Ever since Mr. Wonderful and I had ramen in L.A., we’ve had cravings.
Authentic ramen, if you’ve never had it, is a heart-warming and soothing comfort food that hits you on cold, rainy or gloomy days like a bright ray of sunshine. With its silky-rich broth and chewy noodles and a variety of add-ins, you’ll fall in love with it like we did.
However, it is not just for cool weather, for it is currently in the 90’s and we are still craving it. And apparently the heat doesn’t mean anything to locals in Oklahoma City, because the trendy new spot Goro Ramen + Izakaya (pronounced ee-zah-kah-yah), located in the up and coming Plaza District is always packed.
I first fell in love with their ramen from when they had a food truck (Kaiteki Ramen), operated by Chef Jeff Chanchaleune and his wife Rachel and so when I heard they were opening a store front in July, I told Mr. W. we needed to try it out.
And we did.
And then we returned less than a week later.
Let me tell you, that is saying something, because the man usually wouldn’t want the same thing twice in a week in regards to dining out. He loved it.
We started off our meal with something I fondly remembered and loved from the food truck – the Brussels Sprouts Salad.
The recipe has been altered and could possibly be even better with the addition of beets to the fried Brussels along with mint, pickled fresnos, fried shallots and a miso vinaigrette.
And then Chef Jeff sent us out another delicious salad – the Cauliflower, a great combination of fried cauliflower generously topped with bonito furikake seasoned panko, more of the pickled fresnos and an anchovy vinaigrette.
On our second visit, we could not resist ordering off the Nikuman (steamed buns) section of the menu. If you’re a dim sum fan, you’ll know that these are (most commonly) BBQ pork-filled, pillowy-soft, sweet steamed buns, but Goro offers theirs up like a cute little steamed bun taco.
There are three varieties at Goro – Chicken, Pork Belly (think thick bacon) and Tofu, each filled with a different variety of vegetables and sauces. This one was the Pork Belly with plum sauce, pickled cucumbers, and green onions. The buns were perfectly done, soft and warm and I loved the addition of the fresh pickles to cut the fatty pork belly as well.
On to the ramen!
One thing I really love at Goro ‘s is the broth. Instead of the commonly used pork broth, Goro ‘s broth is chicken based, rich and silky and wonderfully delicious. Mr. W prefers the more traditional tori paitan, filled with pork belly, bamboo shoots, fried garlic, bean sprouts and ajitama, a marinated perfectly-cooked, soft-boiled egg.
Now, keep in mind that the broth takes 12 hours to make, (perhaps one reason Goro uses the hashtag #respecttheramen so often on their social media postings). And if you’ve never been to a ramen house, you should totally sit at the bar the first time you go to watch the action of the giant steaming pots of broth, and the art of dropping the baskets of noodles and putting the entire bowl together. It’s like a crazy hustle and bustle of culinary circus act to watch!
The next time we went back Mr. W subbed out for the spicy pork meatballs in the same ramen.
He was happy. Very, very happy.
I on the other hand ordered the Spicy Miso.
It combines the rich chicken broth with roasted garlic miso, spicy pork meatballs, corn and sesame seeds as well as that precious marinated egg again. I will be hard-pressed to order anything else. If you like spicy soups, this will be your go-to, and those grilled meatballs are fabulous! Maybe one of these days, I’ll get past it and try the vegan ramen, as it intrigues me but holy fire, I just love this!
The second trip, even though we were happily full and I was still wiping my eyes and nose from the spicy ramen, I was grateful that Chef Jeff sent us out a special of the week dessert to try. Sadly my camera battery died but I got a sort-of sad snapshot on my iPhone of the Blackberry Ice Cream dessert with graham cracker crumble, candied peaches and some white chocolate shards. This was yummy and cooled my mouth off significantly!
Goro also has a nice drink menu offering cocktails, beer and wine as well as Pokka Gold Milk Coffee, and Black Boss Silk (popular canned and bottled coffees from Japan), and also two featured dessert menu items (Miso Ice Cream and Poppyseed Mochi Cake). Now, I’m just guessing there are only two, because you’ll be so pleasantly full after the ramen, a light dessert is all you’ll be able to handle!
So go check out Goro Ramen soon, but go early on the weekends or you may be waiting outside.
Also, cooler weather is coming so get your ramen outside on this cool new courtyard patio in between Goro and The Mule.
Goro Ramen + Izakaya
1634 N. Blackwelder Suite 102
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Phone – 405-606-2539