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Review Mon Apr 13 2015

Spicy Slurping at Furious Spoon

DSC_0165_resize.jpgFurious Spoon opened about two months ago in Wicker Park after a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $35,000. Spearheaded by Michelin-star chef Shin Thompson, the restaurant has a simple menu--four distinct ramen bowls with a slew of customizable toppings that include pickled mushrooms and apple chili sauce. The sides are minimal--some pickles, beef brisket rice bowl, and harumaki (fried vegetable spring roll). None of the sides were particularly outstanding or memorable, so I'd save your money for the ramen toppings, especially the smoky and delectable chashu pork belly.

Though there are five noodle bowls to choose from, the Furious Ramen is the restaurant's signature dish. The reddish-brown broth in the Furious Ramen was laced with habanero, its floral undertones cutting through a very rich and salty miso base. Toppings included white pepper chicken, a few thin slices of cashu pork belly, and marinated shiitake mushrooms. A sous-vide egg sat on top of everything, its liquid shell instantly broken after applying the lightest chopstick pressure. Each component of the dish was seasoned well, and the broth was savory but not overwhelmed with a thick meat flavor.

DSC_0167_resize.jpgThe tsukemen was served in a more traditional Japanese style, in which the noodles and broth are provided separately and combined at the diner's preference. Given that it's a summer dish, the noodles were actually served lukewarm or cold (like pasta salad). The glossy dipping noodles had good bounce, but were so thick that not even the saltiness of the porky broth could penetrate them. However, the broth alone was rich with marrow and quite delicious by itself.

Although some may find the dishes unorthodox (perhaps even blasphemous), I really enjoy Shin's ramen interpretations. The noodle itself is eggy, springy, and conducive for high-velocity slurpage. The broths are flavorful and relatively light, and the toppings utilize other Asian flavors. The menu concept is not puritanically Japanese, and positively so, as the pickles, garlic, and chili sauces greatly enthuse the palate. That being said, ramen is customizable by nature, and in this case--executed wonderfully.

Furious Spoon
1571 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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