On January 16th, I attended one of the premier opening evenings for the highly anticipated pop-up restaurant, Guchi's Midnight Ramen. Yet another culinary project co-creator of Dore Creperie, Vilas Dhar played a part in with mastermind chefs from O Ya, Yukihiro Kawaguchi (aka "Guchi"), Mark O' Leary, and O Ya alum, Tracy Chang. The result is a noodle dish unlike any other. The opening nights took place at cozy Bondir in Cambridge. We were graced with a light dusting of snow that night which seemed perfect for the noodle slurping in the wee hours of the morning!
We were greeted by Vilas, Tracy, and friends upon arriving at Bondhir around 12:30AM. This was my first time in the space, and I will most definitely be heading back for dinner! The warm atmosphere made the event feel like an intimate dinner party with about 20 guests. With Brooklyn Lagers in hand, we were seated at our tables. Bandmate and food blogger extraordinaire, Rachel Leah Blumenthal of Fork it Over Boston and I sat at a table with two other bloggers; Patrick Maguire of I'm Your Server Not Your Servant, and Meredith Smith of Serious Eats. Thanks to Patrick, we were lucky enough to get a sneak peak behind the scenes as the noodle dishes were being constructed. We learned a few bits about the individual components of the noodle dish. The broth is cooked for 10hrs with pork and chicken. The noodles are, of course made by hand the same day, and each noodle dish is carefully arranged with precision and care.
|"Guchi stands and watches the eggs cook for exactly 6 minutes" - Mark O'Leary|
|Perfectly measured portions|
After our paparazzi moment in the kitchen with Mark and Guchi, we went back to our table and were served a delightful pork bun appetizer with sweetened pork, cucumber and peanuts.
|(Meredith, me, Rachel)|
When the highly anticipated noodles arrived at our table, I was immediately struck by the delicate placement of the egg, seaweed, perfectly cut pork slices, and equal ratio of noodle to broth. Then the slurping began! A camera was passed around to capture first slurps. The pictures were then printed and creatively posted on a cork board for all to enjoy.
The broth really made this noodle dish. Each and every bite was full of flavor. The egg added to the richness, and the pork was perfectly tender. There was also a condiment at the table called 'umami oil' I'm not exactly sure what was in this condiment, but it definitely had bits of sweet goodness which added another dimension to the noodle dish. Before I knew it, I was left with a very small pool of broth in my bowl. It was a sad moment. I sat and stared at the bowl in disbelief before picking it up to take the last slurp.
We were then treated to some gooey green tea chocolate chip cookies and were given a packaged cookie to take home!
Right down to the last detail, Guchi's Midnight Ramen was overall, a well executed, delicious experience. I will definitely be going back for more!
Special thanks to Vilas Dhar for inviting me to partake in this special event, and to my fun dining companions Rachel, Meredith, and Patrick. Extra special thanks to Guchi and Mark for creating this noodle dish!
Read more about this pop-up on Tiny Urban Kitchen, Eater: Boston, & Dishing - Boston.com.