If you’re new to the ramen house game, here’s what you need to do:
- Forget everything you know about ramen. Forget the styrofoam cups and dehydrated noodles.
- Drop everything and head down to Goro Ramen in the Plaza District in Oklahoma City.
I’m admittedly a little slow on the uptake of the whole ramen/pho trend. Not a huge fan of soup in general, I’ve never gone out of my way to try ramen. But this week, I was invited to a pre-opening sampling of the fresh eats at Goro Ramen and let me tell you: I’m a convert.
Tucked into an eye-catching green building next to The Mule, Goro is run by people you can trust – it’s owned by the same hospitality group as Empire Slice House, and the food is curated by local food legend Jeff Chanceleune of Project Slurp and Kaiteki Ramen.
We settled into seats at the bar with a perfect seat to watch the chefs work their magic, and started off with a few cocktails. The first was the Mr. Oh – rye, pineapple, ginger beer, lemon, and basil. I thought this one would be right up my alley, but the ginger in it was way way too strong for my taste. So just a heads up, this is great for ginger lovers.
Then, The Last Samurai – sochu, Green Chartreuse, lime, and maraschino liqueur. Sochu is a rice wine that tastes somewhat like vodka. This drink was pretty strong, it would be perfect for someone who enjoys martinis.
And finally, my favorite drink! This Cucumber Chuhai is perfectly refreshing, made with shochu, cucumber, sparkling water, and lemon. It’s like spa water – but with alcohol.
We started off our meal with one of the best appetizers I have ever had in my life. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, with a perfect crunchy yet doughy consistency. They’re called Corn Kakiage, and they’re tempura fried sweet corn balls topped with a spicy sauce. I would come again and just drink and eat these. I might get some weird looks, but trust me – it’s worth it.
P.S. One of my favorite things about the menu here was the little dictionary at the bottom. Super helpful!
We also tried the Chicken Nikuman, or crispy fried chicken buns. These are topped with a red onion jam, pickled daikon radish, and green onions. The bartender told us that Chef Jeff’s buns are made without animal byproducts, and they’re still super fluffy and soft.
Between our appetizers and main course was a small Yakimono treat. I admittedly didn’t know what Yakimono meant – but the helpful dictionary on the menu explained it’s simply “grilled things”. We opted for the Tskune (Jamie’s favorite part of the meal!) which are minced chicken meatballs.
We also tried the Buta Hara, crispy pork belly – blasted with a blow torch to be super smoky and crunchy on the outside.
For the main course, we opted for the Tori Paitan, which is a chicken broth ramen served with pork belly, bamboo, bean sprouts, a marinated egg, and green onions. I seriously could have slurped this broth by itself. If I ever get a cold, I may have Postmates bring me a bowl of this chicken broth, it’s seriously that good. It simmers for 12 hours, so the flavor is crazy complex and rich.
Jamie added a hot chili garlic bomb to his, which is perfect if you prefer a little kick. I’m a wimp when it comes to hot stuff, so mine was perfect as it was.
There was ice cream on the menu for dessert, so I put aside my fullness to push myself through just one more course. But this was no plain Jane ice cream, of course – it was house-made miso corn ice cream, topped with blueberry compote and crunchy corn flakes. Sounds weird, tastes delicious. I absolutely loved the corn flakes as ice cream topping. It really worked.
I couldn’t be happier with the whole meal at Goro Ramen. This spot just went live in the Plaza District this weekend, so stop in soon and be cooler than all of your friends! They’re open late, too.