pieces of decor is a massive black-and-white photo of children in traditional Japanese dress, perhaps a reflection of Yagihashi's aim to make Slurping Turtle communicate the culinary experiences of his early childhood.
As I discovered on a recent visit for lunch, noodles are only one element on Slurping Turtle's multi-faceted menu, Check out the slideshow to see what else I ate.