Our last meal on our recent trip to Chicago was to Yusho—a place I’ve heard about for awhile. It was a Sunday night, and on Sundays they offer a special menu where you get a choice of several noodle bowls (or a burger), a (non-alcoholic) drink and the daily flavor of homemade soft serve for dessert for $25.
Of course, there were also snacks on the menu, and because we were with our friends who like to eat all the food, we ordered some of each of them. The fried chicken was delicious ($8) with a chili dipping sauce that was flavored with lime and green tea. Super crunchy pieces of chicken that were nicely seasoned and salted, but still pleasantly tender inside. Of course, since the pieces of chicken were good on their own, you couldn’t really go wrong with taking one of them and turning it into a fried chicken bun either ($6). They put the chicken in the soft bun and added Old Bay aioli and kimchee. Perfect mix of salty and briny with a bit of heat. I really enjoyed all the sauces that they use here. They were also offering a special pork belly bun that was also quite tasty, this time with a creamier sauce—these were more like the buns I have had in several other places—with a big hunk of soft pork belly with crisp edges.
We couldn’t pass up the “skin trio” ($8), which was chicken skin, pork skin, and salmon skin with a fermented black bean aioli. The pork and the chicken were really good—nice and savory and super crisp. None of us were as big a fan of the salmon skin though. For me, the fishy flavor isn’t a benefit. I really enjoyed the aioli though which had a slightly funky flavor—which especially with the chicken, you wanted as it didn’t have a ton of flavor on its own.
Just so everything we got wasn’t fried, we also got the pickle plate ($7), which was one of the better pickle plates I have had. It was a nice variation from the fried, rich items we were eating and we enjoyed the variety of things in there—we all commented on the daikon. The selection varies daily, but it was a nice balancing dish.
We were pleased with everything we had had thus far, and then hubby and I got our ramen and realized this was truly the reason for coming. We had the Kunko ramen, which includes porchetta, black and red miso, pickled garlic and mushroom, and truffle hijiki. For an extra $2, I added a slow poached egg (would there be any doubt I would do this?) This was the best ramen I have had to date. The broth had a depth of flavor beyond any I have had. It was rich, and salty and just downright delicious. I think it was the first time every single drop of broth was eaten. I also liked that they used a couple pieces of very tender porchetta—which is a type of roasted pork. I liked that it was so tender, it just sort of fell apart as you ate it, making it much easier to eat than some of the fattier pieces you often see in ramen. The egg was perfect (guessing they have this down to a science at this point). Hijiki is a kind of sea vegetable—almost like a slightly denser seaweed. I loved the salt and brininess this added. I liked the nice pieces of mushroom as well. There were also fresh, crisp scallions and bean sprouts giving I just the right amount of crunch. Like I said, to date, the best bowl of ramen I have had.
The soft serve cone on this night was root beer flavor. My body doesn’t love dairy, so I only had a taste (I was also really full). It’s kind of a fun touch, but not something I personally would order if it didn’t come with the meal.
All in all, I look forward to going back to Yusho—they have 4-5 different flavors of ramen and I would like to try them all!
2853 N. Kedzie
Chicago, IL 60618