By Zachary Wright
When it’s cold out, there is nothing like getting a big bowl of soup to warm you up. Like coffee, you know it’s good when the first warm sip of the broth touches your soul. That’s the case with Strings Ramen Shop at least where each bowl feels specially made.
It is difficult to find a ramen shop in the city that doesn’t blend in seamlessly with each other. It’s almost like if you’ve had one, you’ve had them all. At first glance, it does seem like Strings is no different than any other you’d find. Like most new shops, Strings is decorated with a modernized setting that’s primarily of light woods and a collage of colorful lights.
Now, what sets Strings apart from others is that they focus on ramen. Unlike other Japanese restaurants, Strings offers a very slim selection of options that use higher end, more expensive ingredients like specialty cuts of meats like beef or salmon. The noodles used are also made daily in house. It’s unclear how long the soup actually cooks since the best broths take all day to simmer. The taste of the broth itself has depth and the ingredients used only gives it more.
There’s different levels of spice so it’s really up to you on how much you can handle. However, if you need more like those who can never get enough spice, then you can add more to it yourself.
Now, like any restaurant, Strings is not perfect. The music was very loud, even during the afternoon. It was to the point where you might have to repeat yourself often or just scream it to whoever you go with. It just kind of takes away from the intimate experience they seemed to try to go for. The music was strange since it was mostly acoustic renditions of sad pop songs that you’d find in big name retail stores like Burlington or TJ Maxx.
Also, the vegetarian selection is small. Most of the broths are meat based and most of the soups include meat. Of course, the meat is optional but the broths are not. Vegetarians may be better off going to another ramen shop that has more choices.
To sum up, Strings Ramen Shop is definitely a place you should check out at least once. There’s two convenient locations in Chinatown and in Lakeview that are open into the later hours of the night.
4 out of 5 torches.