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Late Nite Adobo

Typing out thoughts on a website… when the cravings hit you in the late nite…

Tag Archives: Tonkotsu

116 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

Talking about your favorite soup is like talking about politics; there are no winners. Heated debates on pho, bun bo hue, Taiwanese beef noodle soup, sinigang, Mom’s chicken noodle soup (i.e., Campbell’s), etc. can go on for days and days. Nevertheless, with chilly weather on the horizon, it’s time to lower your chopsticks from combat position, sit down with your favorite bowl of whatever soup you love, and get slurping!

I’m embarrassed to say that my experience with ramen is mostly of the instant variety. Maruchan, Ichiban, Top Ramen – along with Optimus Prime and He-Man – were allies in my childhood battle against brisk weather. The one real bowl of ramen I had was from Mr. Ramen in L.A., and the only thing I remember was the pressure of trying to get an ear-piercingly loud slurp going because that’s what I saw on TV. And most other ramen places that I’ve come across have had crazy long waits that made quick Pho stops a more attractive alternative.

Fast-forward to a rainy, cold day in Chicago, which led me to The Slurping Turtle – Chef Yagihashi Takashi’s take on Japanese comfort food, and purveyor of ramen. Could this be fate?

Tan Tan

Tan Tan Ramen (Fall in love all over again)

With my limited experience, I’m not sure what constitutes a good bowl of ramen. Generally, if food is tasty and pleasing to my senses (or any extraordinary spidey/umami senses I may have), it’s good to me. The ramen must have fit that criteria, since I finished the whole bowl in record time. I had the Tan Tan Men Ramen, and the Tonkotsu.

The Tan Tan was just a’ight. It wasn’t too spicy, and the flavors were really subtle compared to the salty, rich broth of the Tonkotsu. Each were good on their own merits, but I prefer the heartier, stick-to-your-ribs Tonkotsu. The only thing I “ragret” is not getting a poached egg…on account of my pro-eggy stance on life…


Tonkotsu (Uh-huh)

I’m gonna take the easy way out and say that I crave certain soups at different times. A gigantic bowl of BBH or pho hits the spot when I have an equally gigantic hangover. On the other hand, a warm, loving bowl of arroz caldo at my parent’s house has a soft spot in my heart feels. While my curiosity has come up a little late, my obsession for trying more and more authentic ramen is rising quickly. I won’t rest until I’m slurping at a bare minimum 12th grade level. Get your ear plugs ready!

So as I raise my soup spoon in battle-ready mode, I ask you the reader: What’s your favorite soup to combat the chilly weather?


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