I was excited to see the opening of Strings Ramen in Chinatown just a few doors down from The Phoenix Room. I got even more excited when I saw the menu only has four bowls of ramen on it, because I'd rather see a place with a few items it does well rather than a billion things it does a mediocre job with (I'm looking at you, Cheesecake Factory).
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While the onslaught of new ramen restaurants seems to have died down a bit lately, Ajida opened up quietly on Wells just over a month ago. I'm used to ramen stands being a little beat up and homey looking, but that's probably just the Asian romantic in me. Mostly because I am, in fact, Asian.
Nearly two years ago, we took stock of the ramen scene in Chicago. Now, with a whole new group of restaurants trying their hand at the bowl, we reassess the situation with fresh eyes.
You know you've made it when you can name a restaurant (or anything, for that matter) after yourself. For example, take Wolfgang Puck, or a Foley catheter.
The team at Slurping Turtle spent a long time perfecting a new ramen recipe, one that captured the right balance of lightness, gluten-driven elasticity, and bite. To make it in-house, the restaurant uses a Yamato LM10062IUS, a sophisticated, Japanese-made ramen noodle-making machine.
Since the Kyoto menu took over at neighboring Next in mid-September, The Aviary has taken part in the occasion by presenting select styles of housemade ramen to supplement its regular menu of small bites. It was with fluctuating levels of wonderment, eager anticipation, and suspicion that I sat down to try them all.
Check out the most popular posts over the past week, including our search for the best bowl of ramen in town, 14 Fried Chicken places you have to try, and some peppermint treats to get you in the holiday spirit.
For years, the ramen in Chicago has felt unloved. That has slowly been changing, but this year seemed to be the tipping point, as a whole new group of restaurants popped up with a desire to do things right. It seemed like the perfect time to reevaluate the scene.
While Takashi leans toward fine dining and 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.