I have to admit I’m a pretty hard core fan of the ramen at Wasabi in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, but my coworker has insisted for months that Bucktown’s Oiistar gives my spot a run for its money. So the team went to check it out.
Buns are a mandatory part of our taste test. Oiistar’s Duck Breast bun is no punk. While the actual bun size is the same, Oiistar piles on the fixings. The duck was perfectly cooked and the pepper-raisin chutney on top was delicious. Not too sweet at all.
Up next came an order of the Fried Garlic Chicken (Sambal). Some of the most perfect chicken ever, and I would buy that roasted almond scallion soy sauce by the bottle! No, by the gallon. Seriously.
Finally we got to the Oimen Ramen (ordered without mushrooms). The broth was good, more savory/meaty than Wasabi, but not as sweet. The noodles, advertised as hand made at the restaurant, were nice but I found them dense (my coworkers both said they preferred this noodle). The serving size was huge, well worth the $13.
While the bun was perfect, chicken was amazing, the ramen was good, I wasn’t really sold on this place… Until we asked our server if he had any ideas for this bowl of sauce from the chicken that we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave behind. Insert Tempura buns. Literally steamed buns folded in half and fried. We poured the sauce on top and VOILA!! DESSERT!!
Who needs ramen when there are tempura buns and garlicky sauces?!?!?