Hi, I'm Lu!

A PhD Student at University of Chicago who loves discovering the world and trying new eats! Hope you enjoy!

Strings Ramen

Strings Ramen

Pork loin kuro buta shoyu ramen: soy sauce and bonito fish broth with menma, scallion, nori, bean sprout, wasabi oil and boiled egg
Pork loin kuro buta shoyu ramen: soy sauce and bonito fish broth with menma, scallion, nori, bean sprout, wasabi oil and boiled egg

Ever since Strings Ramen opened in Chicago's Chinatown, the reviews have been conflicting, and now that I've eaten there, I'm a bit conflicted.  But I would give their ramen another try farther down the line.  In any case, walking in, I was in awe over how clean, modern and simple the place looked, and I loved the idea of an open kitchen at an Asian restaurant in Chinatown.

Lava Egg
Lava Egg

Although you may be overly focused on the ramen, you will want to take a look at the other side of the menu because I found my new favorite way for eggs to be done.  Their version of this soft-boiled egg was literally oozing, and it had been perfectly marinated in soy sauce.

Pork belly kuro buta tonkotsu ramen: 48 hour black boar bone broth, mayu, garlic oil, fresh crushed garlic, sesame seed, scallion and menma
Pork belly kuro buta tonkotsu ramen: 48 hour black boar bone broth, mayu, garlic oil, fresh crushed garlic, sesame seed, scallion and menma

The tonkotsu ramen had a very flavorful broth, but it had a thick layer of oil on top.  That oil, though, is olive oil infused with sesame and garlic oil so it sounds (and maybe is) healthier than it looks!  Otherwise, the ingredients (especially the pork belly) were very nicely cooked and worked well with the savory broth.  If you are looking for a lighter broth, go with the shoyu ramen!

Scallop, shrimp and pork belly kuro buta miso ramen with spice: pork bone broth with miso, corn, scallion, bean sprout, sesame seed, chopped garlic, butter and white pepper
Scallop, shrimp and pork belly kuro buta miso ramen with spice: pork bone broth with miso, corn, scallion, bean sprout, sesame seed, chopped garlic, butter and white pepper

This miso ramen, like the tonkotsu ramen, was absolutely delicious!  However, there was a communication issue, and there was actually no more snow crab but the waiters didn't know.  When we asked, though, our waiter asked the chefs and kindly took a couple bucks off our bill.

Although the flavors were delicious, I have a major criticism.  For all three bowls of ramen, there were some issues with what I think is the major component in any bowl of ramen: the noodles.  The noodles in each bowl look relatively thin, which I like, but they were very dense.  So they don't really soak up the flavors from the broth.  I said this in my Yelp review, and Strings Ramen replied saying that they are still trying to perfect their noodles.  So I'd say it would be worth going back to Strings Ramen for another taste in another couple months (or maybe even weeks).

Tips: 

  1. Order shoyu ramen if you want a light broth.
  2. Check out BOTH sides of the menu.
  3. Ask the waiters if you have any questions - they really are great at describing all those Japanese terms!
Strings Ramen Shop on Urbanspoon
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