Friday: Takashi Noodle Review

I am a noodle ramen fanatic and miss my ramen houses in New York.  Lucky for us, we live close to Bucktown and last week, we ventured back to Takashi for their Sunday Noodle Dinner.  We’ve been previously for dinner and once for noodle lunch, I loved it both times, so we had to go back for my review (and eat some delicious ramen).  Please note, Takashi only serves ramen on Sunday at this location.

1952 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL

Food:  4
Decor:  3
Fashionable Scene:  3
Service:  4
Love:  4
Cost:  $7 to $20 (range is approx), ramen is around $13 a bowl

Chef Takashi does a wonderful job blending influences of French, American and Japanese flavors.  Each dish is delicate, simple, and yet full of flavor.  My review focuses on the hot plates as well as ramen we had, but the menu has more variety than ordered.  We kept it simple during this trip and focused on my love of ramen.  

For those who have not experienced ramen except for the top ramen you buy at the market, tasting fresh noodles and a good broth will make you forgot that ramen is associated with styrofoam cups.

Our first dish of duck fat fried chicken was the most delicious bites of chicken ever!  

Juicy, yet crunchy, and had the perfect blend of batter and chicken.  The side cabbage salad was a perfect blend of coolness to add to the hot chicken.  Chicken was boneless and bite sized, I would definitely go back just to eat these. 

Second dish we tried were the handmade gyoza’s.

Typically, they taste frozen like or processed as some ramen houses serve frozen made ones, but these were fresh and tasty.  The outside of the gyoza was perfection, thin, soft, and not doughy, and the pork inside was seasoned well.  Each gyoza dipped in the chili soy sauce was delicious.  

My husband and I were pretty happy after the first two courses and were well reminded that we had to come back soon before we even had the ramen.  

We both ordered the shoyu ramen, our favorite of the types of ramen available at most ramen restaurants.  

The ramen here is the closest we’ve come to the ramens we had in New York.  Broth was full of flavor, a little salty, but that is what shoyu is, with a soft-boiled egg, braised pork, and marinated bamboo shots. My favorite had to be the noodles in the ramen, they were the perfect texture and cooked properly, not too soft or chewy, but a nice snap to it.  I loved it and if I had the budget I would come back to eat every Sunday.

I gave the decor and fashionable scene a 3, not because I don’t think it’s a great restaurant, but it’s more about the food and the scene reflects more of a date scene than a fashionable trendy scene.  The small bungalow restaurant is minimal and modern inside.

Service was friendly and attentive and Takashi was present in the kitchen.  We spoke to his wife briefly about their next venture, Slurping Turtle, which is to be an extended menu of the Sunday noodle menu hopefully opening in August.  We look forward to eating there as well as our next meal at Takashi!


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