while Macau may be known now as a mecca for gamblers, Fat Rice is not playing games of chance when it comes to pairing and building flavors. And therein lies the fun of eating this food: there are so many unfamiliar tastes to discovery anew, and the chefs have done the hard work of refining their dishes, that diners can freely submit to the strongest pull of their curiosities.
'knockout noodles' on Serious Eats
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.
Siena Tavern may be a sprawling collaboration between the Dine|Amic Group and chef Fabio Viviani (Top Chef season five), but in all cases, the noodles rightly felt like the highlights of each dish.
For the first time in its history, Spiaggia is serving a tasting menu where each course would include some form of pasta. The first of these menus, offered now through the end of March, highlights filled pastas, a theme that the kitchen staff explored broadly and with a great deal of creativity that led to some very novel interpretations.
On a recent chilly morning, I was engaged in that telltale pastime of the food-obsessed: skimming restaurant menus online. As I scanned the offerings of Little Market American Brasserie, something caught my eye that I'd normally breeze past: chicken noodle soup.
Still sparkling from its makeover, Lula is pulling off the impressive: it's the neighborhood veteran that also feels brand new.
Chef Andy Aroonrasameruang left his old post at TAC Quick to launch his own spot, which opened last September, in part so he could cook the kind of (spicy, pungent, traditional) Thai food he wanted to without having anyone else to answer to.
When I was looking back on the year of eating noodles I had had in 2012, I couldn't help but peek a bit forward, as well, at the noodles 2013 had in store for me. And none excited me more than Oiistar, the now month-old ramen joint on Milwaukee Avenue helmed by Korean-born chef Sunny Yim.
Boy, my Atkins diet has not been going well. Yes sir, I've been hitting the carbs pretty hard this past year in search of Chicago's best noodles. And looking back on 12 months' worth of Knockout Noodles columns, I feel confident when I say this is an exciting time to be a noodle lover in this town.
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.
For the past year, Roger has explored Chicago's dining scene the best way he knows how: one bowl of noodles at a time. But these are the ten pastas that stood out from the rest, and they make for a great introduction to Chicago's amazing Italian restaurant scene.
Intrigued by the sudden push toward housemade noodles at Dragon Ranch Moonshine & BBQ and Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar, I had to investigate. Thankfully both graciously allowed me behind-the-scenes access to observe how they craft their ramen noodles from scratch
Simply It is a restaurant of odd contradictions. The service could be frustratingly aloof at points, then overly attentive. Certain aspects of the food seemed lazily executed, but the diverse and memorable noodles won out in the end.
The commuter noodle shop—so common in Asia's metropolitan centers—is a rare sight in Chicago. But if any place is carrying the load, the Bucktown/Wicker Park location of Penny's Noodle Shop is that place.
What drew me to Thalia Spice's Yaya noodles was its key ingredient: stir-fried spinach-flavored noodles. How would these green guys impact a Thai stir-fry?
"Simply Italiano." That's the one and only bit of descriptive information, apart from the customary address, phone number, and whatnot, on the business card for Trattoria Ultimo, a newcomer to the maturing West Town dining scene.
Slurping Turtle's hiyashi-chuka is sort of like a light summertime pasta salad, by way of Japan. The dish is anchored by a bed of chilled, wavy ramen noodles—slippery, springy, and full of bite.
Perhaps now that Todd Stein has diverged from the hotel scene and is employed by a kindred spirit like Tony Priolo, Stein will have reason to stay put awhile. I hope so, because his noodle work at Piccolo Sogno Due is currently in top form, and I'd hate to see him go even a day without a venue.
Xoco has been one of my go-to lunch spots since the busy River North restaurant began firing its tortas, caldos, and housemade hot chocolates. But it's been hard to pull myself away from the tasty tortas in order to sample its broth-based offerings. Well, it was until I read the description for Xoco's pork belly vermicelli (fideos).
The menu at Bon Bon is divided between Vietnamese and Japanese cuisines—bánh mì meets bento box. And in addition to the sandwiches, there are warm Vietnamese noodle salads and two choices of phở, one vegan and one with beef. This is where things get serious.