3/15/2013 11:30:00 AM

The Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Oiimen at Oiistar

Now is the time of year when the weather changes, it gets less miserably cold, you can’t leave the house without having an internal debate about how thick of a jacket to wear and everyone is getting sick. Spring may be around the corner but the process of getting there is not exactly glamorous. This is when a warm bowl of noodles comes in handy maybe with some savory both and a slice of pork belly or two, because everything is better with pork belly.

We’re talking about he Oiimen at Oiistar. It’s the signature ramen at a new ramen joint in Wicker Park. It is served with pork loin, egg, tree ear mushrooms, spicy oil and garlic, but we recommend substituting belly for the loin. Other varieties include a seafood Musclemen and vegetarian spicy Veggiemen. We also recommend really examining this bowl, because ramen after all is the new hot food trend.


Like all good ramen it starts with a good broth, slow simmered pork bones release a rich flavor into the silky liquid. The mosaic of ingredients is as artfully placed as it is prepared. The yolk from a soft-boiled egg oozes into the broth, it sits next to tender strips of mushrooms and crispy scallions on the other side of the bowl are thin slices of melt-in-your-mouth pork belly. It is served with a ceramic spoon the size of a small ladle perfect for slurping into spring.

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