On Friday, I met up with Donovan for a date at Furious Spoon-a delicious new addition to Chicago’s ever-growing ramen scene. Furious is near Naoto’s office…lucky him. I can see him becoming a regular here. Everything at Furious Spoon is pretty simple. The menu offers four ramen options, a few sides, some Japanese beers, sake, whiskey and pop. You order at the counter and take your number and an enormous wooden ramen spoon to a seat and wait for your ramen to arrive. The tables are communal and there is a long counter of seats looking into the food prep area. Donovan and I sat at the counter, giving us a good view of the ramen assembly. The noodles are made in house and the bowls are assembled quickly with care. I thought the presentation was beautiful. I’m only sorry I didn’t get a shot of the huge wooden soup spoon in my picture.
I got the Shoyu Ramen and I thought it was wonderful. The broth was really tasty and not quite as salty as some of the other ramens I’ve eaten recently. The noodles were so good–they had the right amount of bite and a good texture. The cha-sui (pork) was kind of skimpy, a little bit fatty (which some people really like for the flavor) and a little bit boring. (Disclaimer: I am so enamored with the char-grilled cha-shu at Ramen Miso-ya that it’s hard for me to find anything that compares!) The simple additions of bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, fish cake, nori and scallion were perfect complements to the texture and the flavors in the bowl, but you can add twelve other toppings, too. Donovan had the Vegetable Ramen and she shared a pickled shimeji (mushroom) from her bowl. It was so tasty that next time I’m ordering a side of pickles!
I really liked the vibe of the restaurant–they play old school hip-hop, but it’s quiet enough to have a conversation. The staff was friendly and attentive, making sure we liked our bowls. And, an added bonus…the ramen is the least expensive of all the ramen we’ve had so far. I’m hoping Naoto can squeeze me in for a lunch date soon so I can try those pickles and another kind of ramen!
P.S. Our other ramen visits can be found here:
I think I need a name for this series…Naoberly’s Noodle Tour is in the lead, because I love alliteration.