Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bonjin ramen

I stayed at school until 9pm on Friday working on the Yearbook and then rushed over to the old Northsix for a Propagandhi show with Sam and Erum. Afterwards, we had a few beers at DBA before they went home to Nooria; I hadn't eaten since lunch and it was now 1:30, so I decided to hit Bonijin last night on my way home.

Bonijin is a "moveable" ramen restaurant that just finished its run inside Dokubi, the Korean restaurant on Grand Street. They're only open from midnight to 4am. I was alone, and the waitress wasn't quite sure what to do with me (the restaurant has a lot of big wooden tables), but a table of two people sitting nearby heard us talking and invited me over to sit with them. Two other people joined us as well later, so it was an interesting communal dinner of five people who mostly didn't know each other before they had sat down. (I don't think this is common there, but who knows, maybe?)

It was 2am, I'd been out all day, and I wanted something hot and delicious and simple, so I got the Bonjin ramen with pork belly and a Kirin beer. Within two minutes, they brought me a bowl and told me it was ramen, but digging in, I found only rice in the broth. Oops--someone else's dinner. That's all right; the ramen was out within ten more minutes, time spent getting to know the tablemates (designer and unemployed software engineer are who I remember).

The ramen itself came in a hot black stone bowl, with a brown, almost-thick broth and a big slab of pork belly laid atop the noodles. The noodles were okay--they were ramen, not much more to say--but the broth was excellent, and the mixture of the pork belly and broth and greens and noodles was stellar. I haven't had much ramen out, so it's hard for me to measure it against other ramen places, but I'd be back here (if it wasn't closing) and I kind of hope the Japanese restaurant opening underneath me soon turns out to be a ramen place now.

With the beer, the whole shebang was $20 with tax and tip ($10+$6).

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